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Rider hosts Middle States team of evaluators March 25-28

03/08/2018

The Self-Study Process

For the past year and a half, Rider has been in the midst of its Middle States self-study, which is part of the regional accreditation process required of institutions that receive federal financial aid on behalf of their students. This comprehensive process is an institution-wide assessment that demonstrates compliance with a set of seven standards that reflect best practices in higher education. 

Our self-study represents the work of more than 100 individuals who have participated during the past two years in strategic planning, facilities master planning, and academic program and student affairs prioritization processes.  This work has also included the establishment of the Engaged Learning Program as well as a very thorough evaluation of our student learning assessment processes.  The report reflects the work of the Academic Success Center, Retention and Student Success Task Force, Assessment Committee, Standard II and V working groups, Engaged Learning Committee, Human Resources, and Career Development and Success, among other academic and student life departments and programs.

 

The Team Visit

Self-study requires a report and document roadmap to demonstrate compliance as well as a visit by a team of peer evaluators.  Rider’s team visit begins with a get-acquainted reception on Sunday afternoon, March 25.  The visit concludes with an oral report given by the team chair to the University community on Wednesday, March 28 at 10 a.m. in SWG Auditorium.  All students, faculty, administrators and staff are encouraged to attend this session.

The purpose of the visit is to confirm the authenticity of the self-study report, which is available on the Announcements channel of myRider, and to determine Rider’s compliance with Middle States’ standards and requirements.  The visit consists of scheduled interviews with individuals and groups on both campuses as well as daily team meetings.  Each visiting team member has been assigned two standards for which they will collaborate on drafting a report during the visit. The team chair will present the results orally on the last day of the visit and later we will receive the team’s final written report.

Evaluators are instructed by Middle States “not to compare the institution they are observing …with their home campuses” and to “approach their tasks as peers who are professionals, not as inspectors.” (Team Visits: Conducting and Hosting an Evaluation Visit, p. 25)  They conduct their work in a spirit of collegiality and their meetings are intended as opportunities for engagement and dialogue, to ask questions, and to fill in any gaps they may have come across in the self-study report and document roadmap, a copy of which is provided.

The team will meet with the following groups:

  • Assessment Team (Standard V Working Group and Assessment Committee)
  • Retention and Student Success Task Force
  • Engaged Learning Committee
  • Academic Program Prioritization Task Force
  • Student Affairs Prioritization Task Force
  • Cabinet
  • Deans’ Council (including assistant and associate deans)
  • Trustees
  • Academic department chairs
  • UAPC faculty
  • Westminster Choir College staff and department chairs
  • Strategic planning working group chairs
  • Divisional staff and leadership teams (Student Affairs, Athletics, Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Finance, OIT, Facilities, University Advancement, Human Resources)

The team will also visit the Westminster Choir College campus.

Open forums with students and faculty will be held as follows. All students and faculty are welcome and encouraged to attend. No RSVPs required.

  • Open student forum: Tuesday, March 27, 11:30–12:15 p.m.; SWG Auditorium in conjunction with SGA
  • Open faculty forum: Tuesday, March 27, 3–3:45 p.m.; SWG Auditorium

The team's final session will be held on Wednesday, March 28, at 10 a.m. in SWG Auditorium. All faculty, administrators, staff and students are welcome to attend to hear the team chair, Dr. James Troha, present the team's draft report at the conclusion of the visit. No RSVPs required.

 

Meet Our Middle States Team

Team Chair: Dr. Jim Troha, President, Juniata College

 

Standard I: Mission and Goals
Primary - Dr. Corina Slaff, Interim Dean, College of Business and Chair, Business Department, Misericordia University
Secondary – Dr. Terri Mangione, Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator, Canisius College

Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
Primary - Dr. Margaret Boorstein, Professor of Geography and Chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Long Island University
Secondary – Dr. Wayne D. Powel, Provost. St. Francis University (Loretto, PA)

Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
Primary - Dr. Wayne D. Powel, Provost. St. Francis University
Secondary - Dr. Corina Slaff, Interim Dean, College of Business and Chair, Business Department, Misericordia University

Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience
Primary - Dr. Terri Mangione, Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator, Canisius College Secondary – Dr. Jim Troha, President, Juniata College

Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Primary – Dr. Robert Goldschmidt, Vice President for Planning and Assessment, Touro College
Secondary - Dr. Margaret Boorstein, Professor of Geography and Chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Long Island University

Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
Primary – Ms. Bridget Mancosh, Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations/Chief Financial Officer, Point Park University
Secondary - Dr. Robert Goldschmidt, Vice President for Planning and Assessment, Touro College

Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration
Primary – Dr. Jim Troha, President, Juniata College
Secondary - Ms. Bridget Mancosh, Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations/Chief Financial Officer, Point Park University


Summary of Middle States Standards

Standard I: Mission and Goals
The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution's stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience
Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to educational experience, and fosters student success.

Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution's mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
The institution's planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.

Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration
The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.