Lakewood, N.J., March 1, 2019—Georgian Court University is proud to welcome a peer review team from Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) March 24-27, 2019 . During their visit, the team will meet with members of the GCU campus community to learn more about the university, its operations and how Georgian Court fulfills its mission.
Middle States, which is GCU’s accrediting body, expects an institution of higher education to be “dedicated to students, to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge, to the study and clarification of values, and to the advancement of the society it serves.”
Overall, the commission, through accreditation, mandates that its member institutions meet seven rigorous and comprehensive standards.
About the Middle States Commission
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources. It examines each institution as a whole, rather than specific programs within institutions.
Meeting Middle States’ quality standards is critical for institutions as they earn accredited status. Ultimately, “this permits colleges and universities to state with confidence: ‘Our students are well-served; society is well-served,’” according to MSCHE.
“At GCU, we are proud to be considered among the institutions that carry the accreditation status of MSCHE,” said S. Janet Thiel, Ph.D., Georgian Court’s assistant vice president for university assessment.
‘Reaffirmation of Accreditation’ by Middle States
The long-awaited peer review comes after more than two and a half years of preparation. In the Fall of 2016, Georgian Court University President Joseph Marbach, Ph.D., appointed S. Janet and Timothy Briles, Ed.D., as co-chairs for the steering committee that would guide GCU’s road to “reaffirmation of accreditation.”
Dr. Marbach is pleased with the way the steering committee broadly engaged the campus community in gathering evidence and assessing ourselves against the standards. Their work culminated in a comprehensive self-study that documents GCU’s compliance with the seven MSCHE goals.
“Dozens of people (faculty, administration, and staff) participated in the development of the self-study and even more participated in a review of the 700+ page document,” he said. “It helped us to really know where we stand and was a key input to our Strategic Compass, the new strategic plan for Georgian Court.”
The comprehensive self-study delivers a roadmap of sorts, demonstrating how GCU meets:
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
Georgian Court University’s (GCU) Self-Study was an intensive review of all aspects of the university and came at a time that matched with the closeout of the 2012–2017 strategic plan and the launch of a new strategic planning process. The results clarified the university’s identity and set the course for an even better tomorrow, focused on four compass points: mission integration through academic excellence; an exceptional student experience; revenue generation and diversification; and operational efficiency and resource utilization. — An excerpt from GCU’s 2019 Self-Study, Executive Summary
Welcoming our Middle States visitors
The upcoming peer review is GCU’s first MSCHE accreditation visit since its 2009 decennial Self-Study. Since then, Georgian Court University has experienced significant changes, including bringing Mercy education to a more diverse student body by becoming completely co-educational in 2012-13. Athletics expanded, new majors and graduate programs were created, a range of community college partnerships have been added, and GCU has grown its program offerings beyond the historic Lakewood campus.
So what are some of the takeaways from GCU’s years-long MSCHE process? “The university continues to evolve with the changing world,” said Dr. Briles. “With reaccreditation on the horizon, Georgian Court University looks forward to the future.”
For further information on the review team visit, please contact Steering Committee co-chairs S. Janet and Dr. Briles. An executive summary of GCU’s Self-Study report is also available online.
During the March 24-27 visit, students, faculty, and staff will have an opportunity to meet with the review team, which is led by Dr. Christopher Domes, president of Neumann University. The schedule is as follows:
SUNDAY, MARCH 24
5 PM: Sunday Mass (Marion Community Chapel)
6 PM: Opening Reception and Dinner (Mansion)
MONDAY, MARCH 25
10 AM: Meeting with the Board of Trustees (North Dining Room)
11 AM: Meeting with the Cabinet + (McAuley Heritage Center)
2 PM: Meeting with Students (McAuley Heritage Center)
3:30 PM: Meeting with GCU Self-Study Steering Committee (McAuley Heritage Center)
TUESDAY, MARCH 26
11 AM: Meeting with GCU Staff (North Dining Room)
2 PM: Meeting with Faculty (North Dining Room)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27
11 AM: Open Meeting – Report from visiting team – (Little Theatre)
Story contributed by GCU alumna Christine Marie Attardo
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, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35 undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. In 2018, GCU was named a Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine. GCU has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Colleges of Distinction and was one of about 100 colleges nationwide that made Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 Transfer Honor Roll. 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 Cumberland, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.