Every 10 years, University of the Sciences, along with most institutions in the United States
, undergo a peer review process to attain accreditation, thereby validating its degrees granted each year. Last accredited in 2003 by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the University is currently halfway through its accreditation cycle and has received positive feedback from its Periodic Review Report (PRR).
“I am pleased to report that the evaluators’ report affirmed our institutional report, acknowledging our institutional priorities and complimenting the progress made in many academic, operational, and strategic areas,” said President Dr. Philip P. Gerbino. “While this is very encouraging, it is also a reminder that we have a long way to go and need to continue to make progress while not resting on our laurels.”
The accreditation process of peer review was adopted by the educational community for self-regulation in the early 20th century. The Middle States Commission calls it “a voluntary process intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence.”
“As a regional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education is charged with defining, maintaining, and promoting educational excellence across colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country,” said Dr. John Connors, Assistant Provost. “The evaluation and assessment from the Middle States team of external experts provides strong evidence that the University is on track with efforts to continuously assess and improve the quality of the educational services we provide.
The University submitted a PRR to formally update the Commission on institutional changes and progress over the past five years, as well as the challenges and opportunities the University will face in the present and near future. The PRR was evaluated by three external reviewers, as well as the Commission.
Internally, the Periodic Review Report Task Force was co-chaired by Dr. Lisa Lawson, Vice Dean in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Peter Miller, Executive Director of Assessment.
“The PRR has given the University an opportunity to evaluate our progress, both in the context of responding to recommendations made at our last decennial accreditation evaluation and also in the context of achieving our mission-critical and strategic goals,” said Dr. Miller. “The PRR has also placed our institutional challenges and opportunities into sharper focus, which has been fortuitous as we embark on a new strategic plan.”
With the Periodic Review Report completed, the University now looks forward to its major self-study and re-accreditation process, which begins in 2012.