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Because accreditation is a process of self-regulation, institutions must engage periodically in a comprehensive and candid self-study of their own strengths and weaknesses. At the heart of accreditation is the self-study, serving both internal and external purposes: quality assurance and institutional improvement through rigorous self-analysis.
The evaluation process has three components:
- An institutional self-study, a document in which the institution evaluates how well it meets the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and makes realistic, specific projections for improvement.
- An on-site evaluation by a trained group of peers, which provides a valuable external perspective to the institution and the Commission (NEASC)
- A review and decision by the Commission
Each of the eleven Standards articulates a dimension of institutional quality. In applying the Standards, the Commission assesses and makes a determination about the effectiveness of the institution as a whole. The institution that meets the Standards:
- has clearly defined purposes appropriate to an institution of higher learning;
- has assembled and organized those resources necessary to achieve its purposes;
- is achieving its purposes;
- has the ability to continue to achieve its purposes.
The self-study process is intended to be open and transparent. The self-study document synthesizes information gathered from faculty, students, staff, board members and the community. Committees for each of the eleven standards haved work in coordination with the steering committee.