Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Stephen J. Henske, MHA
Assistant Vice President,
Accreditation & Organizational Assessment
Office (301) 295-3681
Fax (301) 295-1960
Accreditation is a process of peer review that the educational community has adopted for its self-regulation since early in the 20th century. It is a voluntary process intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence. Institutions choose to apply for accredited status, and once accredited, they agree to abide by the standards of their accrediting organization and to regulate themselves by taking responsibility for their own improvement.
In the Middle States region, accreditation is an expression of the confidence that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has in an institution's mission and goals, its performance, and its resources. Based upon the results of an institutional review by a team of peers assigned by the Commission, accreditation attests to the judgment of the Commission that an institution has met the following criteria:
Colleges and universities in the Middle States region normally are evaluated every five years, but Commission staff members also monitor each institution in the interim to determine if special circumstances require more frequent evaluations.
The most comprehensive evaluation is based upon a report that the institution prepares about itself, called a self-study report. This evaluation always includes a visit by a team of evaluators who report to the Commission. It occurs immediately before a candidate institution is granted initial accreditation, five years after that initial accreditation, and every 10 years thereafter.
Five years after receiving initial accreditation, and five years after each subsequent decennial comprehensive evaluation, there is an interim evaluation that is based upon a Periodic Review Report (PRR). The PRR is a restrospective, current, and prospective analysis of an institution since its last evaluation. It includes a description of how the institution responded to any recommendations made by the institution in its own self-study report, by the visiting team that evaluated the institution, and by the Commission.
You can find more Frequently Asked Questions on the Middle States website: http://www.msche.org/?Nav1=ABOUT&Nav2=FAQ