Middle States Review

Update: January, 2023

Allegheny College has submitted its Follow-Up Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This report and its accompanying evidentiary documents were prepared to demonstrate Allegheny’s full compliance with Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment as part of our ongoing reaccreditation process. Community members can view the report via the link in this email, or on the Middle States page on the Academic Affairs website. Please note that you must be logged in to your Allegheny account to view the document, and you will not be able to print or download.

In June 2023 Allegheny College was found in compliance with six of MSCHE’s seven Standards for Accreditation, and we have remained (and continue to remain) accredited throughout our process to demonstrate full compliance with Standard V.

On February 26-27, Allegheny College will host a small External Visit Team to continue our follow-up process. This visit will be specific to Standard V and thus will involve only a small number of Allegheny community members. The follow-up process will conclude when MSCHE announces its action on our reaccreditation in late June 2024.

A Conversation About Middle States

Update on Allegheny’s Final Report

June 30, 2023

The Middles States Commission on HIgher Education (MSCHE) has provided their final report on re-accreditation for Allegheny College. Thank you again to everyone who took part in this process. MSCHE has informed us that we are in compliance on six out of seven Standards for Accreditation, and all fifteen Requirements of Affiliation. The Commission also concluded that we did not present sufficient evidence of compliance with Standard V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment).

Allegheny College remains accredited. MSCHE may take action to revise our status on Standard V as early as March 2024, following an update that we will provide to MSCHE in January 2024. Prior to the MSCHE final report, we had already begun revisions to our assessment practices. We are committed to meeting all of the MSCHE Standards for Accreditation. The Provost will soon announce the formation of a task force to expedite the work that’s taking place on assessment; further information will be forthcoming. 

Update on Allegheny’s Self-Study Visit

March 2023

Allegheny College hosted a seven-member team of External Reviewers on March 26-29, 2023, as one of the final steps in its reaccreditation process.

All campus community members were invited to participate in two open events:

  • Open meeting with the Team on Monday 3/27 (2pm, CC 301/302)
  • The Team’s Oral Report on Wednesday 3/29 (11am, Glady Mullenix Black Theatre).

As a reminder, all members of the Allegheny community are welcome to read our Self-Study Report. This document, along with our Evidence demonstrating compliance with Middle States’ Seven Standards for Accreditation, were sent to our External Team six weeks prior to our Visit. Please note that you must be logged into your Allegheny email to access this Report, and you will not be able to print or download this file.

Members of the Allegheny Community may contact the Middle States co-chairs for access to relevant documents.

The Middle States Reaccreditation Process

Allegheny College is undertaking an institutional self-study as part of the regular accreditation process through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Work began in Fall 2020 and will continue until the external MSCHE evaluation is completed in 2023. The Self-Study process is co-chaired by Jennifer Dearden (Associate Provost and Professor of Music) and Ken Pinnow (Professor of History and Global Health Studies) and guided by the Steering Committee, which includes representatives from across the campus. Over the course of the 2021-22 academic year, four Working Groups were charged with studying, compiling evidence, and writing reports about four Institutional Priorities: Curriculum & Assessment; Student Success; Community Engagement; and  Financial & Institutional Sustainability.

Each working group was responsible for determining the degree to which Allegheny meets and/or exceeds seven Middle States Standards:

Standard 1: Mission and Goals
Standard 2: Ethics and Integrity
Standard 3: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
Standard 4: Support of the Student Experience
Standard 5: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Standard 6: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
Standard 7: Financial and Institutional Sustainability

Their reports, delivered to the co-chairs in early Summer 2022, constitute the heart of the final Self-Study report, which includes a set of recommendations to guide the continuous process of improvement and innovation at Allegheny.

Allegheny College has identified five desired outcomes of our Self-Study process:

  • To be reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education by demonstrating how Allegheny College meets and/or exceeds the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.
  • To conduct an inclusive and transparent Self-Study process with the aim of strengthening community relationships and shared sense of ownership.
  • To provide the foundation for strategic planning and the review of our current mission statement.
  • To deepen recognition of Allegheny’s strengths and promote the means for continuous improvement and innovation across the institution.
  • To identify processes that ensure and normalize the ongoing evaluation of institutional priorities, programs, and structures.

Our Middle States process will include numerous opportunities for sharing information via this website, at faculty, staff, and ASG meetings, and in emails. There will also be opportunities for feedback from the Allegheny community, and more details about those opportunities will be provided on this website and in emails.



Steering Committee & Summer Work; Self-Study Design Created


Preparation Visit

May 2022

Working Group Reports

August 2022

Self-Study Report Draft

Fall 2022

Feedback from Allegheny Community

November 2022

External Team Chair Preliminary Visit

February 2022

Self-Study Report to MSCHE

March 2023

Evaluation Team Visit

by June 2023

Commission Action


Co-chairs Jen Dearden and Ken Pinnow welcome inquiries at any time at middlestates@allegheny.edu.

