Frequently Asked Questions: LVC & the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Q. Why has LVC been placed on warning by Middle States?
A. According to a Middle States letter dated June 29, 2012, LVC was placed on warning “because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning).”

Q. Is LVC still considered an accredited college during the warning period?
A. Yes—LVC maintains its accreditation status during the warning period. In the same June 29 letter, the MSCHE wrote in bold, “Lebanon Valley College remains accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education while on Warning.”

Q. When did LVC first become an accredited institution?
A. 1922

Q. How often does the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (Middle States) accredit U.S. colleges and universities?
A. Middle States accreditation reviews are conducted every 10 years for four-year institutions.

Q. Is the warning a reflection on the academic quality of LVC?
A. No—the warning was issued to highlight improvements needed in LVC’s assessment processes and systems.

Q. How long will LVC be on warning?
A. The maximum period for an institution to be on warning is two years, though an institution can have the warning lifted at the end of the first year. It is very rare for an institution not to have its warning lifted in the (maximum) two-year warning period.

Q. What must LVC do to have its warning lifted?
A. On March 1, 2013 the College submitted a Monitoring Report that provided evidence documenting how the institution has achieved compliance with Middle States Standards 7 and 14, and how the College will sustain those processes and systems.

In early April, a small team of peer representatives will visit campus to follow up on the Monitoring Report. At that time, both Middle States Standards must be met.

In late June, one of two Middle States actions can occur. The warning can be lifted immediately or it can be continued through June 2014.

Q. Who produced the Monitoring Report by March 1, 2013?
A. The process to achieve compliance and develop stronger and more effective systems and assessment procedures has involved many areas of campus and will be carried out in a transparent and collaborative manner. The College is guided by a well-known expert in assessment, Dr. Linda Suskie, to help produce a strong Middle States Monitoring Report.

Q. How important is this issue?
A. LVC President Lewis Thayne has asked the College community to make the Middle States response the institution’s top priority. A comprehensive framework for the project has been developed and refined by the General Officers. Academic and student affairs staff members and faculty members who serve on assessment-related committees also are working on the issue.

Q. What can we expect by the end of the process?
A. LVC will be a stronger, better, and more effective College when we have completed this work.