Northeast College Middle States Self-Study.

Northeast College of Health Sciences is proud to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). To ensure continued compliance with MSCHE's high standards, in 2023 the College began a comprehensive self-study process — a requirement for all MSCHE-accredited institutions every 8 years.

The College has convened a Steering Committee, which has been charged with conducting a thorough review of the College’s alignment with the seven MSCHE standards for accreditation, fifteen requirements of affiliation, and other accreditation-related federal regulations.

Ultimately, this review will be the basis for the College’s Institutional Self-Study, which addresses each of the standards for accreditation and requirements of affiliation, as well as any recommendations made during our last re-evaluation. The goal of the self-study report is to present a clear and accurate picture of the College, demonstrate how the College is compliant with the Commission’s standards and expectations, and illustrate the College’s commitment to its mission, students, strategic priorities, and continuous improvement.

Institutional Priorities.

These priorities are key to ensure that the self-study report and process is “informative, insightful, and valuable." The priorities will be evaluated in the self-study report and used as guideposts through the self-evaluation.

  • Priority 1: Strengthen Student Success and Outcomes.
  • Priority 2: Ensure the long-term viability of our institution.
  • Priority 3: Optimize institutional infrastructure.

Intended Outcomes.

Institutional outcomes are the intended outcomes of self-study that an institution plans to achieve through self-analysis. These are the institution's goals and expectations of the self-study report.

  • Outcome 1: Demonstrate how Northeast meets MSCHE's standards for accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation. 
  • Outcome 2: Demonstrate engagement of the entire Northeast College community in a transparent self-study process. 
  • Outcome 3: Demonstrate continuous improvement relative to Northeast College's institutional priorities and mission.
  • Outcome 4: Analyze the strengths and opportunities of Northeast's current and future academic programs to ensure a strong and sustainable institution.
  • Formation of Core Team & Steering Committee
  • Self-study institute
  • Steering Committee and Working Group meetings
  • Completion of worksheets/activities
  • Evidence gathering
  • MSCHE VP Liaison visit to Northeast College campus
  • Communications with all campus constituents
  • Writing of the report
  • Sending of report to Northeast community
  • MSCHE Site Team chair visit
  • Submission of final report and evidence to MSCHE portal
  • Full MSCHE Site Team visit.

  1. What is accreditation?
    Accreditation is the process by which an external agency evaluates a program, curriculum or institution to ensure that it meets certain standards. In the United States, institutions of higher education are accredited by voluntary peer review processes and participation is open to any institution that wishes to participate. Accreditation does not rank institutions or programs.
  2. What is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education?

    The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (aka Middle States, the Commission, or MSCHE) is the main accrediting body for institutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other locations abroad. The Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recognize MSCHE as one of several regional accreditation commissions that serve as an independent voice in higher education.

    MSCHE maintains rigorous standards for higher education to support the educational excellence of higher education. The Commission's accreditation process ensures institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application standards within the context of an institution’s mission.

  3. Why is accreditation important?
    Accreditation is important to higher education institutions including Northeast for several reasons, including: 

    1. Quality Assurance: Accreditation ensures that colleges meet certain standards of quality in their academic programs, faculty, facilities, and student support services.
    2. Access to Federal Funds: Accreditation is a requirement for colleges to be eligible for federal financial aid programs, such as Pell Grants and student loans.
    3. Transferability of Credits: Accreditation allows for credits earned at one institution to be recognized by other accredited institutions, depending upon institutional policy.
    4. Professional Licensure: Accreditation ensures that graduates of accredited colleges meet the educational requirements for professional licensure.
  4. Is having to go through a self-study process bad? Did we do something wrong?
    Not at all! Reaccreditation self-study is a normal, healthy, routine process that all accredited institutions of higher education regularly undertake. It ensures that institutions are meeting contemporary accreditation standards, and that students receive a high quality, rigorous education.

  5. How long is the accreditation cycle?
    All colleges and universities accredited by MSCHE are periodically reevaluated. MSCHE’s current policy is for institutions to go through the reaccreditation process every eight years.

  6. What is a self-study report?
    Self-study is an intensive review of an institution’s educational programs and services, student learning, and achievement of its stated goals and mission, as measured against MSCHE’s seven core standards, requirements of affiliation (ROA), and various other verification of compliance policies. To demonstrate compliance with all standards, Northeast College of Health Sciences is required to produce a self-study report.

    This self-study report and the Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation provide the framework for on-site evaluations. During self-study, Northeast College of Health Sciences will take careful stock of its educational programs, policies and services, with close emphasis on student achievement in order to determine how well they meet the institution’s goals, fulfill its mission and satisfy the Commission's requirements.

  7. When was MSCHE accreditation first granted to Northeast College of Health Sciences?
    Northeast College of Health Sciences was first accredited by MSCHE in 1985, under the name New York Chiropractic College. Documentation of all College accreditations is kept on file in the College’s Office of Educational Effectiveness and Compliance.

  8. When was Northeast College’s accreditation last reaffirmed?
    Northeast College of Health Sciences’ accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2016.

  9. How many times has the College been through the MSCHE accreditation process?
    This is the fifth MSCHE accreditation processes that the College has gone through. The first occurred in 1985 and the most recent was in 2016.

  10. Does Northeast have other accreditation, in addition to MSCHE?
    Accreditation allows for Northeast to ensure its students are receiving a high-quality education that prepares them for professional practice and licensure. Beyond MSCHE, Northeast is accredited by and registered with a number of organizations:

    1. Northeast has received Absolute Charter from the New York State Board of Regents, and programs registered with the New York State Education Department. 

    2. Northeast’s Doctor of Chiropractic program has been accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) since 1977.

    3. Northeast is an institutional member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Initiative, a voluntary agreement among member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs.

    4. Northeast is certified by the United States Department of Education (ED) to offer Federal Pell Grants, Federal College Work Study Program, Direct Federal Loans, Federal Stafford Loans (formerly GSL), Veterans Educational Benefits, and Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits.

  11. What happens when the self-study process is done?
    The self-study process is an important tool in developing institutional planning and renewal processes. Our intended outcomes:

    ​​​​​​•    Demonstrating how Northeast College of Health Sciences meets the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.
    •    Focusing on continuous improvement in the attainment of Northeast’s mission and its institutional priorities.
    •    Engaging with the #NortheastBlue community in an inclusive and transparent self-appraisal process that actively seeks to involve members from all areas of the Northeast community.
    •    Furthering the culture of continuous improvement through assessment and professional best practices.
    •    Linking Northeast’s mission and values to the strategic planning and budgeting processes through continuous assessment.
    •    Gaining a stronger understanding of how academic programming, including courses and program offerings, link to the Northeast mission and values.

  12. How many MSCHE standards are there and what are they?
    MSCHE has seven standards for affiliation (for more detailed information, visit their website):

    1. Standard I: Mission and Goals

    2. Standard II: Ethics and Integrity

    3. Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

    4. Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience

    5. Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment

    6. Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement

    7. Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration

  13. What is the organizational structure Northeast is using for its self-study?
    Core Team: A group of three individuals, the Core Team, leads the College’s efforts and oversees the 50 or so individuals serving on the Steering Committee and Working Groups. The Core Team is composed of Dr. Anne Killen, Dr. Todd Knudsen, and Dr. Suellen Christopoulos-Nutting.

    Steering Committee: Core Team members are part of and oversee a Steering Committee which includes seven of the nine working group chairs. Specifically: Dr. Jean-Nicolas Poirier, Dr. Peter Nickless, Dr. Jeanmarie Burke, Ms. Carol Faivre, Dr. Jennifer Sessler, Dr. Wendy Maneri and Ms. Patricia Merkle.

    Working Groups and Chairs: Faculty, Staff, Students, and Board of Trustees members serve as members of the Working Groups. The Chairs and their respective assignments are as follows:
    •    Ms. Colleen Brennan-Barry, Chair, Communication Team working group
    •    Dr. Jennifer Sessler, Chair, Standard I: Mission and Goals
    •    Dr. Jeanmarie Burke, Chair, Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
    •    Dr. Wendy Maneri, Chair, Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
    •    Ms. Carol Faivre, Chair, Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience
    •    Dr. Jean-Nicolas Poirier, Chair, Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
    •    Ms. Karen Quest, Chair, Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
    •    Dr. Peter Nickless, Chair, Standard VII: Governance, leadership and administration
    •    Ms. Patricia Merkle. Chair, Evidence Inventory working group

    Facilitators: Each Working group chair is assisted by a key member of their group who has responsibility for organizing/scheduling meetings, keeping records of the Group’s activities, keeping the Group on task, and communicating with members of the various Groups.

  14. How can I participate?
    There are several ways that students, faculty, and staff can participate in the MSCHE accreditation process! You can:
    •    Attend open meetings available to the community.
    •    Participate in conversations with your peers and others at the college about the process.
    •    Provide feedback on drafts and communications sent to the larger campus community.
    •    Contact the Middle States self-study Core Team with thoughts, suggestions and concerns.

  15. How can I get more information?
    Northeast College of Health Sciences is committed to ensuring a transparent, inclusive, meaningful process and making sure our community is up-to-date with the MSCHE self-study process. If you have any questions or feedback about our self-study process, please contact the MSCHE Core Team (see below) with any additional questions and feedback you would like to provide.

    The MSCHE Core Team:
    Dr. Suellen Christopoulos-Nutting, director of EEC (
    Dr. Anne Killen, provost and vice president of academic affairs (
    Dr. Todd Knudsen, vice president of stakeholder engagement (


Other Community Resources: