YU Receives Another Middle States Warning
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), part of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, is an organization that confers accreditation status to degree-granting institutions in various states in the Mid-Atlantic region. The MSCHE charter contains a list of 14 standards of accreditation, to which all affiliated schools must adhere. Should a school be found non-compliant with one or more of these standards, the MSCHE may revoke the school’s status as an accredited establishment.
Yeshiva University has been an accredited institution affiliated with the MSCHE since 1948. In 2012, the University submitted a self-reviewed assessment of their academic standards. Subsequently, an on-site visiting team from the MSCHE presented a report on November 15, 2012, which was drafted in order “to warn the institution that its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 10 (Faculty) and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning).”
The two standards that Yeshiva University was found to be non-compliant with are Standards 10 and 14. The MSCHE’s website states that the aforementioned “standards” monitor the following criteria:
Standard 10 (Faculty Assessment)
The institution’s instructional, research, and service programs
are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified
Standard 14 (Student Learning Assessment)
Assessment of student learning demonstrates that, at graduation, or
other appropriate points, the institution’s students have knowledge,
skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate
higher education goals.
In a follow-up report in November 21, 2013, the MSCHE claimed that while the University had taken actions in order to meet Standard 10, the University had yet to provide evidence of compliance with Standard 14. In the most recent report published by the MSCHE on March 6, 2014, the commission reminded the University that a warning remains in place due to a demonstrated underperformance in student learning assessment. Further evaluation is needed in order for the MSCHE to rescind its warning.
While the administration remained unavailable for comment regarding this year’s warning by the MSCHE, President Richard Joel made a statement during the 2012-2013 academic year: “Last spring (Spring 2012), following the preliminary report of the Middle States site evaluation team, we began addressing these issues.” Though President Joel’s statement is optimistic, the University has since then failed to comply with Standard 14 of the MSCHE.
Is the University at risk of losing its accreditation status? Practically speaking, the MSCHE has a time frame of 24 months in order to take action against a school that has been given a warning. As Yeshiva University received their first warning on November of 2012, any action that may be taken by the commission will have to occur before or by November of this year. Whereas any due cause taken by the MSCHE will directly affect students in YC/SCW, Azrieli, and Revel, students in Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) can rest easy; SSSB is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Though undergraduates at SSSB are accredited by the MSCHE as well, in order to gain accreditation by a business-specific agency, SSSB had to demonstrate that they complied with standards similar to those of the MSCHE. Since SSSB took steps in order to meet these criteria before the MSCHE released a warning for Yeshiva University, they had a “head start” on meeting the required standards.
Though the MSCHE does not make known the timing of their next report, it is reasonable to believe that the commission will do so at some point either over the summer or in the beginning of the next academic year.