Dear faculty, staff, and students of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences:
As you may be aware, Johns Hopkins University is undergoing an accreditation review, which takes place every 10 years. Our accrediting agency is called the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a consortium of colleges and universities of which Johns Hopkins University is a member. MSCHE assesses the institutions it accredits for their compliance with 14 standards that collectively address two broad questions: whether an institution is structured and administered appropriately, and whether it carries out its educational mission effectively.
As part of the accreditation process, the Krieger School—along with the other divisions of the university—was asked to produce a self-study examining its structure, administration, and operations in relation to MSCHE’s 14 standards, and demonstrating its compliance with these standards. In addition to these set standards, the university selected two specific areas for enhanced examination: Ph.D. education and the teaching of gateway—or introductory—sciences. The Provost’s Office designed a template for all of the university’s divisions to use in their self-studies. In accordance with this template, our self-study contains nine chapters in which all 14 standards are addressed.
Accreditation is critically important for the university and for the Krieger School. The self-study process affords us the opportunity to understand our institution better, and to identify ways to improve ourselves. Accreditation also provides vital certification that the programs we run are rigorous and effective, and that the wider world can have confidence in the quality of the degrees we issue. As one tangible example of the importance of that confidence, only accredited institutions are eligible to access the federal funds that support student loan programs.
The KSAS self-study has been in preparation for well over a year. It was written by a team of KSAS faculty and staff, chaired first by Vice Dean Ben Vinson and then by Vice Dean Bill Egginton. We are now making a draft of this self-study available to the Krieger School community. We invite your comments, responses, and suggestions on this document, as we want it to reflect the perspectives and insights of the entire community. You can download the document here. Also posted here is the MSCHE “Blue Book,” a detailed exposition of the accreditation standards for those who wish to understand better the process and its requirements.
We encourage all members of the Krieger School community to examine this document and give us your thoughts. Please submit your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will need your input no later than Sunday, December 15, in order to prepare the final version for submission to the Provost, the President, and the accrediting agency in early January.
Thank you for your interest in this process.