Lehigh University is preparing for its reaccreditation review by our regional accrediting body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Our Middle States review will take place during the 2017-2018 academic year. This year Lehigh is conducting the self-study that is required in advance of our Middle States reaccreditation review. Lehigh will spend this academic year engaging in an investigation and review process that is designed to allow us to evaluate what we do and how well we do it.
The self-study process is an important one. Of course, regional accreditation is a stamp of our legitimacy as a higher education institution, and a requirement for institutions whose students wish to receive federal financial aid. At least as importantly, it is a tool for us to review our own strengths and weaknesses and consider how we can improve Lehigh.
The provost has tasked a four-person coordinating committee - Jennifer Jensen, deputy provost for academic affairs; Jerry Lennon, professor of civil engineering; Steven Wilson, director of institutional assessment; and Debra Rubart, project manager in the provost's office - to coordinate this effort. The bulk of the investigation and review will be conducted by eight working groups. These working groups will review Lehigh's processes and procedures, ultimately assessing whether we are in compliance with both the Middle States standards of accreditation, and the federal compliance requirements that we must verify in a process that parallels our self-study.
Each of the eight working groups is comprised of both faculty and staff members, and headed by two co-leads. The coordinating committee or the various working groups may be contacting you in the coming months to ask for information, or to ask that you participate in a meeting.
The various working group reports will become the basis of a self-study report that will be sent to the peer evaluators who will conduct our evaluation. There will be time for the campus community to review the draft report before it is finalized, and you will receive occasional updates about the self-study process throughout the year.
What is Middle States? Why Do We Have a
Middle States Self-Study? What Does our Self-Study Say about Lehigh? -by Jennifer Jensen