Middle States Commission on Higher Education Reaffirms Carlow University’s Accreditation

Carlow University’s accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education until at least 2024.

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Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations July 05, 2016
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Commission Commends Carlow on Quality of Its Self-Study Process and Report

Pittsburgh, Pa. –
Carlow University has had its accreditation reaffirmed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) until at least 2024.  This action means that Carlow meets MSCHE’s standards for accreditation and there is no question or concern regarding the university’s continued compliance.

The Commission also commended the university on the quality of the self-study process and the report that was required as part of the accreditation process.

“This was an outstanding effort by the entire Carlow community, but particularly the members of the Self-Study Team which was chaired by Anne Candreva,” said Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, president of Carlow University.  “The accreditation process was challenging at times, but it ensures institutional accountability, improvement, and innovation for the university as we seek to serve our students and our region.”

Accreditation is a means of self-regulation and peer review by the educational community.  MSCHE reviews each institution in its entirety utilizing a set of standards of accreditation and requirements of affiliation.   Carlow was evaluated using 14 standards of accreditation and 10 requirements of affiliation, but MSCHE has modified their standards for the future to a set of seven standards.

“It is gratifying that the Commission recognized the high quality of our processes at Carlow University.  In a time when many institutions are being told that they are out of compliance with one, two, and even three of the fourteen standards, Carlow was not only found in compliance with all standards, we were commended for the quality of our self-study process and the quality of the report we submitted,” said Candreva, who is the assistant vice president, Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Planning.  “This achievement is the result of the entire Carlow community coming together over the past several years to carefully study ourselves and make improvements where needed.  It is particularly noteworthy that we were found in compliance with the standard for assessment of student learning outcomes.  This is a standard that many schools are found out of compliance with, and it is a testimony to Carlow’s commitment to high quality learning for our students.”

MSCHE and its evaluators use information provided by candidate and member institutions as a foundation for review of activities in conjunction with on-site interviews and data gathering in order to determine whether an institution meets the Commission’s standards of accreditation and requirements of affiliation.

The Commission maintains a 8-year cycle of review, beginning with a self-study and on-site evaluation visit.  In addition, the Commission monitors substantive changes that occur between regularly scheduled periodic evaluations, and institutions must keep MSCHE informed of plans for substantive change and of actual changes in their status.

MSCHE is responsible for more than 525 accredited and candidate institutions located in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other locations abroad.

Members of the commission include active executives, administrators, and faculty of member institutions as well as representatives of the public who have no affiliation with a member institution in accordance with the Federal definition of “Public Representative.”  Members are nominated and elected by the Commission’s member institutions.  The committees of the Commission are comprised of either Commissioners or both Commissioners and peer reviewers.  Peer reviewers are usually administrators and faculty of higher education institutions, and they are nominated by member institutions.  For more information about MSCHE, please visit www.msche.org.


About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Tech, Ed, and Med” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curriculum, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Carlow’s eleven athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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