Kean University re-accredited by Middle States

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The Middle States Commission on Higher Education recently gave Kean University the re-accreditation for which it had been fighting for close to a year.

Kean University received the re-accreditation they were seeking late last week, after the Middle States Commission refused for more than a year to grant the coveted reaffirmation.

The decision came late last week when Middle States met for their regular commission meeting, which means Kean is no longer on probation. Kean President Dawood Farahi was notified of the decision late on Thursday and the Statement of Accreditation was posted Nov. 16 on its website.

“This is welcome and wonderful news for all our students, their parents and guardians, alumni, benefactors, faculty and staff,” said Farahi. “This has been a long and thorough process. Kean University has emerged from it as a stronger institution, more determined than ever to deliver a world class education to our students.”

Kean Board of Trustee Chair Ada Morell  thanked the commission for their valuable input during the accreditation process, saying the university was a better place thank’s to the commission’s work because of he “robust assessment systems established during the re-accreditation process.”

“Everyone who cares about Kean and our students rolled up their sleeves and got to work to ensure this university provides the quality education and opportunity it promises,” Morell said.

The commission’s action came after a team from Middle States visited with university officials, faculty and staff in September to review programs and assessment systems. The visiting team concluded after the visit that Kean had met the four standards that needed improvement.

Kean was put on probation by Middle States July 2 after evidence was found that the university was not in compliance with standards 6, integrity, 7, institutional assessment, 12, general education and 14, assessment of student learning.

There were also questions in the commission update this summer that put into jeopardy standards 4, 10 and 13. Also, language used by Middle States on its own website updating Kean’s accreditation status hinted that standards 4 and 5, which directly relates to institutional governance and management, as well as fair treatment of faculty, were also brought into question.

Middle States also brought up the new Kean campus in China, requesting Farahi submit information on the university’s “plans to comply” with the commissions policy and procedures on this change to Kean, as required in standard 13.

According to the Summary of commission actions on Middle States website, Kean’s probation was removed and accreditation reaffirmed. Also receiving accreditation after a warning was Pennsylvania State University, while Johns Hopkins University received the nod for follow up reports, candidate reports, visits and developments.

The university now returns to the standard 10-year assessment cycle. The university does have to submit a monitoring report in 2014 that demonstrates how the university continues to progress in key areas related to academic and institutional assessment.

Kean will also have to submit a Periodic Review Report by June 1, 2017 but its next self-study evaluation will not take place in 2021-2022.

Aside from the changes that were the result of the accreditation process, the university noted Kean has made “great strides in recent years as it seeks to enhance the learning experience for students.”