Participants & Institutional Priorities

Steering Committee Membership

  • Jennifer Dearden, Associate Provost and Professor, Music, Co-Chair
  • Kenneth Pinnow, Professor, History and Global Health Studies, Co-Chair
  • Ian Binnington, Dean for the Student Experience and Professor, History
  • Joshua Heiser ’23, Biology/Environmental Science & Sustainability Double Major; Spanish Minor
  • Tiffany Hrach, Office Manager, Maytum Center for Student Success
  • Michael Mehler, Professor, Communication, Film & Theatre
  • Lauren Paulson, Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Ashlynn Peachey ’23, Global Health Studies/Environmental Science & Sustainability Double Major
  • Barbara Riess, Professor, World Languages and Cultures
  • Ishita Sinha Roy, Professor, Communication, Film & Theatre
  • Matthew Stinson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • Linda Wetsell, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Curriculum & Assessment

Allegheny College’s commitment to a robust liberal arts education continues to produce graduates with strong critical thinking and communication skills and the ability to learn independently and collaboratively. Our record of consistent educational assessment via Department and Program Self-Study allows us to continually review disciplinary and interdisciplinary modes of learning and adapt to changing academic landscapes both internally and externally. Allegheny endeavors to leverage this culture of programmatic assessment into more intentional assessment of institution-wide structures in order to maintain high levels of rigor, coherence, and innovation.

  • Barbara Riess, Professor, World Languages and Cultures, Co-Chair
  • Sophie Adams ’22, Global Health Studies/Political Science Double Major
  • Alice Deckert, Professor, Chemistry
  • D. Alexis Hart, Professor, English; Director of Writing
  • E. Kalé Haywood, Associate Professor, History and International Studies
  • Bradley Hersh, Associate Professor, Biology
  • Ellen Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Autumn Parker, Career Advisor, Career Education
  • Lirona Wainer-Yaffe ’24, Undecided
  • Jennifer Dearden, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio
  • Kenneth Pinnow, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio

Student Success

Allegheny College’s firm commitment to student success informs academic and co-curricular programming that extends through the entire student life cycle, from recruitment and admission to graduation and the alumni experience. Inclusive excellence and equity will drive decision making and continued innovation toward these goals. Allegheny endeavors to ensure the shared understanding of and effort toward these goals across campus constituencies while also utilizing assessment mechanisms to meaningfully advance ethical citizenship and holistic student success.

  • Ian Binnington, Dean for the Student Experience, Co-Chair
  • Ishita Sinha Roy, Professor, Communication, Film & Theatre, Co-Chair
  • Jason Andracki, Associate Director of Marketing & Communications
  • Kristen Cadham ’24, Communication & Cultural Studies Major; History Minor
  • Monali Chowdhury, Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Margi Crate, Financial Services
  • Roman Hladio ’23, English Major; Journalism in the Public Interest Minor
  • Rich Nagy, Athletics & Recreation
  • Margaret Nelson, Associate Professor, Biology and Biochemistry
  • Danielle Pecar, Counseling Center
  • Eric Stolar, Student Engagement and Leadership
  • Jennifer Dearden, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio
  • Kenneth Pinnow, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio

Community Engagement

Allegheny College prioritizes community and civic engagement as a means to promote the development of ethical citizenship within diverse and interconnected campus, local, and global communities. Consistent with our mission, Allegheny endeavors to support and enrich the local community through shared partnerships, experiential learning opportunities, and initiatives that promote the goals of sustainability, inclusion, and equity. Allegheny is committed to deepening its involvement with the community by providing important leadership as an “anchor institution,” to promote economic development in the area and by setting an example through honest, transparent, and reciprocal interactions within the campus community and with local partners.

  • Lauren Paulson, Associate Professor, Psychology, Co-Chair
  • Matthew Stinson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Co-Chair
  • Brian Harward, Professor, Political Science
  • Sean King, Assistant Athletic Director
  • Thión Lee ’24, Undecided
  • Doug Luman, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
  • Sami Mirza ’24, Undecided
  • Suzyn-Elayne Soler, Associate Director of Admissions
  • Andy Walker, Executive Director of Economic, Community & Civic Engagement
  • Michael Williams, Director, Network for Community Engaged Learning
  • Jennifer Dearden, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio
  • Kenneth Pinnow, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio

Financial & Institutional Sustainability

Allegheny College must maintain a sustainable financial plan in order to continue providing high quality learning experiences. Integral to this plan are considerations surrounding planning and resource allocation across all areas of the campus, including those pertaining to personnel, facilities, administration, and other systems of institutional infrastructure. Consistent with our mission, Allegheny endeavors to advance the access and affordability of our educational and co-curricular offerings while ensuring a transparent and clearly communicated financial plan that will allow all areas of the institution to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.

  • Michael Mehler, Professor, Communication, Film& Theatre, Co-Chair
  • Linda Wetsell, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration, Co-Chair
  • Kelly Boulton, Director of Sustainability
  • Olivia Brophy ’23, Political Science Major; Global Health Studies/Economics Double Minor
  • Amelia Finaret, Assistant Professor, Global Health Studies
  • Courtney Hild, Administrative Assistant to the CFO and VP of Finance and Administration
  • Tamara Lakins, Professor, Mathematics
  • Allison Mattis, Student Life Office Assistant
  • Anna Poach ’23, Business Major/Biology Minor
  • Byron Rich, Director of Academic Innovation Partnerships
  • Jennifer Dearden, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio
  • Kenneth Pinnow, Steering Committee Co-Chair, ex-officio