Commission Reaffirms College Accreditation
The college has been accredited by the Middle States Commission since 1949 and undergoes reaffirmation of its accreditation every 10 years. To prepare for that process, the college published a self-study that evaluated every aspect of its operations, from its mission, goals and objectives, to academics, student services, administration and strategic planning.
The Middle States Commission officially reaccredited SUNY Oneonta at its June 27 session, after reviewing the report submitted by an evaluation team that visited the college in March. The commission also commended the college for the quality of its self-study and the rigor of the process behind it.
The team’s report notes several areas in which the college demonstrated significant accomplishments, significant progress or exemplary/innovative practices. It also includes seven recommendations—but no requirements—to support continued compliance with accreditation standards. Attention to these will inform the college’s periodic review report, due in November 2018.
“Beyond meeting Middle States’ 14 reaccreditation standards, such a resoundingly favorable assessment affirms SUNY Oneonta’s overall excellence, the aspirations of our strategic plan, and the dedication of the entire campus community in serving our students,” said SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski. “We are part of a truly exceptional institution that is positioned for even greater success in the years to come.”
Among the many significant accomplishments or exemplary practices noted in the report were:
• the college’s “clearly articulated and strikingly succinct mission statement”;
• the “prudent financial management” that allowed the college to come through five years of budget uncertainty and austerity with a balanced budget in each year and a savings fund of $2.5 million to invest in strategic initiatives;
• the “openness, transparency, and collaborative deliberation that stakeholders repeatedly refer to as a hallmark of the college leadership”;
• recognition by the Education Trust, which singled out SUNY Oneonta for its success in improving graduation rates among Hispanic students; and
• the variety of experiential learning opportunities afforded to students, including internships, teaching assistantships, study abroad programs, independent research, and collaboration with faculty.
The Middle States Commission also commended SUNY Oneonta for the quality of its self-study, which was overseen by an eight-member steering committee chaired by Dr. Patricia Francis, associate provost for Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness, and Dr. Anuradhaa Shastri, associate professor of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education. More than 70 college faculty and staff members served on work groups that were integral in the creation of the self-study.
The Middle States Commission is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership organization committed to the promotion and assurance of excellence in higher education. It provides an intricate system of measurement, quality control and improvement through a rigorous accreditation process by means of peer evaluation.