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Middle States Re-Affirms Georgian Court University’s Accreditation

GCU historical gate walk-through entrance.

Georgian Court University meets all of the standards for being accredited, according to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The commission, through accreditation, mandates that its member institutions meet rigorous and comprehensive standards.

“More than two years of preparation and serious self-examination went into this effort,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. “While the Middle States accreditation review through self-study and subsequent evaluation team campus visit may only happen every eight years, the university works hard every day to deliver a valuable educational experience.”

The commission took action on GCU’s re-accreditation on June 27, 2019. In addition to re-affirming accreditation, the commission requested a supplemental information report, due March 1, 2020, on progress made on implementing certain planning processes, resources and structures.

“Earning the confidence of Middle States reflects all that our faculty, staff, and campus community do to ensure students can succeed in their careers and make meaningful contributions in the world,” said Dr. Marbach.

The Road to Re-Accreditation

In 2016, Sister Janet Thiel, Ph.D., Georgian Court’s assistant vice president for university assessment, reminded the GCU community its shared goal was “reaffirmation of accreditation.”

Sister Janet led the university’s re-accreditation process along with co-chair Timothy Briles, Ed.D., and a campus-wide steering committee. The 18-member group collaborated with dozens of campus contributors, and three faculty writers authored Georgian Court’s comprehensive self-study, which documents the many ways GCU meets Middle States’s accreditation standards. They are:

  • Standard I: Mission and Goals
  • Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
  • Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Experience
  • Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience
  • Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
  • Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
  • Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration

In March 2019, just months after GCU introduced its new Strategic Compass, the accreditation organization sent a visiting team of experienced higher education leaders to evaluate Georgian Court University. The visiting team focused its attention on the ways GCU complies with the MSCHE Standards of Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.

The accreditation visit was GCU’s first since its 2009 decennial self-study. The evaluation included reading GCU’s exhaustive self-study; reviewing its documentation of the Standards and Requirements; and holding meetings with faculty, staff, and students.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2019, GCU was named a Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. GCU rose more than 30 points in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings due, in part, to high student retention and graduation rates, which also made GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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