UMES accreditation reaffirmed by Middle States

  • Thursday, June 30, 2016

    REAFFIRMATION! 

    Middle States accreditation affirmed 2016PRINCESS ANNE, MD- (June 30, 2016) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced today it has received formal notice the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) reaffirmed the university's institution-wide accreditation for the next decade.

    The announcement concludes nearly two years of self-examination and preparation to demonstrate UMES delivers higher education comparable to other well-regarded institutions in the mid-Atlantic region.

    “We are elated! This is great news for UMES as we begin our journey forward as a Doctoral Research University,” President Juliette B. Bell said.

    “I want to thank the many University stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members, who worked extremely hard to put the university's best foot forward. This report confirms that we're on a steady path forward,” she said.

    An evaluation team selected by MSCHE and led by Dr. Harry L. Williams, Delaware State University's president, visited UMES the first week in April. Comprised of representatives from peer institutions, the team's mission was assessing whether the university met the 14 “Standards of Excellence” established by MSCHE to measure institutional effectiveness.

    Williams' informal remarks at the conclusion of that three-day visit indicated evaluators viewed UMES' re-accreditation favorably and commended the University on the implementation of its Hawkspitality initiative that strives to improve campus climate. 

    In its reaffirmation letter, the Middle States Commission commended UMES “for the quality of the self-study process and report.”

    More than 100 UMES educators and administrators spent more than a year researching and compiling a 100-page “self-study” report describing the university's approach to fulfilling its mission. Middle States evaluators in turn used that document as a yardstick when they met with members of the UMES community.

    To focus attention on the importance of the Middle States evaluation, the University created a marketing campaign with the theme “14 Standards. One Goal. Greater Than Ever” using the familiar math symbol, “greater than,” to educate the campus community about the standards for accreditation - and to emphasize President Bell's vision for UMES to move from “Excellence to Eminence”.

    Middle States accreditation assures UMES' internal and external stakeholders that the university adheres to peer-review standards in the way it operates as an institution of higher education. Accreditation also enables the university to retain eligibility for federal funding, including students who apply for government grants.

    In a series of meetings prior to the Middle States' team visit, President Bell encouraged employees and students to familiarize themselves with the self-study report so they could answer evaluators' questions aimed at assessing if the document's assertions matched the university's actions and deeds.

    Middle States accreditation is an institution-wide credential separate and distinct from program-specific accreditation.

    The Middle States' region includes Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Dr. Stanley M. Nyirenda, Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment, and Dr. James Junker, associate dean and professor, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, served as co-chairs of UMES' self-assessment committee. Dr. Kimberly Whitehead, associate provost, is the university's liaison to the Middle States Commission.

    UMES Office of Public Relations, (410) 651-6669