DCC’s Middle States Accreditation Process Ends Semester on High Note

Dec. 16, 2021--The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) re-accreditation self-study work has continued across campus this fall semester with extremely positive results. With over 70 faculty and staff directly participating in the process, campus engagement remains high.

While the self-study steering committee has met monthly throughout the semester, the bulk of the work has been accomplished by members of the working groups. Each group has collaborated on completing a series of tasks within a specific timeline. 

“Although Middle States is primarily an accreditation process, it has allowed for the campus to join together and recreate a sense of community after the remote environment due to COVID-19,” said Working Group #4 Co-chair Rachel Mead. “Through the excellent leadership of the self-study co-chairs, numerous faculty and professional staff volunteered to participate with the self-study. Working group members are engaged and motivated to complete the tasks as effectively as possible. The expectations and quality of work were clearly outlined and addressed with all working groups. As a result, the members have a clear vision for the self-study and can meet the expected deadlines. We have been able to progress steadily through the steps of the self-study due to the exceptional guidance of the co-chairs and the positive engagement with those involved in the self-study process.”

The co-chairs agree that work is moving smoothly and on schedule, which is overwhelmingly due to the dedication of faculty and staff.

“We are so grateful to the leadership shown by the working group members and especially the working group chairs and co-chairs,” said Susan Rogers, self-study co-chair. “Middle States peer review teams frequently examine the level of campus participation and engagement as they assess the self-study process. The work already done and that which will be completed over the next three semesters, practically ensures a positive evaluation on that front.”

This fall, the working groups submitted their initial reports on time, giving the steering committee plenty of time to offer feedback. The working groups then were able to make revisions, introducing additional sections to produce the next iteration of the report. The steering committee then responded with further feedback.  

The next “product” from the working groups will be the first draft of their respective “chapters.” DCC’s final report will include a chapter focused on each standard, and so these early drafts are critical to the process. Chapters will be sent to the steering committee on February 1 and, when put together, will form the foundation for the first draft of the self-study report. This draft report will be the focus of a Steering Committee Retreat being planned for mid to late February.

“One key voice we still need to have on the steering committee and select working groups is that of our students,” said Scott Schnackenberg, self-study co-chair. “We encourage faculty or staff to let us know if they have a student they think might have an interest in this important work. The student members would be invited to participate in all events, including the upcoming retreat. Contact any one of the four co-chairs with suggestions.”

“As the MSCHE teams at DCC head into a well-deserved holiday break, we are happy to report that the goals set for the fall semester have been met,” said Michael Hall, self-study co-chair. “We are looking forward to another productive semester in the spring.”

For a detailed timeline of the process, see the self-study design document posted under the Middle States Self-Study tab in myDCC. 

For questions about the self-study process, contact the MSCHE self-study co-chairs at MiddleStatesSelfstudy@sunydutchess.edu.

For additional information about DCC’s MSCHE process, visit the College's news page for early and mid-fall coverage.