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Dear Faculty Commons,

At our most recent faculty meeting, our chair told us to “keep an eye out” for news about the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-Study. I haven’t heard much more than that, and I’m not sure what my role (if any) is in the process. What do I need to know about the self-study, the accreditation process, and how instructors contribute to this conversation?

Signed,

Curious about accreditation

Dear Curious,

Start here! This is UD’s main page for the Middle States accreditation cycle, and it contains everything you need to know about what accreditation is and the standards to which we will hold ourselves. A self-study is an opportunity for reflection and meaningful planning about where we want to be as a campus 10 years from now. Members of the steering committee will be out on a “roadshow” of sorts this semester, and that’s the most important thing for you to know right now. 

Be sure to attend the college and faculty senate meetings relevant to you this semester. Representatives from the MSCHE steering committee will be attending meetings in all colleges and at all campuses, and with as many constituent groups as possible to explain where we are in the process and give you a chance to ask questions and share ideas. Whether you teach in the Lerner College of Business and Economics (visit date: October 25th) or you are a member of the CT caucus (visit date: October 16th), you’ll have a chance to meet with steering committee members. In fact, everyone who is a part of the UD community, including faculty, staff, and students, will have a chance to have their voices heard. Please make sure you attend the constituent meetings that are relevant to you. Find more dates and times here: https://sites.udel.edu/middlestates/events-and-announcements/.

After these meetings, you’ll also receive a survey from the MSCHE steering committee. This survey is a way for you to highlight how you and your colleagues are helping the university fulfill its mission. You can also find the survey link online (https://sites.udel.edu/middlestates/input/), right now! The self-study process is a chance for UD to take stock of everything that we are doing to support our students in their educational journeys, so your input is vital. Have your students done exceptional, real-world work in their capstone courses? Has your department developed a plan to improve retention of underrepresented students in your major? Are you and your colleagues involving students in your research? The working groups want to know! 

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