Ithaca College has been reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
College accreditation is earned to ensure the quality of higher education institutions, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In order for students to receive federal financial aid, colleges and universities must be accredited by external agencies because of the Title IV section of the U.S. Higher Education Act. Federal aid includes grants, loans and work-study.
The visit from the Middle States Commission followed a self-study process the college began in 2015. The self-study process consisted of an executive committee, a steering committee and seven working groups. The self-study working group was co-chaired by Luke Keller, Dana professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Dean of Students, Bonnie Prunty.
A review team consisting of former and current college presidents, provosts and professors from other accredited institutions represented the Middle States Commission on Higher Education during a visit to the college Feb. 26–28 to gather information for the review. The process takes three years to complete, David Maley, senior public information officer at the college, said via IC News. The reaccreditation announcement was sent by the Office of the President via email to the college community July 2
The college was approved by meeting the seven standards for accreditation, which includes defining its mission and goals; having ethics and integrity; providing design and delivery of student learning experiences; supporting the student experience; accomplishing an educational effectiveness assessment; improving institutional planning and resources; and having an effective governance, leadership and administration team, according to the report.
The report also provided recommendations and suggestions on how to improve each standard evaluation. Feedback in the form of recommendations is considered binding and suggestions are considered non-binding. The next reaccreditation will occur in 2026, according to the IC News statement.
Some of the suggestions include fixing the inconsistencies with the mission statement of the college and the IC 20/20 Strategic Plan, updating the ethics policies consistently as academic policies, directly addressing mental health and wellness of students to improve student success and retention and continuing the annual Campus Climate Survey for campus feedback.
Numerous recommendations were made to better assess the Integrative Core Curriculum and how it affects students and the college.
President Shirley M. Collado said via IC News that the Office of the President will be using the team’s feedback in the next strategic plan for the college.
“We are looking forward to incorporating insights from the self-study and the team visit in our next phase long-term planning as we develop our next strategic plan over the coming academic year,” Collado said via IC News.