Self-Study Process

Accreditation is the educational community’s means of self-regulation through quality assurance and improvement. According to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the accrediting process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence. The Commission maintains a 10-year cycle of review. The start of the cycle includes a self-study and on-site evaluation. Institutions reflect on the progress and changes in the Periodic Review Report (PRR) five years later.

Towson University’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2011, while the PRR report is due in June 2016. The PRR is intended to achieve the following goals:

  • To help Towson University gauge its progress in achieving their own goals and objectives;
  • To enable the Commission to assess the current status, as well as the future prospects of Towson University, within the framework of the Commission’s accreditation standards; and
  • To fulfill the Commission’s accountability to the public, the academic community at large and its member institutions.

The goals will be addressed via the following objectives:

  • To assess the impact of significant major developments, changes, or challenges subsequent to the last evaluation;
  • To assess Towson University’s response to recommendations resulting from the previous evaluation;
  • To review Towson University’s enrollment trends, financial status, and enrollment and financial projections (Accreditation Standards 2 and 3);
  • To determine the current status of the implementation of processes for the assessment of institutional effectiveness and the assessment of student learning outcomes (Accreditation Standards 7 and 14); and
  • To assess the extent to which linked institutional planning and budgeting processes are in place (Accreditation Standards 2 and 3).

Organizational Structure and Outline of Tasks

The PRR Steering Committee is composed of members who represent a broad spectrum of the Towson University community including faculty, students, academic and non-academic administrators, staff, and representatives of the USM Board of Regents and the Towson University Board of Visitors. Members of the Steering Committee were invited to serve by the President in consultation with the Provost. The three co-chairs of the Steering Committee include the Associate Dean of the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, the Chief of Staff in the President’s Office, and the Assistant Vice President for Accreditation and Compliance who also serves as the institution’s Accreditation Liaison Officer.

For the Towson University PRR, five writing teams will focus on the specific objectives noted above. They will prepare draft sections for review by the PRR Steering Committee. The timetable includes feedback from the Towson University community.