Middle States team visit ends with positive results


Jessica Bonacci, News Editor

Marywood is one step closer to completing its accreditation review.

The Middle States visiting team report said Marywood had met all fourteen standards required for accreditation, according to Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Frances Zauhar, Ph.D., co-chair of the Middle States self-study. She added, however, that the report does not guarantee the university accreditation.

The visiting team came to Marywood from Nov. 6 to Nov. 9 in order to evaluate the university and create a report that will give recommendations for Marywood’s accreditation status.

“We were very hopeful that the [visiting team’s] report would be a good one, which it was,” Zauhar said.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education “conduct[s] accreditation and pre-accreditation (Candidacy status) activities for institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” 

The visiting team, comprised of representatives from other institutions accredited by Middle States, met with various groups and organizations throughout the visit including faculty, professional and support staff senates, senior officers of the university and representatives from the Student Government Association.

The Wood Word previously reported that “the standards evaluate areas such as the university’s mission, goals, resources, assessment of student learning and student support services.”

The accreditation process includes multiple steps before the documents reach the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Zauhar said that the visiting team will send a draft of the report to Marywood, which the school must check for any “errors of fact.”

The documents related to the accreditation process must go through sub-committees of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education before being passed on to the commission, itself, according to Zauhar.

She also explained that the university must make an institutional response to the final report from the visiting team, which will “address the recommendations that we make and the recommendations that they’ve made and what plans we have to deal with those.”

The institutional response and the team’s report will play a role in the final decision of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

“The [visit] showed the team that in spite of all of the difficulties of the last year, that people remain committed to Marywood,” Zauhar said.

Marywood President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D, said the visiting team mentioned the good atmosphere at Marywood.

”[Members of the visiting team] were very positive about Marywood,” Sr. Mary said.
Sr. Mary also praised the team’s attitude during the visit.

“They brought a lot of professionalism and enthusiasm to the meetings,” Sr. Mary said.
The Middle States Commission will review the documents in March 2017. Follow The Wood Word for more updates.

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