RIT re-accreditation approved by Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
RIT has passed its academic check-up with flying colors.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has re-accredited RIT for a full eight-year cycle after determining that the university complies with all its Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.
Anne Wahl, assistant provost and RIT’s accreditation liaison officer, and Michael Laver, associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts, co-chaired RIT’s Self Study Steering Committee. They worked with Senior Associate Provost Christine Licata to lead an 18-person committee that worked on the accreditation project, which took two and a half years and involved preparing a comprehensive self-study and hosting a site visit from an evaluation team, comprised of faculty and administrators from peer universities chosen by the commission.
The commission’s evaluation team spent four days on the Henrietta campus in April and the team chair also visited RIT Dubai and RIT Croatia in March. This was RIT’s seventh accreditation process and the first in which evaluators visited the university’s international locations.
“This is an important event in the life of a university, and we are very proud of the excellent work of our committee which was recognized by the commission in the team’s final report,” said Jeremy Haefner, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “But in a larger sense, we must thank the entire RIT community that has worked incredibly hard over the last 10 years at improving this university. The Middle States accreditation is ultimately the reflection of the work of the students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni and for this reason we all can celebrate this success.”
RIT’s last accreditation was 10 years ago. This eight-year accreditation cycle is a new and shorter period, one of the changes that the commission has made to its accreditation process. Other changes included the development of new Standards for Accreditation. RIT was one of 15 institutions from more than 500 in the region that were selected to pilot the new standards, Wahl said.
MSCHE is a voluntary organization made up of more than 500 member schools from Maryland to New York and is one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A school must be accredited from one of these agencies in order to provide federal financial aid to its students, but beyond that, these agencies strive to use peer review and collectively established standards to ensure academic rigor and quality.
RIT’s next accreditation will be in 2025.