Frequently Asked Questions for Middle States Accreditation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is accreditation?

“Accreditation is a process of peer review that the educational community has adopted for its self-regulation since early in the 20th century. It is a voluntary process intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence. Institutions choose to apply for accredited status, and once accredited, they agree to abide by the standards of their accrediting organization and to regulate themselves by taking responsibility for their own improvement.” (2010, Middle States Commission of Higher Education)

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation means that standards of quality and excellence have been met. The core principles for universities accredited by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) include the diversity of institutions, focus on the student learning experience, emphasis on institutional assessment and assessment of student learning, and continuous institutional improvement and innovation.

Accreditation is required for campuses to be eligible to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs.

The Self-Study can also provide important recommendations for improvement and innovation, both self-identified by the institution, and recommended by the visiting peer-review Team.

What is the purpose of reaccreditation?

With the success of students being our highest priority, SUNY Brockport is committed to continually work to improve its educational programs, resources, facilities, and services. Reaccreditation includes an extensive evaluation of how well the University’s programs, resources, facilities and services fulfill its mission to foster student success.

The reaccreditation process takes place every 10 years (following the 2017-2018 academic year, the cycle is every eight years), and involves two stages of evaluation: a campus-wide Self Study, and an on-site evaluation by a team of experts from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The reaccreditation process is an opportunity to assess the extent to which we are accomplishing the shared vision of our institution and serves as a point of departure for charting the future direction of the University and building towards a better Brockport.

What is SUNY Brockport’s Mission?

SUNY Brockport’s Strategic Plan outlines the institutions mission, vision, values, promise and goals.

Who is reaccrediting SUNY Brockport?

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education(MSCHE) is a voluntary membership association that “defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources.” As a participating institution, The University engages in a self-study process every 10 years (following the 2017-2018 academic year, the cycle is every eight years).

What happens during the reaccreditation Virtual Visit?

Representatives from MSCHE will hold a series of virtual informational meetings with faculty, staff and students to get their feedback about Brockport’s performance in a variety of areas. Brockport’s two extension sites (Brockport Downtown and REOC) will also participate.

The MCHE Team evaluates the analysis in the Self-Study Report and draws on insights gained from Virtual Visit interviews. Since the Self-Study Report and On-Site Evaluation Visit result from careful analysis that has incorporated feedback from multiple stakeholders, the Report has the potential to influence institutional decision making for several years.

What are the Qualities of a Good Self-Study?

According to MSCHE, “The Commission’s accreditation process ensures institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application of standards within the context of institutional mission.”

The Self-Study should be an honest appraisal of the institution, that is evidence-driven, and consistently demonstrates the use of assessment (throughout each standard or chapter). It provides an opportunity to engage multiple stakeholders in an extensive analysis of the University’s strengths and areas for improvement and innovation.

The Evidence Inventory, a cataloged and referenced inventory of documents, processes, and procedures, provides opportunity for the institution to develop sustainable resources that the University should continuously update to document ongoing compliance.

How should I prepare?

All members of the SUNY Brockport community, and especially those attending meetings with the visiting team are strongly encouraged to read the final 2022 Self-Study Report posted on the Brockport Middle States website.

In addition, the reaccreditation leadership team has prepared a series of videos, each 5-7 minutes long, to provide summary overviews of the Self-Study Report as a whole and each of the seven main chapters. Watch (or just listen) to the videos to become more familiar with the Self-Study.