CUA Community to Discuss Reaccreditation Self-Study ReportBy Catherine Lee
Until this semester, much of the work on Catholic University’s periodic Middle States reaccreditation has taken place behind the scenes. CUA faculty, administrators and students who are members of the Middle States Self-Study Task Forces and Steering Committee have been putting in long hours since October 2007 on the required self-study of the university.
||Steering committee co-chairs Shavaun Wall and James Greene will host a discussion of CUA's reaccreditation self-study report at a series of town hall meetings in January 2010.|
Completed earlier this fall, a draft of CUA’s reaccreditation self-study report will be posted on the university’s Web site beginning Dec. 14. An online form to solicit feedback to the report will be posted alongside it. Then in January 2010 all members of the university community will have a chance to state their thoughts about the 180-page draft at a series of four town hall meetings.
The meetings, hosted by the steering committee, will be held in Great Room A of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. Meetings are scheduled for the following dates and times:
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2 to 3 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14, 3 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 5 to 6 p.m. (to accommodate evening students)
Monday, Jan. 25, 2 to 3 p.m.
James Greene, dean of graduate studies and a co-chair of the steering committee, notes that “the primary audience of the self-study is the university community. The Middle States reaccreditation guidelines encourage and actually require the active participation of every university constituency in the process since their feedback is critical in shaping the final report. Therefore we look forward to a large turnout at these meetings.”
Shavaun Wall, associate vice president for academic planning, who is the other steering committee co-chair, praised the committee’s work in producing “a comprehensive and valuable” draft of the self-study report.
All universities are evaluated for reaccreditation on a 10-year cycle. Universities in the District of Columbia and the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware are reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The commission is a unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The self-study report addresses how CUA meets the Middle States Commission’s 14 “Characteristics of Excellence” standards as well as how the university has progressed in five areas: improving undergraduate education, enhancing support for graduate students, introducing new professional graduate programs, enhancing extramural research support and designing a strategy for strengthening CUA’s financial base.
Reflecting on the significant progress already made on the report, Wall says, “We are deeply grateful for the wide participation of faculty, staff and students in the self-study research. More than 145 individuals contributed to our self-study task forces.”
At the town hall meetings, steering committee members will provide an overview of the report's findings and recommendations and then respond to comments and questions from the audience.
The town hall meetings are the final step in the research and documentation used to create the self-study report. It is expected that feedback from the town hall meetings will refine and improve the quality of the report prior to February 2010, when it will be printed, according to Wall.
The steering committee will also give a presentation to the Academic Senate on Thursday, Jan. 21.
Another critical step in the reaccreditation process took place in late October, when Gannon University President Antoine Garibaldi, chair of the external team that will evaluate Catholic University in April, visited CUA for a day of meetings with university administrators, trustees and steering committee members.
That visit was intended to prepare the university for President Garibaldi’s return to CUA with a team of about 10 evaluators — faculty and administrators from peer institutions — from April 11 to April 14. At that time they will conduct the official site evaluation of the university, comparing what they find to what is written in the self-study.
The evaluators will interview administrators, faculty, staff, students and trustees to get their assessment of the university, and will determine whether the university meets the standards for accreditation.
The evaluation team members will then discuss their findings among themselves and arrive at a consensus. President Garibaldi will write the team report, which will include the team’s recommendations regarding accreditation, and will transmit the report to the Middle States Commission and to Catholic University. The commission will then grant accreditation, request additional information or deny accreditation, and CUA will disseminate the news of the commission’s decision or actions.
For more information about Catholic University’s self-study and reaccreditation process, visit http://provost.cua.edu/msche. Members of the CUA community who have questions or concerns about the accreditation process should contact Greene (email@example.com) and Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Last Revised 30-Nov-09 03:13 PM.