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Middle States
Self Study


click for self study facts sheet
click here to see town hall meeting poster
Our Middle States 2020 Self-Study team, consisting of more than 100 members, is on course to completing its evaluation of the various elements of the University and submitting its report to President Wayne A.I. Frederick by December 2019. On behalf of the University, and as a requirement for our reaffirmation of accreditation, Dr. Frederick will then be able to make the official submission to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Reaffirmation of accreditation will provide Howard University’s 13 schools and colleges with the continued ability to issue prestigious degrees, honored globally, to propelling scholars who have traveled from across the world to “bleed blue.”

Associate Provost, Dr. Daphne Bernard, who serves as our Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer, and I led the creation of the Self-Study team, comprised of faculty, administrators, staff, and students. The team is organized into eight Working Groups. One Working Group is tasked with gathering documentation required for our Verification of Compliance while each of the other Working Groups is assigned to tackle one of the seven Standards provided by Middle States: (1) Mission and Goals; (2) Ethics and Integrity; (3) Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience; (4) Support of the Student Experience; (5) Educational Effectiveness Assessment; (6) Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement; and (7) Governance, Leadership and Administration. There is also a Steering Committee comprised of senior faculty and administrators who offer feedback and guidance to assist the Working Groups in collecting evidence needed to demonstrate that the University is meeting or exceeding Middle States criteria for reaccreditation.

The Working Groups, led by faculty members, are the workhorses of the Self-Study effort. Members in each of the seven Groups ask empirical research questions that drive their investigations, and they are ascertaining the most convincing evidence to demonstrate how we are meeting or exceeding expectations. At this point, the Working Groups are appropriately working in silos and are drilling down into details to uncover evidence and provide compelling narration.

In December 2018, the seven Working Groups completed and submitted the first draft of their reports to the Steering Committee. In January 2019, the Steering Committee made helpful suggestions to the Working Groups, encouraging them to search for additional evidence and new lines of inquiry, and assisted them with ascertaining requisite information. The second report drafts were submitted and reviewed in March of 2019 as the groups continue in their in-depth evidence collection and research. The Steering Committee will provide comments on the third set of report drafts to the Working Groups on April 30.

As of March 4, the Self-Study staff was completed, consisting of a Project Coordinator, Data Specialist, Media Specialist, Editor, Administrative Assistant, and a Graduate Student. Thus far, the Self-Study team has worked together diligently to produce two drafts of the report’s chapters. Currently, the team has entered a new phase of engaging more directly with all areas of the campus to elicit input. Although Howard faculty, students, staff, and administrators are encouraged to make suggestions at any time, the team has organized its first town hall to garner additional input. The HU Self-Study Town Hall Meeting will be April 16, from 3 - 4:30pm in the IRB Building’s Multipurpose room on the 1st floor. The team has also begun to implement social media profiles to distribute critical information that will interest the HU community. The HU Self-Study team can be found @HUSelfStudy on social media. From this point onward, the campus will essentially have a finger on the pulse of Self-Study progress and activities.

In closing, the Howard community should know that the Self-Study leaders have designed a roadmap that will guide the University to receiving its reaffirmation of accreditation by summer 2020. Stay tuned for regular updates and know that participation by everyone is strongly encouraged.

Excellence in Trust and Service,

Rubin Patterson, Ph.D.
Chair, Middle States Institutional Accreditation Self Study
Professor of Sociology

The Academic and Administrative Program Prioritization Initiative

In order to maintain and elevate our status as a premier academic institution, it is essential that the programs offered at Howard University are of the highest academic quality, and provide contemporary and exceptional educational experiences to our students. As we prepare for the University-wide accreditation process in 2019-2020, it is critical that the University undertake a comprehensive academic and administrative review process to position the University to remain relevant and positioned for a successful future.


The University has begun preparation for our Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) 2019 - 2020 self-study and accreditation site visit. MSCHE has adopted revised standards for accreditation for affiliated institutions, and will transition, after 2019, from requiring a decennial accreditation self-study process to an 8-year process that includes Annual Institutional Updates. Universities must now demonstrate engagement in continuous institutional improvement. We are expected to emphasize continuous program review, documentation of student achievement, and financial sustainability .


To that end, the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer has formed the Academic and Administrative Program Prioritization Task Force to compile evidence to:
  1. strengthen the university’s overall academic program portfolio,
  2. facilitate utilization of best practices in the development of new program offerings, and
  3. ensure effective alignment of resources with University initiatives.

The task force consists of faculty, students and staff. Faculty and staff were nominated by their deans, the Faculty Senate, or their supervisors. Students were nominated by the presidents of HUSA or the Graduate Student Council. It is anticipated that the analysis of the data emerging from the Academic and Administrative Program Prioritization process will:
  1. help ascertain institutional strengths as well as weaknesses;
  2. enable evidence-based decisions related to program development, continuation, or discontinuance; and
  3. support strategic planning.

Additional information will be provided to our constituents over the coming months.

[1]The University has conducted an institution-wide self-study every 10 years since its original accreditation was granted by Middle States in 1921. From 2008-2011, in addition to the 2009 self-study, the University conducted an extensive review of its academic programs and services through the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal (PCAR). At the conclusion of PCAR, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution that resulted in the launching of new programs and academic renewal initiatives and the discontinuance or reconfiguration a number of academic programs. See summary of PCAR outcomes.
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