Gallaudet University is gearing up for its decennial reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education during the 2022-2023 academic year. Learn more in this message from President Cordano, and in the accompanying FAQ.

View this message in American Sign Language above.

Dear campus community:

As an institution of higher education, we are committed to innovation, creativity, and excellence in education. Rigorous standards — those we apply to ourselves and those set by external accreditors — ensure that our students are well-prepared for their futures.

I am pleased to announce we are beginning our Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accreditation self-study this spring. We have been continuously accredited since 1957, most recently in 2013. Our accreditation work is integral to the strategic direction and transformation of our university. While the accreditation process ensures that we adhere to minimum standards, it also presents us with an opportunity to identify our areas of strength, what areas of support we need for future success, and what we can innovate going forward. These building blocks will continue to lead Gallaudet forward as an institution of excellence.

This two-year effort will be led by Dr. Caroline Kobek Pezzarossi, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Certification in the Office of Student Success and Academic Quality. Dr. Kobek Pezzarossi will work closely with two self-study co-chairs, one of whom will be a member of the faculty and the other a member of the staff. Many members of our community will be involved in the self-study, which will culminate in a site visit during 2022-2023.

Going forward, the self-study team will communicate frequently. They have already developed a set of frequently asked questions. I encourage you to keep abreast of their work, and to offer your assistance and support. This will allow us to continue to provide our students with a quality bilingual education, and to maintain our standing as the premier institution of higher education for deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and hearing students the world over.

Roberta J. Cordano

Learn more about MSCHE

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)?

MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It conducts accreditation activities and reviews for colleges and universities in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. MSCHE is one of six institutional accrediting agencies for higher education in the United States.

All MSCHE member institutions are peer-reviewed in order to ensure that all stakeholders receive excellence in education. Accreditation considers the institution as a whole rather than as piecemeal.

Gallaudet University has been a proud member of MSCHE since 1957. We work closely with MSCHE, and our collaboration with MSCHE is a way to ensure accreditation of Gallaudet University. The accreditation process is motivated by the fundamental desire to ensure that your Gallaudet experience is driven by best practices in higher education. For more information, please visit our Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure website.

How often does the accreditation process take place?

MSCHE accreditation occurs every ten years. Gallaudet’s last reaccreditation was in 2013, and was led by Dr. Patricia Hulsebosch and Dr. Leslie Rach. The most important part of the reaccreditation process is to conduct a self-study. We are now organizing our self-study, ahead of the MSCHE site visit during 2022-2023.

What is a self-study? Why is it important?

During its self-study, an educational institution examines its structure, policies, practices, and other infrastructure with an eye towards critical inquiry. This is an opportunity to ask ourselves what we are doing well, what areas of support we need for success, and what we can innovate going forward. A major reason we are accredited is so we can get Title IV funds – financial aid – for our students. This is a complex undertaking, and involves many data points and contributions by the community.

What does this mean for me?

A self-study involves you as a valuable part of our community! The MSCHE accreditation process is a community-driven process. Your help is much needed and appreciated. We will be asking the community to be a part of several committees led by your colleagues. We are committed to shared governance, and we will work closely with you and your colleagues to ensure full transparency, access, and communication. Please be on the lookout for these announcements and please work closely with your governing bodies.

This spring, we will create a Steering Committee led by two co-chairs: one from the faculty and one from the staff. Their first task will be to support the development of the self study design which includes the structure, focus, and implementation of the self study.

Who should I contact for more information?

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact Dr. Caroline Kobek Pezzarossi, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Certification. She will be happy to meet with you. Her email address is Contact.

The MSCHE self-study also has a dedicated email address: Contact.

Thank you for your support.

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