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2018 Middle States Accreditation

Self-Study Materials

Timeline for Producing 2018 Self-Study Report

Timeline for Producing 2018 Self-Study Report

Documentation Roadmap

Documents, Processes, and Procedures(docx)

Self-Study Report

Self-Study Design Report

Self-Study Report Draft Outline

Accreditation is the process by which colleges and universities demonstrate that they meet quality and integrity standards of higher education. Accreditation can serve several purposes, including ensuring acceptance of graduates’ credentials by other academic institutions and employers. Furthermore, in order for students to be eligible for Title IV financial aid, an institution must be accredited by a federally recognized regional accrediting body. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is City Tech’s regional accrediting organization. To earn reaccreditation, we must demonstrate that the college meets seven standards and verify compliance with applicable federal regulations. This is done by producing a self-study document that shows how we are meeting each standard and also makes recommendations for the most important goals to address next. In spring 2018, a visiting team will use the self-study as the evidence for their accreditation recommendation to Middle States.

At the time of the last Middle States self-study, the college had been long neglected and needed to reimagine itself as a college of technology. In 2008, we envisioned several critical initiatives:

  • the addition of a substantial number of new baccalaureate degree programs,
  • a redesign of general education,
  • growth in full-time faculty and support for their professional development,
  • creating a robust, widespread assessment system that would support a culture of change and growth, and
  • a substantial upgrade of physical plant including the renovation of Voorhees and the construction of a new building of more than 335,000 square feet.

The pace of institutional change accelerated; City Tech has become demonstrably more baccalaureate-focused, research active, interdisciplinary, and connected to industry. As this work continues, we must rise to new opportunities and reshape our institutional identity to better reflect our growth.

A committee of more than 80 people, drawn from faculty, staff, students, and administration, has spent the last year gathering and analyzing the required information for the current self-study, which we will submit by the end of 2017. We believe that the evidence shows that we substantially meet each criterion.

We are now seeking more feedback from all members of the college community. You can comment on this information by emailing us at msche2018@citytech.cuny.edu, getting in touch with an executive or steering committee member (http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/middle-states/contributors.aspx), or coming to a public forum.

This document is a summary of the work so far. For each standard, you’ll find the following:
a. A short statement of the expectations covered by the standard
b. A snapshot of how/ how well we meet those expectations
c. Priorities for next steps

a. Middle States Expectation: Our mission defines our purpose within the context of higher education, the students we serve, and what we intend to accomplish. Our stated goals specify how we fulfill our mission.

b. Current Snapshot: Our mission is deeply embedded in the college and, as recently reaffirmed by the new mission statement, has been a steady guiding force—for the growth of workforce-oriented degree programs, the continuing development of industry partnerships, and the reimagining of the general education program with an interdisciplinary component.

c. Future Focus:

  • The growth of baccalaureate degrees requires attention to next steps for graduates, both those who seek immediate employment opportunities and those preparing for professional or graduate study.
  • The next round of strategic planning/review should
    1. ensure the mission and goals of all departments and offices link explicitly to the overall mission of the college, and
    2. seek deeper student involvement in the realization and communication of the college mission to support a stronger sense of community and ownership.

a. Middle States Expectation: Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, we must be faithful to our mission, honor our contracts and commitments, adhere to our policies, and represent ourselves truthfully.

b. Current Snapshot: A thorough set of policies and reporting procedures demonstrates compliance with the standard in a wide and comprehensive variety of areas, including our fair hiring practices, commitment to academic integrity and academic freedom, and procedures for handling grievances and conflicts of interest.

c. Future Focus: Expand goals and initiatives beyond the requirements of legal compliance to strengthen the overarching culture of fair and ethical practice and assess their effectiveness.

a. Middle States Expectation: We provide students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

b. Current Snapshot: We can see the positive effects of tremendous growth and transformation: in the number of baccalaureate programs and graduates, in the addition of highly qualified new faculty, in the accreditation and review of degree programs, and in the redesign of our integrated, cohesive general education and interdisciplinary foundation.

c. Future Focus: We need to continue to put effort into a strategic expansion and continuous improvement of our academic programs, while ensuring consistency of instruction across faculty and modalities, keeping curriculum responsive to the rapidly changing workplace and environment, and supporting faculty across the range of their professional activities.

a. Middle States Expectation: Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, we recruit and admit students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with our mission and educational offerings. We commit to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

b. Current Snapshot: As a primarily open admission institution, we continue to address the challenges of retention and student success, and we have made many efforts to move students more quickly and effectively to genuine college readiness. Since 2008, following two strategic plans, City Tech has:

  • reduced obstacles by clarifying requirements, sharing information effectively, streamlining systems, often through collaborative effort between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs;
  • improved access to services such as advisement, articulation and transfer, financial aid, academic support, counseling, internships and job placements; and
  • focused explicitly on students needing developmental education, increasing student success in developmental reading and writing. CUNY is embarking on a major change in math remediation, and we have in process a change that will be fully implemented by fall of 2018.

c. Future Focus: Incorporate the most successful interventions into a comprehensive, collaborative, coherent system that ensures access to a full range of academic and student support services, from pre-enrollment, through articulation and transfer, to post-graduation education and career support.

a. Middle States Expectation: Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that our students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, our mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

b. Current Snapshot: While the assessment of learning outcomes was a weakness in the last Middle States accreditation, in the 2013 Periodic Review Report we were commended for our new program. It is now clear that we meet every criterion of the standard, and are an institution that uses assessment to improve outcomes. There is ample evidence that we close the loop, i.e. that our assessment has positive impact on what happens in the classroom.

a. Future Focus:

  • Translate data on learning outcomes into more easily digestible and useful form, and expand communication to the broader college community.
  • Grow the activities of assessment in divisions beyond Academic Affairs, and expand its use for improvement in areas such as student support and administrative services.
  • Continue efforts to integrate assessment into academic planning in a holistic manner, including tools such as TK20 and the full participation of all departments through the activities of the college Assessment Committee.

a. Middle States Expectation: Our planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill our mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve our programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.

b. Current Snapshot: We used a long period of stable funding strategically, to support our mission and goals with a variety of resources, including the new building, faculty hiring, and up-to-date technologies such as smart classrooms and new computer labs.

c. Future Focus: To continue to manage our growth and resources in a climate of unpredictable funding, we need to consider new strategies, including continuing to leverage partnerships with industry, offsite course delivery, and online programs. Our increased growth and complexity will demand continuous efforts at engaging all constituencies in the planning process and tightly integrating academic and administrative support.

a. Middle States Expectation: We are governed and administered in a manner that allows us to realize our stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, our students, and the other constituencies we serve. We have education as our primary purpose and operate as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

b. Current Snapshot: Overall, City Tech is well managed by qualified leadership who maximize resources in alignment with our student-focused mission. CUNY dictates many policies and procedures, but also provides valuable support and resources. College governance is integrated and responsive to concerns, for example, in establishing the College Council Technology Committee and in implementing streamlined processes for curriculum development.

c. Future Focus: Work toward a broader understanding of college and university governance structures, and of the opportunities and responsibilities of shared governance.

We invite your comments. Please send any feedback or suggestions to msche2018@citytech.cuny.edu.