Middle States Holds Annual Conference

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Lehman College’s accrediting agency, held its annual conference from December 5-7, 2012 in Philadelphia. The conference was comprised of plenary sessions that all participants attended, as well as concurrent breakout sessions.

The opening plenary session talked about scholarship in the digital age. That session highlighted the role of social media, blogging, and electronic platforms such as Udacity.com in Higher Education.

Additional plenary sessions were held on efficiency, effectiveness, and self-regulation in Higher Education and the state of Higher Education today. Those sessions discussed tertiary education in the 21st century context, the need for clear institutional goals and objectives, and the importance of credible and reliable measurement of performance.

Concurrent sessions included presentations on the implementation of MSCHE’s expectations for assessment, assessment of student learning to improve programs, the Periodic Review Report, and transitioning to evidence-based management for resource allocation. The latter two are particularly relevant, as Lehman College will be preparing a Periodic Review Report that is due June 1, 2014.

One theme that stood out at the annual conference is that MSCHE is likely to place greater emphasis on the integration of planning, budgeting, and assessment. Such integration is already a component of Lehman College’s strategic plan. As previously noted in my blog entry of November 26, I plan to make this integration a focus of the 2013-14 institutional effectiveness assessment cycle.

Finally, in coming blog entries, I will discuss some of the highlights from the major presentations at the MSCHE conference.

For now, have a very happy New Year! May the year ahead be a productive and rewarding one.

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