Overview of Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary process of self-regulation and peer review that is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education. Colleges and universities choose to apply for institutional accreditation and abide by the standards of their regional accrediting organization.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (the Commission) is the regional accrediting organization for Philadelphia University. (link to Middle States) The federal government requires that an institution be accredited by a nationally recognized organization in order for its students to be eligible to participate in the Student Assistance Program in Title IV of the Higher Education Act (adapted from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education website http://www.msche.org).

Once an institution is accredited, it is reviewed every five years through either an on-site peer review or review of a document called the Periodic Review Report. Philadelphia University was initially accredited in 1955. This accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2001 through submission and review of a Periodic Review Report. In April 2006, an evaluation team assembled by the Commission will conduct an on-site review of Philadelphia University’s Self-Study and will submit a written report to the Commission. The Commission will meet in June 2006 to review the Self-Study and the written report of the evaluation team, and will make a determination on the reaffirmation of Philadelphia University’s accreditation.

In its publication, Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education, the Commission outlines 14 standards for accreditation by which each accredited institution is evaluated.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a division of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, accredits colleges and universities in the Middle States region (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and some overseas institutions).

As a recognized leader in promoting and ensuring quality assurance and improvement in higher education, the Commission defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence and responds creatively to a diverse, dynamic, global higher education community that is continually evolving (from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education website http://www.msche.org).