The primary purpose of the Self-Study Report is to advance institutional self-understanding and self-improvement.

We are asked to demonstrate that we meet the expectations of the Middle States Commission’s Requirements of Affiliation, Standards for Accreditation, and relevant federal regulations, and that we evaluate the extent to which we are accomplishing our mission and related goals, making improvements when deemed appropriate by key institutional constituents.

As required by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), we have established a Self-Study Steering Committee whose members will guide the self-study process and a set of Working Groups who will concentrate on specific requirements. We have also identified the Institutional Priorities to Be Addressed by the Self-Study and the Intended Outcomes of the Self-Study.

The Self-Study Milestone Timeline provides an overview of the complete self-study process, which will be completed in 2020. A more detailed timeline reports the work planned for working groups and the steering committee. Finally, the communication timeline describes how we intend to ensure active involvement of every university constituency.

We are part the first cohort of schools assessing with a new set of standards and a new process. In this new framework, we need to address, clearly and at all levels, the question: How did you use assessment results?

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments about the self-study process and how we will conduct it at AUP, please consult our How to Get Involved page for details on how to provide feedback and how to participate in the self-study.


Institutional Priorities to be Addressed by the Self-Study

As in the past, the University has aligned its own planning calendar with that of the MSCHE reporting-year requirements, such that the self-study and the strategic plan are prepared concurrently. AUP’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020 is the fruit of an institutional process designed to generate a shared vision of the University’s future as a thriving and independent institution,. It aims to stabilize, by means of targeted and diversified recruitment its worldwide recruitment function and to align its curriculum and student services with its ideal student. Its ambition is to broaden its visibility and advance its academic reputation and to set achievable objectives for and measures of institutional advancement and sustainability in the volatile current climate of higher education and in the local context in which the University operates. 

 In 2013-2014, we launched both the period of self-study necessary to produce the Periodic Review Report (PRR) and the planning process that would yield the strategic plan. AUP Ascending (the Strategic Plan 2015-2020) was the result of two years of sustained and shared institutional assessment and planning, in which faculty, staff, leadership team, board and even students participated. We intend to repeat that, very successful experience by aligning the institutional priorities evaluated through the self-study with the five priorities identified in our strategic plan:

  1. Building a Learning Community of Global Explorers
  2. Creating a Global Liberal Arts Curriculum and Multiple Pathways to International Careers
  3. Designing a Campus for AUP’s Global Community
  4. Communicating AUP Global Reach
  5. Achieving Institutional Sustainability

Intended Outcomes of the Self-Study

As a result of the self-study process we aim at achieving the following outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate how the institution currently meets Middle States Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation;
  2. Demonstrate focus on continuous improvement in the attainment of the institution’s mission and its institutional priorities;
  3. Engage the institutional community in an inclusive and transparent self-appraisal process;
  4. Evaluate progress against current strategic priorities as defined in AUP's Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and make recommendations for the 2020-2025 strategic plan ensuring smooth integration of the assessment processes;
  5. Leverage the work for the evidence inventory to initiate the process and investigate the tools necessary to build a solid and sustainable institutional archive including a policies library.

Self Study Milestones Timeline

Self Study Design: After attending the Self Study Institute, AUP prepares and submits the Self Study Design with a draft Documentation Roadmap. October 2017 – March 2018
Self Study Preparation Visit and Self Study Design Approval: Commission staff liaison visits AUP after reviewing the Self-Study Design and Documentation Roadmap. Liaison provides feedback and approves revised the Design. April 2018

- 3 April 2018 Liaison visit
- by end of April, final design completed and approved
Self Study Process: AUP engages in Self Study, evaluating its mission and strategic goals and objectives in relation to the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation. AUP submits Self study Report May 2018 – October 2019

- 20 October 2019 First draft self study submitted to visiting team chair
Visiting Team Chair Visit: Chair visits campus and provides feedback on Self Study draft November 2019 – January 2020

- Mid November 2019 visiting team chair visit
- 30 January 2020 – final version of Self Study sent to visiting team
Peer Review Process: Team peers evaluate the institution. Team submits Report and institution submits an Institutional Response. February 2020 – November 2020

- 15 March – 15 April: visiting team on campus
- by 30 November 2020 – Commission meets to determine accreditation action.

Self Study Timeline- PDF (Draft, tentative after April 2018)

Self Study Working Groups

Standard  Description Members
Mission and goals The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfils its mission. Peter Haegel, Chair

William Fisher

Claudio Piani
Governance, Leadership, and Administration The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy. Peter Haegel, Chair

William Fisher

Claudio Piani
Ethics and Integrity Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully. Jessica Caldi, Chair

Richard Asthalter

Sally Murray

Geraldine Ojalvo

Anna Russakoff
Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

Linda Martz, Co-Chair

Will Bisbee

Cary Hollinshead-Strick

Jonathan Shimony

Christine Tomasek, Co-Chair

Hannah Westley

Stephane Malo

Lilyana Yankova

Support of the Student Experience Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success. Kevin Fore, Chair

Ann Borel

Darcee Caron

Anna Chapman

Liz Guinel

Michelle Kuo

Jen Larsen

Marly Phillips Nicol

Jorge Sosa
Educational Effectiveness Assessment Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their programs of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education. Ruth Corran, Chair

Claudio Piani

Rebekah Rast

Maggie Martin

Michael Stoepel
Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.
Diane Bonneau, Chair

Valerie Fodé

Brenda Torney

David Horn

Rose Weeber

Tim Rogers
Evidence Inventory This WG manages the collection and annotation of institutional data and documentation that will be part of the Evidence Inventory.
Diane Bonneau, Chair


Self Study Steering Committee Members

Co-chairs of the steering committee have been appointed by the President. The President, in consultation with the co-chairs has appointed the members of the steering committee. Steering committee members have been selected so to represent all university constituencies. All chairs of working groups are members of the steering committee.

Name Position Role
Celeste Schenk President  
William Fisher Provost Co-Chair Steering Committee
Claudio Piani Associate Dean of Educational Assessment and Institutional Research Co-Chair Steering Committee
Diane Bonneau Chair, Department of International Business Administration Chair WG Standard VI and Evidence Inventory
Jessica Caldi Chief of Staff to the President Co-Chair WG Standard II
Darcee Caron Director of GPS Program Member of WG Standard IV
Ruth Corran Chair Department Computer Science, Math and Environmental Science Chair WG Standard V
Valerie Fodé Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Member WG Standard VI
Kevin Fore Dean of Student Development Chair WG Standard IV
Cary Hollinshead-Strick Associate Professor, Writing Program Coordinator Member WG Standard III
Linda Martz Associate Professor, Director of Academic Advising Chair WG Standard III
Kilian Ordelheide Manager of University Communications Self-Study Communication
Anna Russakoff Associate Professor & Department Chair, Art History & Fine Arts Co-Chair WG Standard II
Peter Haegel Assistant Professor of Politics Chair, WG Standards I and VII
Brenda Torney Coordinator of Academic Budgets & Grants Coordinator of Self-Study Process and member WG Standard VI
Marly Phillips Nicol Undergraduate Student Member WG Standard IV
Ray Henze BoT Chairman and Parent