Middle States

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Middle States Commission on Accreditation (MSCHE)

About Middle States

The Middle States Commission on Accreditation (MSCHE) provides accreditation for degree granting Institutions of Higher Education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and any other areas within and outside of the United States.

MSCHE makes sure that institutions meet the Standards for Accreditation and fulfill the Requirements of Affiliation while ensuring that the institutional mission and goals align to the Standards for Accreditation in order to achieve academic excellency.  The process of maintaining excellency is a continuous one and all institutions of higher education must reaffirm their commitment and compliance to the Standards of Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation every eight years with various review points during the eight-year period.

Reaffirmation begins with a well-designed self-study process that is guided by a Steering Committee that is representative of the university and its students.  Working groups are assigned to each of the seven Standards for Accreditation and are charged with conducting a thorough analysis of the University’s mission, goals, academic offerings, services, programs, and facilities to evaluate compliance and excellency.  The self-study analysis culminates with an Institutional Self-Study Report and a campus visit by academics and administrators from other institutions who review the Self-Study Report and provided evidence in order to recommend reaffirmation of accreditation to the Middle States Commission on Accreditation.

Standards for Accreditation

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 a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the 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 Institution 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.

Requirments of Affiliation

To be eligible for, to achieve, and to maintain Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation, an institution must demonstrate that it fully meets the following Requirements of Affiliation. Compliance is expected to be continuous and will be validated periodically, typically at the time of institutional self-study and during any other evaluation of the institution’s compliance. Once eligibility is established, an institution then must demonstrate on an ongoing basis that it meets the Standards for Accreditation.

  1. The institution is authorized or licensed to operate as a postsecondary educational institution and to award postsecondary degrees; it provides written documentation demonstrating both. Authorization or licensure is from an appropriate governmental organization or agency within the Middle States region (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), as well as by other agencies as required by each of the jurisdictions, regions, or countries in which the institution operates.
    Institutions that offer only postsecondary certificates, diplomas, or licenses are not eligible for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  2. The institution is operational, with students actively enrolled in its degree programs.
  3. For institutions pursuing Candidacy or Initial Accreditation, the institution will graduate at least one class before the evaluation team visit for initial accreditation takes place, unless the institution can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the lack of graduates does not compromise its ability to demonstrate that students have achieved appropriate learning outcomes.
  4. The institution’s representatives communicate with the Commission in English, both orally and in writing.
  5. The institution complies with all applicable government (usually Federal and state) laws and regulations.
  6. The institution complies with applicable Commission, interregional, and inter-institutional policies. These policies can be viewed on the Commission website, msche.org.
  7. The institution has a mission statement and related goals, approved by its governing board, that defines its purposes within the context of higher education.
  8. The institution systematically evaluates its educational and other programs and makes public how well and in what ways it is accomplishing its purposes.
  9. The institution’s student learning programs and opportunities are characterized by rigor, coherence, and appropriate assessment of student achievement throughout the educational offerings, regardless of certificate or degree level or delivery and instructional modality.
  10. Institutional planning integrates goals for academic and institutional effectiveness and improvement, student achievement of educational goals, student learning, and the results of academic and institutional assessments.
  11. The institution has documented financial resources, funding base, and plans for financial development, including those from any related entities (including without limitation systems, religious sponsorship, and corporate ownership) adequate to support its educational purposes and programs and to ensure financial stability. The institution demonstrates a record of responsible fiscal management, has a prepared budget for the current year, and undergoes an external financial audit on an annual basis.
  12. The institution fully discloses its legally constituted governance structure(s) including any related entities (including without limitation systems, religious sponsorship, and corporate ownership). The institution’s governing body is responsible for the quality and integrity of the institution and for ensuring that the institution’s mission is being accomplished.
  13. A majority of the institution’s governing body’s members have no employment, family, ownership, or other personal financial interest in the institution. The governing body adheres to a conflict of interest policy that assures that those interests are disclosed and that they do not interfere with the impartiality of governing body members or outweigh the greater duty to secure and ensure the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution. The institution’s district/system or other chief executive officer shall not serve as the chair of the governing body.
  14. The institution and its governing body/bodies make freely available to the Commission accurate, fair, and complete information on all aspects of the institution and its operations. The governing body/bodies ensure that the institution describes itself in comparable and consistent terms to all of its accrediting and regulatory agencies, communicates any changes in accredited status, and agrees to disclose information (including levels of governing body compensation, if any) required by the Commission to carry out its accrediting responsibilities.
  15. The institution has a core of faculty (full-time or part-time) and/or other appropriate professionals with sufficient responsibility to the institution to assure the continuity and coherence of the institution’s educational programs.

