Middle States approves GW for reaccreditation

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education approved all of the University’s schools for reaccreditation this summer, administrative officials said.

The nonprofit accrediting organization, which first certified GW in 1922, performs an examination of the school every 10 years to assess whether its programs are up to national standards. The University must meet all of the 14 standards the organization requires, such as student admission and retention, institutional resources and student support services.

“We met all of the Middle States’ 14 standards,” said Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Lehman.

Lehman said that accreditation is a multi-step process in which the University picks a Middle States-approved topic for self-study a year before the commissioners are scheduled or could schedule to tour the University. GW’s self-study focused on the progress made in the Board of Trustee’s plan for academic excellence, said Forrest Maltzman, chair of the steering committee that oversaw the accreditation process.

After the University picks a topic, it forms faculty and steering committees “that focus on the goals in the strategic plan for academic excellence,” Lehman said. When the self-study is completed, the visiting commissioners refer to it when they visit the University. Middle States commissioners visited in March about seven months after GW finished the self-study.

“I think the process forces us to reflect upon what we are doing and think of what we could be doing better,” Maltzman said.

He added, “Many universities are running into problems with accreditation, such as probation and warnings.”

Middle States does not reaccredit some schools, but Lehman said “things have to be in really bad shape” for that to happen.

The organization is responsible for accrediting 520 colleges and universities nationwide.

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