Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Reaccreditation Effort 2021-2023

Menu Display


The College’s self-study evaluation visit will take place this spring semester. The external review team will visit Marist’s Florence campus March 1-2, and our Poughkeepsie campus March 19-22. The oral summary of the review team’s findings will be shared with the College community at the conclusion of the site visit on March 22. You can access the full self-study report here and the following materials were put together to help facilitate the site visit.

Marist College Self-Study and Reaffirmation Visit: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

“Middle States” is short for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is an institutional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. MSCHE is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association accrediting over 500 colleges and universities. They serve to verify the quality of higher education through peer review, assessment, and evaluation. 

Marist College has been accredited by MSCHE since 1964. The College’s last accreditation reaffirmation visit was in 2013. 

MSCHE accreditation is an important measure of institutional quality. Colleges and universities that want students to have access to Title IV federal funding must be accredited. Thus, student federal financial aid depends on Marist’s MSCHE accreditation.

Marist’s Self-Study is an honest, evidence-based evaluation of the ways in which the College lives out its mission, meets MSCHE standards, and engages in self-assessment to identify strengths and areas for ongoing improvement. 

MSCHE has established rigorous standards used to evaluate member institutions. As part of their 8-year accreditation cycle, MSCHE asks each institution to prepare a written Self-Study Report that explains how these standards are met and provides evidence to support the institution’s compliance with the standards. Upon submission of the report, MSCHE requires each institution to host a Site Visit with an external peer evaluation team. During the visit, the team meets with various faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees. Their main goal is to confirm and clarify the assertions made in the Self-Study Report and accompanying evidence.

Everyone! Our campus community has been engaging in the Self-Study process for the past two years. One hundred twenty-eight (128) faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of our Board of Trustees have served on the Steering Committee and various working groups to help the College evaluate its effectiveness in fulfilling its mission and identifying institutional priorities that provide the foundation for our next strategic plan. Various Town Hall sessions and other opportunities for the community to provide insight into the process were held in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.

- Read the Self-Study Report. At a minimum, you should be familiar with what claims we’ve made in the Executive Summary and Institutional Priorities chapter. You will also want to read through any standards that pertain to your unit or work.

- Reflect on your department’s work. Identify some examples that you can use to highlight how your department helps the College fulfill its mission and values.

- Review the Marist Self-Study Campus Update, Brochure, and FAQ. These documents include some helpful information as you prepare for the visit.

It would be helpful to think through the following questions as you prepare for the Site Visit.
i. How does my area uphold the Mission of Marist College?
1. "Marist is dedicated to helping students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century."
ii. How does my area advance the institutional priorities?
1. High–Impact Practices
2. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
3. Adaptive Business Model
iii. What are some notable developments in your area since the last visit?
1. What examples can you offer of recent initiatives?
2. How have they been implemented? 
3. What evidence do you have to support them? 
4. What do you envision as future directions? 
iv. How do you assess your own practices?
1. How do you engage in a continuous improvement process?


The Visiting team is comprised of 10 people from peer institutions. An overview of the visit schedule is below. Specific meeting invitations with location and times will be disseminated.

Date Time Event
March 19
5:15-8:00pm Meeting, reception, and dinner on campus
March 20
8:30am-5:00pm Concurrent meetings on campus
March 21



Concurrent meetings on campus

Follow-up meetings on campus as needed

March 22
12:00pm Oral Summary to the College 
Team departure
The Peer Evaluators on the Visiting Team might ask four types of questions:
i. Clarification of Information in the Self-Study Report and Evidence Inventory
1. Example: The Self-Study report mentions X. Can you tell me more about this?
ii. Request for Additional Information
1. Example: The College indicates it has a policy in X area. Can you provide me with a copy of the policy? 
iii. Check on Progress of Initiatives 
1. Example: Marist is currently engaging in the strategic planning process. How is the process going? What successes/challenges have you been seeing throughout the process?
iv. Reflect on the Future
1. Example: Marist has three institutional priorities. How might these guide the next strategic plan? What role might your department play in this work?

It’s OK! You do not have to know everything. You can honestly respond that you do not know the answer. It is better to say you do not know than to guess. You might even recommend someone who can answer the question. You can also say that you will get the information requested.

If you are asked to provide additional information or documentation, please send it directly to Michelle Stokes ( and indicate the team member who requested it. Michelle will make sure it gets to the appropriate location.

The Visiting Team will give an oral report on their findings on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at noon in Nelly Goletti Theater. Everyone is invited to attend. The Team will leave promptly after the report (no questions or comments are permitted). MSCHE meets as a Commission in June 2023. We should receive the Commission’s final decision shortly after their meeting.