Steering Committee Members

The following are the members of the Steering Committee that will guide this process.

Steering Committee Membership
Name Titles
Dr. Irma Sandoval-Arocho Steering Committee Chair

Associate Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department

Dr. Gricel Ruiz Steering Committee Co-chair

Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Department

Prof. Dolores Sepúlveda Director, Development and Alumni Office
Prof. Lizzie Colón Director, Center for Information Access (Library)
Prof. Nararly Claudio Dean of Students
Dr. Bernabé Soto Director, Distance Education and Internationalization Office
Prof. Mabel Mangual Assistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department
Prof. Ligia González Assistant Professor, Economic and Administrative Sciences Department
Prof. María Pérez Registrar
Prof. Yesenia González Assistant Professor, Health Sciences Department
Prof. Elidine González Assistant Professor, Economic & Administrative Sciences Department
Dr. Gladys Varela Assistant Professor, Graduate Studies Department
Dr. Jorge Agudo Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Department
Mr. Edwin Girald Pérez Student Representative
Miss Nicole M. Rivera Acevedo Student Representative
Dr. Élie Agésilas Chancellor (Ex-officio)
Dr. Evelyn Castillo Dean of Academic Affairs (Ex-officio)
Mr. Israel Ayala Dean of Administration (Ex-officio)

Working Group Members

The following faculty and administrative personnel comprise the working groups that will participate in the self-study analysis.

Standard 1:  Mission & Goals

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic Excellence, Sustainability, innovation in Teaching, Community Engagement
Specific Charge:  To examine how our institutional mission defines our purpose within the context of higher education and our constituents and specify how our stated goals are clearly linked to our mission and fulfilled.
Working Group Members Titles
Prof. Samuel Rodríguez President

Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Department

Prof. Yesenia González Liaison to the Steering Committee

Assistant Professor,  Health Sciences Department

Prof. James Rivera Assistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department

Standard 2:  Ethics and Integrity

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic Excellence, Sustainability, innovation in Teaching, Community Engagement
Specific Charge:  To demonstrate how we exemplify the hallmarks of an effective higher education institution that is faithful to its mission in all that we do and to examine how internal and external activities, policies, contracts, and commitments are bound by the ethics and integrity of our institution.
Working Group Members Titles
Prof. Alfonso Rodríguez President

Professional Counselor, Counseling Department

Prof. María Pérez Liaison to the Steering Committee, Registrar
Dr. Aidaliz Cabán Associate Professor, Graduate Studies Department
Prof. Aida Ruiz Instructor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department
Prof. Raúl Ruiz Assistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department

Standard 3:  Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic Excellence, Sustainability, innovation in Teaching, Community Engagement
Specific Charge:  To examine how student learning experiences are consistent with higher education expectations and how they are characterized by rigor and coherence across all programs and modalities. 
Working Group Members Titles
Dr. Iris Aquino President

Associate Professor, Graduate Studies Department

Prof. Ligia González Liaison to the Steering Committee

Associate Professor,  Economic and Administrative Sciences Department

Prof. Yamillete Prosper Director, University Learning Center and Honors Program
Prof. Omayra Mercado Assistant Professor, Health Sciences Department
Prof. Nereida Ramos Director, Technical and Vocational Certificate Programs
Prof. Jessica Soto Assistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department

Standard 4:  Support of the Student Learning Experience

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic Excellence, Sustainability, Innovation in Teaching, Community Engagement
Specific Charge:  To examine recruitment and admission processes to ensure they are congruent with our mission and educational offerings and to describe the support systems in place that enhance the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success. 
Working Group Members Titles
Dr. Rocio Frau President

Associate Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Prof. Nararly Claudio Liaison to the Steering Committee

Dean of Students

Prof. Dary Acevedo Director, Counseling Center
Mrs. Jacqueline Torres Director, First Year Experience and Retention Office
Ms. Daisy Irizarry Coordinator, Office of Prospective Students
Prof. Sandra Suárez Instructor, Health Sciences Department
Prof. Nancy Acevedo Assistant Professor, Economic and Administrative Sciences Department

Standard 5:  Educational Effectiveness Assessment

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic Excellence, Sustainability, Innovation in Teaching
Specific Charge:   To demonstrate how student learning and achievement is assessed and determine how the educational goals of students are met and are consistent with their program of study, degree level, institutional mission, and appropriate as an institution of higher education.  
Working Group Members Titles
Dr. Zenaida Sanjurjo PresidentAssociate Dean of Academic Affairs
Prof. Elidine González Liaison to the Steering CommitteeAssessment Director

