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SUNY Plattsburgh Commended, Reaccredited by Middle States Commission

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has officially reaccredited SUNY Plattsburgh for another 10 years.

In a letter to College President John Ettling, Dr. Barbara Gitenstein, MSCHE chair, said the commission reaccredited the college at its June 28 meeting and commended the college “for the quality of the self-study report and the quality of the self-study process.”

“This is excellent news. I hope you (faculty and staff) will take satisfaction in what you have done since the last accreditation to make our college a better place today,” Ettling said to faculty and staff in a recent campus communication. “Your achievement is substantial. This year’s Middle States report confirms it.”

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in a region that includes the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and several locations internationally.

Accreditation is a voluntary process intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education institutions, with the commission examining each institution as a whole rather than specific programs within institutions. Accreditation is necessary, however, if a college or university wants its students to obtain loans and grants from the federal government through the Student Assistance Programs in Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

To begin the process, SUNY Plattsburgh conducted a nearly two-year review of the college. That work culminated in a self-study report that was issued to the Middle States Commission in early February 2012. A team of 12 external reviewers then spent three days on campus in late March to evaluate the college in accordance with Middle States standards.

Throughout its report to the full commission, the visiting team identified several significant accomplishments at SUNY Plattsburgh. Quotes from the report include the following:

- “The college has developed a culture of student support. Caring for the well-being of all students is evident in the daily activities of the college staff and faculty.”

- “The faculty’s willingness to work with the administration and assume changes in conditions of employment during hard economic times is an exceptional example of collegial behavior and shared responsibility.”

- “The CTE (Center for Teaching Excellence) and the work it does in support of faculty teaching appear exceptional.”

- “The college should be commended for its programming for the Educational Opportunities Program and other supports for students identified to be at risk. The staff is committed to student success and to the ongoing incorporation of assessment results to improve the program."

- “There has been exceptional stability within the college administration. Extended service alone is not an indication of success, but the results of the CESTA survey completed by faculty and staff between 2000 and 2010 indicate a significant increase in satisfaction with the work being done by the administration.”

Dr. Kenneth Adams, SUNY distinguished professor in the Center for Earth and Environmental Science and a co-chair of the self-study committee, thanked the many faculty and staff who assisted in gathering information for the report.

“They helped us meet the challenges, and we’ve been commended for that by Middle States, not only for the report itself, but for the process of compiling the report,” Adams said. “We met or exceeded all standards for reaccreditation.”

“This is a seal of approval that a degree conferred from SUNY Plattsburgh has value and academic merit,” he added.

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