Middle States Commission on Higher Education

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Assoc. Provost Jim Llana, jllana@jjay.cuny.edu


John Jay College and Middle States Accreditation

John Jay is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which oversees accreditation for institutions of higher education in five states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and other sites outside the country.  All post-secondary educational institutions that receive federal student aid support must undergo review by one of the regional accrediting organizations that are dedicated to program improvement through peer evaluation.  The members of the Commission determine the comprehensive standards for evaluation, which are updated periodically, and concern student learning, financial condition, governance, planning, admissions, faculty, facilities, and other core dimensions of institutional performance.

Accreditation is key to providing a measure of accountability to the federal government that spends about $150 billion annually on financial aid for students, and to prospective students and parents who bear much of the cost of higher education.  Public institutions especially have to be concerned with the effectiveness of the education they offer, in and out of the classroom. We at John Jay embrace the reaccreditation review as one of the best opportunities we have to improve and to set the tone for continuous improvement.

Like other accredited colleges and universities, John Jay undergoes an extensive review every ten years to reaffirm our accreditation, resulting in a large Self-Study and a site visit by a team of peers from Middle States schools.   We prepare a Periodic Review Report (PRR) midway between the ten-year reviews.  The PRR, due in 2018, is a self-assessment since the last Self-Study and will include an account of how we responded to any recommendations made by us in the Self-Study report, by the visiting team that evaluated the institution, and by the Commission.   A compilation of those recommendations is available here.

Reaccreditation is singularly important, for without Middle States approval the College would not qualify for federal student aid, but a successful reaccreditation is more broadly a statement of quality about every aspect of the institution, and it gives the public and external partners confidence in what we do.  More than simply passing a series of tests, the College has the opportunity during reaccreditations to reflect on our basic goals and values and to consider whether we have been living up to them as we plan for the future.

Ten-Year Reaccreditation Review in 2013

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education most recently sent a team to John Jay in April, 2013.  The team report is available here. Subsequently, the Commission reaffirmed our accreditation in a June letter, available here.  They requested at that time a progress report, due April 1, 2015, “documenting evidence of (1) a mission statement that clearly defines the institution's purpose within the context of higher education and indicates who the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish.(Standard 1); (2) further implementation of an integrated strategic planning process linked to budgeting and resource allocation (Standard 2); and (3) sufficient numbers of appropriately prepared and qualified faculty with roles and responsibilities clearly defined (Standard 10).”

The first recommendation was one that we gave ourselves, and its implementation is underway in spring 2014.  The second recommendation asks us to continue our process of linking planning and budgeting; that process is ongoing and documented on a public planning and budgeting website.  The third recommendation refers to a goal that we are very much endeavoring to reach.

Middle States Actions from 2008 to 2012

Prior to the last Decennial Review in 2013, our history with Middle States included the following events or activities:

November 20, 2008:

The Periodic Review Report was accepted and accreditation reaffirmed.  A Progress Letter was requested documenting (1) continued development and implementation of the institution's long-term financial plan and a budget process aligned with the institution's mission, goals and strategic plan (Standard 3); (2) continued implementation of comprehensive, integrated, and sustained processes to assess institutional effectiveness and the achievement of student learning outcomes (Standards 7 and 14); and (3) continued implementation of the institution's comprehensive enrollment management plan (Standard 8).

March 4, 2010:

Progress letter was accepted.  

August 30, 2011:

The online MPA in Public Policy and Administration and MPA in Inspection and Oversight programs were approved as distance education programs, pending approval from New York State Education Department.  A follow-up report was requested for April 2012.,  documenting (1) evidence of a program of student support services appropriate to online student strengths and needs, consistent with student learning expectations, and available regardless of place or method of delivery (Standard 9) and (2) evidence of the development and implementation of a learning outcomes assessment plan for both programs (Standard 14).

June 28, 2012:

Progress report on distance education accepted. 

July 24, 2012:

NYSED approves the two MPA programs for online delivery.