Middle States helps University attain funds

Seton Hall University is undergoing the process of self-study under the Middle States review to promote excellence in higher education.

The Middle States self-study review process is being led by Drs. Theresa Bartolotta and Susan Nolan. They oversaw the process of the University aligning itself in all aspects, including academics, faculty and resources, with 14 standards set by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

“The self-study is a lengthy process that will take over two years to complete,” Bartolotta said. “The process began in fall 2012 when Dr. Susan Nolan and I were appointed by Provost (Larry) Robinson to lead the Middle States Steering Committee.”

According to Bartolotta, the University has been accredited by Middle States since 1932 and must undergo a process of reaccreditation every 10 years. “

Achieving accreditation affirms that we as a University are meeting our values, mission and goals,” Bartolotta said. “The process of self-study allows us an opportunity to dialogue as a community and reflect on our strength and our challenges.”

The accreditation adds value and esteem to degrees earned from Seton Hall and allows the University to receive federal funding important for student loans, according to Bartolotta. It is also recognized by employers and graduate schools.

“Regional accreditation demonstrates a level of academic quality that is required for the University to participate in federal aid programs for students, and in most cases, for university credits and degrees to be recognized by other institutions,” Dr. Nicholas Snow of the steering committee said.

The steering committee for the Middle States self-study is comprised of 15 members of the University community, including one student, and directs the efforts of seven working groups, according to Bartolotta.

Self-study is being conducted through various means, according to Bartolotta, but one key piece of data the committee is using is a survey to be sent out the Seton Hall community later this month.

“We hope that all members of the University community, including students, will respond to the survey as it is a vital piece of our data set,” she said.

Other means of data collection during the self-study include interviews being conducted by working groups across campus.

According to Bartolotta, after the steering committee has compiled all data collected from the working groups into one document, the University will undergo a site visit from Middle States.

She said the document is not expected be finalized until fall 2013.

“Our site visit will be held in the spring of 2014 and we will learn about the status of our accreditation sometime that summer,” Bartolotta said.

Erin Williams can be reached at erin.williams@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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