Kean University Addresses Middle States Accreditation
A letter released today from Ocean County College from Kean University President Dr. Dawood Farahi, seeking to soother worrying students about the future of accreditation at the University and how it affects students here in Ocean County.
Last year, Kean was issued a warning from Middle States, the independent agency tasked with monitoring colleges in this region of the United States. The agency found fault with two standards during their review.
This year, Middle States placed Kean on probation after finding more faults. The agency made the following entries on the university’s accreditation status:
- March 1, 2012: To remind the institution that it has been warned that its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). To note that the institution remains accredited while on warning. To note that the monitoring report, due March 1, 2012, has been submitted and a small team visit has been scheduled. The report and visit will be acted upon at the June Commission meeting. To request a monitoring report, due September 1, 2012, providing evidence of (1) the equitable and consistent treatment of constituencies in the application of academic requirements and policies, administrative review, and institutional governance and management; (2) an institutional climate that fosters respect among students, faculty, staff, and administration; and (3) the periodic assessment of integrity evidenced in institutional policies, processes, practices, and the manner in which these are implemented (Standard 6). A small team visit will follow submission of the September 1, 2012 monitoring report. To remind the institution of its obligation to inform the Commission about any and all significant developments related to compliance with MSCHE requirements of affiliation and standards of accreditation. The due date for the next Periodic Review Report will be established when accreditation is reaffirmed.
- June 23, 2011: To warn the institution that its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). To note that the institution remains accredited while on warning. To request a monitoring report, due March 1, 2012, documenting that the institution has achieved and can sustain compliance with Standards 7 and 14, including but not limited to the development and implementation of (1) steps taken to promote an institution-wide culture of assessment and evidence; (2) an organized and sustainable assessment process, including direct measures, to evaluate and improve institutional effectiveness with evidence that assessment information is used to gain efficiencies in programs, services, and processes; and (3) an organized and sustainable process to assess the achievement of student learning goals at the course and program levels, with evidence that assessment information is used to improve teaching and learning (Standards 7 and 14). To direct a prompt liaison guidance visit to discuss the Commission’s expectations. A small team visit will follow submission of the monitoring report. The due date for the next Periodic Review Report will be established when accreditation is reaffirmed.
On September 1st, Kean University forwarded to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education an extensive and thorough monitoring report designed to demonstrate how the university complies with the Commission’s characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education.
More than 250 Kean faculty, administrators, staff and students participated in the development of this monitoring report and the assessment work that supports it—something that should make every member of the Kean and Kean/Ocean communities proud. For more information on the efforts we are making to meet all MSCI-IE accreditation standards, please go to the Ocean County College home page: http: www.ocean.edu/ and click on “Kean Ocean Accreditation FAQ.”
This monitoring report marks a key step forward in the University’s effort to meet Middle States’ standards and secure its reaffirmation. The process is a long one, and I know the past year has been challenging for all of us. I know it has raised anxiety and questions for many of you in the Kean Ocean community. However, I want to re-assure all of you that Kean University continues to provide its students with access to a world-class faculty and a world-class education. We humbly recognize the need to make improvements along the way, and we look forward to an assessment of our progress later this month by a Visiting Team from the Commission. I have no doubt that Kean will come through this process stronger, better and more efficient than ever before. I hope all of you stay with us on this important journey.
As the Middle States review plays out, I also want to stress that Kean University remains accredited and that every credit you earn at the University is, indeed, valuable and transferable.
Further, the University considers its partnership with Ocean County College a cornerstone of its future growth and prosperity we have no intention of doing anything but growing in Ocean County for many years to come! Later this academic year, we will celebrate the opening of the Gateway building at the Kean Ocean campus, a multi-million dollar, joint investment that underscores the strength of our commitment to this joint initiative. I want all of you to be a part of the festivities.
Meanwhile, I encourage you to stop by and see me this October when I visit the Kean Ocean campus for a series of discussions with administration, faculty and students. If you have any questions about Kean Ocean, I will be happy to answer them in person. Welcome back to school.
Dawood Farahi, Ph.D.
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT