Chesapeake College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000 or www.msche.org). Middle States is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-based institutional accrediting membership association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation. Middle States is recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education.
Chesapeake is approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to operate as a community college in the State of Maryland, authorizing the College to award associate degrees and lower division certificates (www.mhec.maryland.gov). MHEC has also approved Chesapeake College to receive Veterans’ benefits. In 2010, MHEC sent a resolution to the United States Department of Education regarding the authority of Maryland community colleges, including Chesapeake, to operate in Maryland.
How is accreditation maintained?
The process for institutional accreditation becomes an annual one beginning in FY2018. An important part of the new Middle States methodology is expanded annual reporting. The Annual Institutional Update required of all Middle States accredited institutions reports data for a series of metrics of student achievement (academic progress and post-institutional) and financial stability/health. These metrics will become part of the Midpoint Peer Review in which a peer review team will evaluate those data at the midpoint of the accreditation cycle to determine if additional action is necessary.
Middle States identified seven standards that constitute excellence in the delivery of higher education. Their publications, Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation, describe these characteristics in detail. At the end of the accreditation cycle (now eight years), the college participates in an in-depth self-study evaluation. That evaluation consists of institutional narrative, document archive data, a site team visit of peer reviewers, and ultimately, Commission action. The focus of the narrative document is on institutional improvement in context of the seven Standards for Accreditation.
Chesapeake College was first accredited in 1970 and through its most recent self-study was reaffirmed in 2015. A progress report, documenting the further implementation and communication of a comprehensive, organized, and sustained process for the assessment of student learning outcomes with evidence that results are used to improve teaching and learning, was accepted in 2017. The next self-study evaluation is scheduled for 2023-2024. The statement of accreditation status is available at https://www.msche.org/institution/0156/.
Several Chesapeake health profession programs are accredited by separate governing bodies specific to the discipline. Each has its own standards for accreditation as well as assessment criteria. Those programs, which are referenced below, each have varying accreditation cycles.
- The Nursing Program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Upon approval of the Maryland Board of Nursing, associate degree graduates may take the national licensure examination for registered nurse (NCLEX-RN).
- The Radiologic Sciences Program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Successful completion of the program leads to eligibility to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) Exam.
- The Paramedic/EMS Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Successful completion of the program leads to eligibility to take state and national certification examinations including the Paramedic National Registry exam and State protocol exams.
- The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (CAPTE). Successful completion of the program leads to eligibility to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE).
- The Surgical Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). Successful completion of the program leads to eligibility to sit for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) examination.