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Mount St. Mary’s University Earns Reaccreditation

Donna Klinger

Campus flagpoles

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has reaffirmed Mount St. Mary’s University’s accreditation, following a rigorous review of the university’s programs. This process confirmed the strength of the Mount’s mission, academic programs, planning and assessment processes, physical facilities and financial stability. 

Reaccreditation affirms the university’s quality and its commitment to improvement as well as helps ensure eligibility to receive federal funding. It is an important periodic validation of what the university does in service to students, the Church and the higher education community. MSCHE will next assess the Mount in the 2031-32 academic year.

This reaccreditation is the result of a self-study process that began in early 2021, under the leadership of Professor of Spanish Christine Blackshaw, Ph.D., Provost Boyd Creasman, Ph.D., and Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Jeff Simmons, Ph.D., who guided the process and managed input from a steering committee and working group members as well as other interested stakeholders across the Emmitsburg and Frederick campuses. The MSCHE evaluation team that visited campus for three days in April 2024 drew on the comprehensive self-study, as well as its meetings with more than 150 faculty, students, trustees, administrators and staff in preparing its report.

“In meeting the quality standards of MSCHE accreditation, institutions earn accredited status, and this permits them to state with confidence: ‘Our students are well-served; society is well-served,’” according to the MSCHE website.

President Gerard J. Joyce, Ph.D., received notification of reaccreditation on his first day as president. “I am blessed to have received this news at the beginning of my tenure as the university’s president,” he said in noting President Emeritus Timothy E. Trainor’s significant role in the reaccreditation process. “As someone whose only role in this Herculean effort was to listen to the MSCHE evaluation team present its oral report at the conclusion of its visit in April, I was struck by the Mount community’s commitment to our mission, especially to excellence and student success.”

President Joyce shared that the report also highlighted the Mount’s strong focus on its mission. “Students at Mount St. Mary’s are served by a core of highly qualified and student-centered faculty and staff who are deeply committed to the mission and goals of the campus, and thus, deliver high-quality, coherent educational programs and student learning experiences which undergo regular assessment,” the MSCHE self-study evaluation visit team stated in its final report.

In addition to its institutional accreditation, many of the Mount’s schools also earn separate, specialized accreditation for certain programs. A list is on the university’s website.

MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct accreditation and pre-accreditation (candidate status) activities for institutions of higher education. The Commission’s geographic area of accrediting activities is throughout the United States.

Donna Klinger