Assistant Professor, Economic and Administrative Sciences Department

Dr. Jorge Agudo Coordinator, Assessment for Academic ProgramsAssistant Professor, Science and Technology Department
Prof. Michelle Rivera Director, Education and Humanistic Studies Department
Prof. Janice Lorenzo Director, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department
Prof. Raúl Mendoza Director, Economic and Administrative Sciences Department
Dr. Lourdes Olavarría Director, Health Sciences Department
Prof. Alfredo Rivera Director, Science and Technology Department
Dr. Aris Román Director, Graduate Studies Department
Prof. Israel Méndez Statistician, Development and Alumni Office

Standard 6:  Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic Excellence, Sustainability, Innovation in Teaching
Specific Charge:  To examine how our planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and how they are sufficient to fulfill our mission and goals in order to continually assess and respond to opportunities and challenges.
Working Group Members Titles
Prof. Gustavo Sainz PresidentAssistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department
Dr. Gladys Varela Liaison to the Steering CommitteeAssistant Professor, Graduate Studies Department
Dr. Bernabé Soto Director, Distance Education and Internationalization Office
Prof. Yessenia Pérez Instructor, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department

Standard 7:  Governance, Leadership, and Administration

Institutional Priorities to be addressed:  Academic excellence, Sustainability, Community Engagement
Specific Charge:  To examine how the Aguadilla Campus of UIAPR is effectively governed and administered so as to fulfill our mission and goals while benefiting our constituents and explore how we maintain education as our primary purpose while operating with appropriate autonomy even when supported by or affiliated with other entities.
Working Group Members Titles
Dr. Sacha Ruiz PresidentAssistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department
Prof. Mabel Mangual Liaison to the Steering CommitteeAssistant Professor, Education and Humanistic Studies Department
Prof. Ricardo Badillo Assistant Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department
Prof. Miriam Marcial Enrollment and Service Manager
Prof. Japhet Rivera Assistant Professor, Economic and Administrative Sciences Department

The Steering Committee has devised the following Communication Plan to guide communication and ensure transparency throughout the self-study process. This includes updating key stakeholders and constituencies about major developments and details key moments for gathering feedback.

Communication Plan 

Purpose 

Intended Audiences 

Communication Methods 

Timing 

To share data, documents and research results and communicate it in a secure, transparent, and convenient manner Steering Committee and Working Group Members Microsoft Office Suite & Microsoft Teams Fall year 2020 – Spring year 2023
To update campus constituencies about the Self-Study process Students Emails, Campus Webpage, social media pages, forums, Infographics Self-Study Design 

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Self-Study Process 

Spring 2021-Spring 2023

Alumni Jotform Contacts, Campus Webpage,

Social media pages, forums

Self-Study Design  

Fall 2020-Spring 2021 

Self-Study Process 

Spring 2021-Spring 2023

Faculty Emails, Social media pages Forums, Faculty meetings Self-Study Design 

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Self-Study Process 

Spring 2021-Spring 2023

Administration and Staff Emails, Forums, meetings Self-Study Design 

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Self-Study Process 

Spring 2021-Spring 2023

Academic Senate Academic Senate Meetings Spring 2021- Spring 2023
General Community Campus Webpage, Social media page, Infographics Spring 2021 – Spring 2023
To gather feedback about Working Group reports Students Forums, Emails, Surveys Spring 2022-Fall 2022
Alumni Forums, Emails, Surveys Spring 2022-Fall 2022
Faculty Forums, Emails, Surveys Spring 2022-Fall 2023
Administration & Staff Forums, Emails, Surveys Spring 2022–Fall 2023
To gather feedback about the Final Self-Study Report Students Forums, Emails, Surveys Fall 2022
Alumni Forums, Emails, Surveys Fall 2022
Faculty Forums, Emails, Surveys Fall 2022
Administration & Staff Forums, Emails, Surveys Fall 2022
To publish results of the Final Self-Study Report Students, Alumni

Faculty, Administration & Staff

Campus Webpage, Forums, Emails Spring 2023
To inform constituents about the MSCHE Campus visit Students, Alumni, Faculty, Administration & Staff Campus Webpage, Emails Fall 2022-Spring 2023
To announce the MSCHE reaffirmation decision Students, Alumni

Faculty, Administration & Staff

Campus Webpage, Forums, Emails Fall 2023