Self Study Design
Standards at a Glance
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Designs for Excellence
Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education
Steering and Standards Committee Pages
Middle States College-Wide Events
Middle States Musings
E-mail Your Comments
Standards at a Glance
Reference: Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 2002. Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education.
The institution's mission clearly defines its purpose within the context of higher education and explains whom the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish. The institution's stated goals and objectives, consistent with the aspirations and expectations of higher education, clearly specify how the institution will fulfill its mission. The mission, goals, and objectives are developed and recognized by the institution with its members and its governing body and are utilized to develop and shape its programs and practices and to evaluate its effectiveness.
An institution conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and uses the results of its assessment activities for instituional renewal. Implementation and subsequent evaluation of the success of the strategic plan and resrouce allocation support the development and change necessary to improve and to maintain instituional quality.
The human, financial, technical, physical facilities, and other resources necessary to achieve an institution's mission and goals are available and accessible. In the context of the institution's mission, the effective and efficient uses of the institution's resources are analyzed as part of ongoing outcomes assessment.
The institution's system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and decision-making. The governance structure includes an active governing body with sufficient autonomy to assure institutional integrity and to fulfill its responsiblities of policy and resource development, consistent with the mission of the institution.
The institution's administrative structure and services facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and support the institution's organization and governance.
In the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, the institution demonstrates adherence to ethical standards and its own stated policies, providing support to academic and intellectual freedom.
The institution has developed and implemented an assessment plan and process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in: achieving its mission and goals; implementing planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal processes; using institutional resources efficiently; providing leadership and governance; providing administrative structures and services; demonstrating institutional integrity; and assuring that institutional processes and resources support appropriate learning and other outcomes for its students and graduates.
The institution seeks to admit students whose interests, goals, and abilities are congruent with its mission.
The institution provides student support services reasonably necessary to enable each student to achieve the institution's goals for students.
The institution's instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals.
The institution's educational offerings display academic content, rigor, and coherence that are appropriate to its higher education mission. The institution identifies student learning goals and objectives, including knowledge and skills, for its educational offerings.
The institution's curricula are designed so that students acquire and demonstrate college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills, including oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, technological competency, and information literacy.
Institutional programs or activities that are characterized by particular content, focus, location, mode of delivery, or sponsorship meet appropriate standards.
Assessment of student learning demonstrates that the institution's students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional goals and that students at graduation have achieved appropriate higher education goals.