Pitt’s Middle States Reaccreditation Self-Study Report Completed

Issue Date: 
January 23, 2012

The steering committee overseeing Pitt’s 2012 reaccreditation process by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has completed its report.

Every 10 years, Pitt undergoes a detailed reaccreditation process by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a voluntary membership association that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities.

The accreditation process, which began in March 2010, involved documenting competency in 14 institutional standards, in addition to completing a self-study. The commission offers institutions one of three models for the self-study, and Pitt’s steering committee chose the “selected topics” option, and focused on how Pitt uses assessment as a vehicle for continuous improvement.

“The selected topics model provides an excellent opportunity for us to reflect upon a culture of assessment at the University of Pittsburgh; to evaluate its contributions to the institution’s emergence in recent years as a leading public research university; to identify its strengths, challenges, and effectiveness in identifying opportunities for improvement or change, and to consider how it might best be used to further our ambitions,” the committee wrote in submitting its topic to Middle States.

The 20-person steering committee, chaired by Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson and Vice Provost Juan Manfredi, comprised faculty, staff, and students. The steering committee delegated much of the project to three working groups:

  • Using Assessment to Improve the Student Experience, cochaired by Manfredi and M. Kathleen Kelly, an assistant professor and vice chair in the Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, who also serves as cochair of the Senate Educational Policies Committee;
  • Using Assessment to Improve Institutional Effectiveness, cochaired by Richard Schulz, professor of psychiatry and director of the University Center for Social and Urban Research, and Jane Thompson, associate vice chancellor for management information and analysis; and
  • Demonstrating Compliance through Document Review, chaired by Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Andrew Blair.

The final self-study report, “Using a Universitywide Culture of Assessment for Continuous Improvement” is available as a downloadable pdf on the my.pitt.edu portal. Vice Provost Manfredi is accepting comments on the document through Jan. 31st via email at manfredi@pitt.edu.