July 21st, 2020
MSCHE reaffirms Garrett College accreditation
GC lauded for effectiveness plan, strong relationship with county government
Garrett College's accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), one of six regional accrediting bodies across the nation.
MSCHE's accreditation decision covers the next eight years, with Garrett College's next reaccreditation visit set to take place in 2028. The Commission granted reaccreditation with no additional requirements.
"The Middle States action on our accreditation is a testament to the work of our faculty, staff and administration in service to our students," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. "This illustrates the effectiveness of the academic programs we deliver to our community."
The MSCHE action noted that Garrett College met all seven standards for accreditation. The College also had to meet 15 requirements for affiliation as part of the process.
Don Morin, chair of the Garrett College Board of Trustees, said that the "Board is extremely pleased with the reaccreditation, which recognizes the hard work the College has done in documenting its adherence to Middle States standards."
Midcap emphasized the leadership provided by Dean of Instructional and Institutional Effectiveness James Allen, Director of Analytics, Institutional Research and Assessment Kelli Sisler, and Assistant Professor Christa Bowser.
"Jim, who served as our Middle States liaison, ably guided us through the two-year reaccreditation process," noted Midcap. "Kelli and Christa, as co-chairs of the Self-Study Steering Committee, did outstanding work in leading the development of the self-study that was the basis for our reaccreditation."
An eight-member Middle States evaluation team conducted a two-day visit at Garrett College in March. The team commended GC's Institutional Effectiveness Plan, recent changes to the College's developmental education program, and the "vigorous engagement of all Garrett College stakeholders in the governance process."
The team report also noted that the "College and Garrett County work together laudably to benefit the students of Garrett College as well as the county citizens." The report cited as evidence the Garrett County Scholarship Program that covers tuition and fees to GC for recent high school graduates as well as Dual Enrollment coursework and eligible workforce development courses.
"The visiting team quickly picked up on the incredible commitment that the County Commissioners have made to Garrett College," noted Midcap.
"It's great to see the College recognized for the great work that they do," said Paul Edwards, chair of the Garrett County Commissioners. "Garrett College is such an integral part of the county's infrastructure and they have a great staff and leadership team that engage in so many sectors of the county's culture. We are fortunate to have them."
As follow-up, MSCHE requested updates on the FY2021-2025 Strategic Plan and the new 2021-25 Financial Plan that were still in development during the team's visit. It also requested an update on progress in implementing the new Academic Program Review process, which was completing its first cycle during the team visit.
The most up-to-date information on Garrett College's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including the Return to Operations Plan, can be found online at https://www.garrettcollege.edu/corona-virus.php.