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Middle States Accreditation Self-Study

Strategic Priorities of the University of Delaware

  • Enhancing the success of our students
  • Building an environment of inclusive excellence
  • Fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Strengthening interdisciplinary and global programs
  • Investing in our intellectual capital

The University of Delaware completed a self-study process in preparation for an accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  The self-study is a critical step in the accreditation process. Middle States provides the following summary of the standards: “An accredited institution of higher education has an appropriate mission (I), lives it with integrity (II), delivers an effective student learning experience (III) and supports the overall student experience, both inside and outside of the classroom (IV).  An accredited institution of higher education also assesses its own educational effectiveness (V), uses planning and resources to ensure institutional improvement (VI), and is characterized by effective governance, leadership, and administration (VII).” The self-study culminated with our external review team’s site visit in Fall 2021.

The self-study process gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we do and ensures that we regularly assess and document the effectiveness of our work.  Each working group was responsible for gathering the evidence that shows how we meet the criteria for their standard, identifying any gaps in evidence that we have, and ultimately writing a report that addresses the standard.

On April 26, 2021, we announced that the draft self-study was ready for review by the community. We gathered input via an online form and through town halls offered on May 5 and 6. Gathering campus input is an essential part of the preparation for the on-campus site visit in the fall of 2021. Over the summer, the steering committee reviewed the feedback for consideration in the final self-study and gathered documentation for the evidence inventory.

We submitted our final Self-Study Report and Institutional Federal Compliance Report to Middle States on Sept. 17. A Virtual Site Visit was conducted October 31-November 3, 2021. The Evaluation Team issued a Self-Study Evaluation Team Report in late December, and the University of Delaware’s accreditation was officially reaffirmed by MSCHE in March 2022. UD’s next mid-point peer review is estimated to be in 2025 with the next self-study evaluation to take place in 2028-2029.

We extend many thanks to the entire campus community for their participation!

Lynn Okagaki, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs, Co-Chair
John Pelesko, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Co-Chair
Debra Hess Norris, Professor and Chairperson of Art Conservation, Co-Chair

General Timeline

*The original timeline was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the external review team visit. The new timeline is reflected below. Detailed information is available on the Events and Announcements page.

February – December 2019:  Each of the seven working groups–one per standard–will gather and analyze evidence that shows how UD meets the criteria for the standard.  The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning will gather any additional data that are needed for the self-study.

January – September 2020: Working groups will summarize their findings, gather input from the UD community and develop recommendations.  Working groups will submit their final report to the Steering Committee in May 2020. The Steering Committee will draft the self-study narrative and solicit feedback from the UD community.

Fall 2020/Winter 2021: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steering Committee and Working Groups will reassess the self-study process and make appropriate adjustments to the draft self-study narrative provided in May 2020.

Spring/Summer 2021: The Steering Committee will gather input on the self-study from the UD community, and finalize the report.

Fall 2021: The Middle States External Review Team will visit the University of Delaware and issue a final team report.