Get Help

Welcome to the PennWest Clarion Middle States Commission on Higher Education Self Study site. The purpose of this site is to provide a central location for updates, important documents, and other information pertaining to the reaccreditation process, the upcoming Self Study, and the Spring 2022 MSCHE site visit.

Middle States Accreditation

PennWest Clarion has been continuously accredited by theMiddle States Commission on Higher Educationsince 1948. As a regionally accredited institution, students, families and employers are assured of the quality and rigor of the educational experience provided by PennWest Clarion. Being regionally accredited also ensures that students who qualify may receive federal financial aid. Also, being regionally accredited provides assurance that courses will readily transfer to and from other regionally accredited institutions.

Reaccreditation follows an eight-year cycle culminating in a thorough organizational self-study, a visit from a panel of peer educators, and ultimately a confirmation of reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission. PennWest Clarion began this current cycle of reaccreditation activities by sending the Self Study Co-Chairs to the MSCHE Self Study Institute in October of 2019. The timeline highlights the significant activities involved in this wholistic institutional reaccreditation process.

The Standards of Accreditation can be reviewed indetail.

The Outcomes for PennWest Clarion's MSCHE Self Study are:

  1. Demonstrate how PennWest Clarion meets Middle States standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, and federal compliance mandates.
  2. Evaluate our performance and continual improvement in achieving our university mission and addressing our three institutional priorities.
  3. Engage all members of the PennWest Clarion community in a transparent and reflective self-study process.
  4. Integrate working group recommendations into PennWest Clarion's next Strategic Planning process.

Institutional priorities for the self study are the lens used to facilitate the evaluation of the information gathered during the process.

PennWest Clarion promotes student success by highlighting these priorities:

  1. Creates and supports high quality programs that enhance our mission.
  2. Uses financial resources efficiently to nurture programs and services that support our mission and enhances student affordability.
  3. Promotes citizenship by immersing students, faculty, and staff in an inclusive, respectful culture and by strengthening local and regional partnerships.


2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Fall Fall Fall

— Appoint steering committee

— Self Study

  • Data analysis
  • Surveys/forums

— Share results

— Prepare campus for MSCHE visit




— Appoint working groups
— Develop evidence Inventory
— Submit self-study plan

— Working group reports due

— MSCHE two-day visit in March/April

— Final report written

Contact us

Co-chairs, Self Study Steering Committee

Faculty co-chairs

Middle States liason: Interim Associate ProvostDr. Dave Hartley, 814 393 2223

Important links

2022 Clarion Middles States Self Study Overview
Clarion Middle States Overview Handout
Draft of Self-Study Report (Clarion username/ID Required)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Self study steering committee

Below are the individuals associated with the Self Study Steering Committee separated by their specific working groups. For a more detailed explanation of what each working group does and who is serving on each particular group, visit theWorking Groupweb page.

Working group 1: Standard I. Mission and Goals
Dr. David Hartley, Interim Associate Provost
Dr. Adam Roberts, Associate Professor and Chair, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
Dr. Suzie Boyden, Professor, Biology and Geosciences, Assistant Dean, CAS
Dr. Christopher McCarrick, Professor, English and Modern Languages

Working group 2: Standard II. Ethics and Integrity
Dr. Jim Lyle, Assistant, Professor, Communication
Josh Domitrovich先生,职业中心和教授sional Development

Working group 3: Standard III. Design and Delivery of the student learning experience
Dr. Jamie Phillips, Professor, Social Sciences
Dr. Gwen Price, Dean, College of Education

Working group 4: Standard IV. Support of the Student Experience
Dr. Joseph Croskey, Faculty and Director, University Advising Services
Mr. Matt Shaffer, Director, Student Engagement and Development

Working group 5: Standard V. Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Dr. Laurie Pierce, Chair, Institutional & Student Learning Assessment Committee & Instructor, Nursing
Dr. Marcy McConnell, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics

Working group 6: Standard VI. Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement
Ms. Tammy Varsek, Associate VP for Finance
Dr. Jon Beal, Professor, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics

Working group 7: Standard VII. Governance, Leadership, and Administration
Dr. Randy Potter, Professor, Psychology
Dr. Terry Latour, Dean, University Libraries

Working group 8: Compliance
Ms. Lisa Hepler, University Registrar
Ms. Sue Bloom, Director, Student Financial Services

Last Updated 8/22/22