Early in 2023, Rensselaer initiated our self-study process for institutional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The self-study accreditation process provides us with the opportunity to evaluate our mission and who we are as an institution, and to gather and assess evidence that indicates we are meeting – or exceeding – the rigorous standards set by the Commission. Unlike school-based accreditation for individual disciplines, institutional accreditation, and the seven standards developed by MSCHE, allows us to examine our entire institution holistically. Rensselaer is one of 517 institutions accredited by MSCHE, and we have been accredited by the Commission since 1927, with our accreditation most recently reaffirmed in 2016.
While institutional accreditation is voluntary, it is required in order for students to gain access to federal funds, including student grants and loans. Non-accredited institutions are not eligible to receive federal financial aid.
Seven working groups have been formed to gather the evidence that demonstrates how we meet the criteria for each standard. Students, faculty, and staff from across the Institute will work to identify any gaps in evidence that we have, and, ultimately, write a report that addresses the standards and confirms our compliance.
Our accreditation process is led by co-chairs Dr. Keith Moo-Young, Vice Provost and Dean, Undergraduate Education, and Dr. Emily Liu, Professor and Department Head, Industrial and Systems Engineering, with support from Mr. Jack Mahoney, Middle States Accreditation Advisor, Dr. Judith Stoddard, Director of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Enrollment Analytics, Dr. Stanley Dunn, former Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate Education, and Faculty Advisor to MSCHE and The FOCI Center, and Ms. Maureen Fodera, Instructional Technology Specialist, Research and Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
Gathering campus input is an essential component of an institutional reaccreditation effort, and there is a lot of work to do as we prepare for the on-campus site visit by the evaluation team in spring of 2025. If you would like to know how you may participate, please contact either Keith Moo-Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emily Liu (email@example.com).