NEASC Frequently-asked Questions about Accreditation
Frequently-asked Questions about Accreditation
What is accreditation? Like all other public and private colleges and universities in the New England region, USM must meet a set of standards developed by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in order to receive a renewal of accreditation. Through these standards, NEASC measures each university in the region, making sure they are providing students with a quality education through their programs and services.
What is NEASC? The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is the independent body that evaluates colleges and universities in the six state New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). The Commission consists of faculty and administrators from affiliated institutions and public members. It is served by a staff led by Dr. Barbara Brittingham. NEASC is one of six regional accreditation associations recognized by theU.S.Department of Education.
Why does accreditation matter? Accreditation provides assurance to prospective students, their families and the general public that an institution meets clearly stated Standards for Accreditation and that there are reasonable grounds to believe the institution will continue to meet those standards in the future. Accreditation is required for students to receive federal financial aid such as Pell Grants
What does the accreditation process entail? Over the next several months, eleven committees, corresponding to each of the eleven NEASC standards, will prepare sections of a self-study which will be submitted to NEASC in December 2010. NEASC will send a team of faculty and administrators from other New England campuses to visit visit USM in February or March of 2011.
How are we writing the Self-Study? A Steering CommitteeNEASC Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Luisa Deprez, will be overseeing the report-writing process. Each of the 11 standards that NEASC considers will be examined in a separate chapter, with each chapter to be drafted by a committee of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Drafts of these chapters will be posted on this web site as they are available so that all members of the community may read and comment on them.
How can I make comments on or suggestions about the Self-Study? We will be posting drafts of each section of the Self-Study to this site as they are written. These will include e-mail addresses for the committee co-chairs so that you can contact them directly with your thoughts. We will also hold open meetings for members of the USM community in April 2010 that will provide a forum for discussion of the overall Self-Study.
If you have questions that do not appear on this page, please send them to Luisa Deprez.