The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is Eastern University’s institutional accrediting body.  One of the requirements of MSCHE accreditation is that institutions undergo a comprehensive self-study process every 8 years that culminates in a site visit by a team of higher education peers.

Eastern’s last re-affirmation was in 2013 (since then the Commission has moved from a 10 to 8 year cycle). We are currently in the process of preparing for our next visit which will take place March 26-29, 2023.  This visit will be preceded by a visit from the MSCHE Evaluation Team chair on October 20, 2022.

As part of the re-evaluation process, a Steering Committee consisting of faculty, staff, administration, students and alumni was formed and began working together in November, 2020.  

The committee engaged in a thorough review of our institution using the seven MSCHE Standards for Accreditation, fifteen Requirements of Affiliation and accreditation related federal regulations.  More about the MSCHE accreditation requirements.

The Steering Committee and co-chairs used this review  as the basis for a draft of the Institutional Self-Study.  The Self-Study addresses each of the Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation, as well as any recommendations made during our last re-evaluation. The goal of the Institutional Self-Study report is to present a clear and accurate picture of the institution, demonstrate how the institution is compliant with the Commission’s Standards and expectations, and illustrate the University’s commitment to its mission, students, strategic priorities and continuous improvement.

Members of the Self-Study Steering Committee

Co-Chairs

  • Dr. Christine Mahan, VP for Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, ALO
  • Dr. Nicola McLallen, Faculty, Senior Lecturer, College of Health & Social Sciences
  • Dr. Kent Sparks, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs

Members

  • Tim April, Alumnus, President, Alumni Council
  • Dr. David Bronkema, Faculty, Professor, College of Business & Leadership
  • Dr. Heewon Chang, Faculty, Professor and Chair, PhD in Organizational Leadership
  • Thomas Dahlstrom, Staff, Associate VP for Institutional Effectiveness
  • Kimberly Dotson-Brown, Student, PhD in Organizational Leadership program
  • Joy Dlugosz, Staff, Director, Library
  • Jeff Eubank, Cabinet, Interim CFO and VP for Finance and Operations
  • Rebecca Gidjunis, Faculty, Assistant Provost, Academic Operations
  • Dr. Christa Lee-Chuvala, Interim Dean, College of Business & Leadership
  • Eric McNelley, Staff, Athletic Director
  • Anastasia Mooney, Staff, Academic Outreach Manager, Harrisburg
  • Leah Mulhearn, Member, Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Gladys Ramirez-Wrease, Staff, Associate Dean of Academic & Student Success, Esperanza College
  • Gabrielle Selkirk, UG Student, College of Education [graduated May, 2022]
  • Sarah Todd, Staff, Director of Center for Career Development
  • Timothy Wortham, Staff, Associate VP for Alumni and Family Engagement

Timeline

2020
  • Steering Committee commissioned by the President. 
  • First Steering Committee meeting-November 2020.
2021
  • Steering Committee met as a Committee of the Whole bimonthly through 2021.
  • Small working groups assigned to work on specific MSCHE Standards met between the bimonthly meetings.
  • Draft Self-Study Proposal submitted to Commission, June 2021.
  • MSCHE Liaison Visit July, 2021.
  • Commission accepts Self-Study Proposal, September 2021.
2022
  • Steering Committee and working groups continue work on draft Self-Study.
  • MSCHE evaluation team chair is announced.
  • Draft Self-Study was completed and reviewed by stakeholders throughout the institution.
  • Draft Self-Study then sent to MSCHE Evaluation Team chair prior to his initial visit in October, 2022.
  • MSCHE Team Chair Preliminary Visit, October 2022.
  • Further feedback on the draft self-study to be collected from the community via survey and small group meetings.
2023
  • Final Self-Study and supporting documents will be submitted to MSCHE in February.
  • MSCHE Evaluation visit is scheduled for March 26-29, 2023.

Self Study Priorities

The Steering Committee elected to focus on a narrow but important selection of objectives that (1) reflect consideration of external trends, institutional data, and satisfaction/engagement feedback from faculty, staff, alumni and students, and (2) build upon the current University strategic plan. The intent of these priorities is to:

  1. Explore opportunities to increase enrollment, progression, and completion for a diverse student population by concentrating on innovative academic, athletics and arts programming.
  2. Identify and research strategies that move the institution from a position of institutional stability to institutional strength, with a particular focus on strategic and succession planning, finances, enrollment, staffing, and building a diverse Board and leadership team.
  3. Evaluate opportunities to nurture and advance a culture of academic excellence through the specific areas of teaching, learning, and scholarship. The anticipated results will be improved student learning outcomes, greater student satisfaction with course experiences, and improvements in the academic reputation of the University.
  4. Examine ways to strengthen our institutional community (i.e. employees, alumni and students across all locations) through a commitment to diversity, equity and belonging.