Geneseo is currently about halfway through the process of obtaining re-accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Accreditation is important to the college; it is an eligibility requirement for federal funding. Accredited schools are reviewed every 10 years and must meet the standards of the Middle States Commission.
The first part of the review requires a college-wide self-study that must be approved by the Middle States Commission before the process can move forward. A steering committee comprised of 16 faculty and student members has taken on the task of producing the self-study and helping to ensure re-accreditation for Geneseo. This past April, Geneseo's self-study design was approved, enabling the college to take a step forward toward re-accreditation.
The self-study addresses focus questions that are intended to meet the standards of the Middle States Commission in a way that is relevant and tailored to Geneseo.
"It identifies where things work well, and where things can be improved," said Ray Spear, co-chair of the steering committee. "Its ultimate goal is to make [the college] better."
With approval to move forward, the steering committee has set up "working groups" charged with the responsibility of collecting evidence to answer and support the self-study focus questions. Each group will write a chapter for the self-study; those chapters are expected be finished around mid-March 2011.
After first drafts of the chapters are completed, they will be edited and revised throughout the summer. Next fall, a member of the evaluating panel for the Middle States Commission will visit to discuss the next steps in the process. In the spring of 2012, a team from the Middle States Commission will observe and evaluate Geneseo to determine whether or not the school merits re-accreditation.
The entire process averages about two and a half years, so the committee is not quite at the halfway mark. An open forum on the accreditation process will be held on Nov. 3 in Newton 204 during the All-College Hour (2:30 - 3:45 p.m.) and is open to members of the Geneseo community.
For those who would like to learn more about the Middle States Commission or the re-accreditation process, visit the link on the Geneseo homepage or msche.org.