Middle States Self Study Working Groups

Working Groups are a foundational part of the MSCHE Self-Study process and are established according to an institution's approach to the Self Study. York College is using a Standards-Based Approach to the Self Study report organized around MSCHE’s seven standards for accreditation. As a result, there are seven Working Groups, one for each individual standard.  

Each Working Group is led by a Chair who organizes the group's work and serves on the Middle State Steering Committee. The Chair is supported by a Vice-Chair who oversees the group's evidence collection and requests. The Working Group Chair Charge and Vice-Chair Charge outline the responsibilities for each position.

The primary responsibilities of the Working Group are 1) to identify and evaluate data and evidence that allows the Working Group to answer the questions posed in the lines of inquiry and to explain how the institution is meeting their assigned Standard and Requirements of Affiliation, and 2) to write a report for the Steering Committee that details their analysis with specific reference to the data and evidence used. The full list of responsibilities of each Working Group is detailed in the Working Group Charge.

Working Group Members and Lines of Inquiry

MSCHE Standard I - 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 fulfills its mission.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: Sung Wook Paik - Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Vice Chair: Vickie Kline - Systems Librarian and Associate Professor
  • Kelly Arcieri - Associate Director of Career Development
  • Scott Kiefer - Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Erin Lippard - Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Vocal Studies
  • Student Member

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group I

  • How do the College’s mission and goals continue to express a sustained commitment to academic excellence and improving the complete student experience?
  • To what extent are the goals appropriate, achievable, and consistent with the broader institutional mission?
  • What evidence demonstrates how the mission and goals are guiding decisions related to planning, resource allocation, curricular development, and defining student learning outcomes? 
  • How are the college’s mission and goals developed collaboratively and approved by an appropriate governing body?
  • How are the mission and goals communicated to all of the college’s constituencies?
  • To what extent does the college have a well-articulated process by which the mission and goals of the college are periodically evaluated, and how does the evidence indicate that this process is inclusive and effective?

MSCHE Standard II - 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.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: Dave Singleton - Associate Professor of Biology
  • Vice Chair: Dennis Weiss - Professor of Philosophy
  • Trenton Bankert - Director of Information Literacy
  • Erin Dubina - Senior Administrative Assistant, Student Success Division
  • Karen Robinson - Assistant Professor of Accounting
  • Erica Schieler - Associate Director of Transfer Admissions
  • Student Member

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group II

  • How does York College demonstrate and foster a climate of respect and commitment to academic freedom between all stakeholders in order to maintain a range of diverse backgrounds and perspectives?
  • How does York College ensure that its various grievance policies for students, faculty, and staff are applied promptly and equitably?
  • What processes are in place to ensure fair and impartial practices for the hiring, evaluation, promotion, and separation of employees?
  • How does York College help students to understand the value received for the cost of education, their funding sources and options, and to enable them to make informed decisions about incurring educational debt?
  • What evidence demonstrates that York College’s marketing efforts, announcements, recruiting, and admissions materials show a commitment to honesty and transparency?
  • How does the college comply with the mandated reporting of institutional assessment, policies, and other material issues? How is information regarding institutional assessment and other academic metrics communicated to internal and external stakeholders?
  • How does York College periodically assess ethics and integrity, through the review and revision of institutional policies, processes, and practices?

MSCHE Standard III - 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.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: William Steel - Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Vice Chair: Donna Grove - Visiting Assistant Professor of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management
  • Padraic Kennedy - Associate Professor of History
  • Katie Lewis - Associate Professor of Education, Director of Secondary Education and Post-Baccalaureate Programs
  • Edward Westen - Associate Professor of Health Professions, Director of Exercise Science
  • Dr. Travis Kurowski - Associate Professor of Creative Writing
  • Kathleen Halligan - Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Student Member

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group III

  • How are courses, programs, and majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels developed, proposed, evaluated and eliminated, and in what ways do external accrediting bodies impact the curriculum development and revision process? How effective is the process for meeting the college’s mission and goals and in what ways is curriculum assessment evidence used to guide future decisions about the design and delivery to support student learning? 
  • To what extent does the design and delivery of the general education curriculum at the undergraduate level support the mission of York College and how effectively are the general education program goals fulfilled in the academic programs offered?  
  • To what extent have the demographic changes of the student body contributed to changes in academic programs of the College and how they are delivered? To what extent do academic programs offer sufficient learning opportunities and support for the academic success for all students enrolling at York College?
  • To what extent does the College support teaching, service, and scholarship activities by faculty so that faculty responsibilities appropriately contribute to the success of student learning at the college?
  • How are faculty recruited and evaluated, and in what ways have any changes to these processes contributed to gains in the student learning experience?
  • How effectively has the College leveraged the expertise of its faculty and the surrounding community to develop and deliver student learning opportunities beyond the undergraduate level that are consistent with the Mission of the College?
  • How does the college disseminate information about academic programs and how effectively does this information reach students and contribute to their learning success at York College?

MSCHE Standard IV - 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.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: Stephanie Perago - Coordinator, Undeclared Student Advising
  • Vice Chair: Randi Shedlosky-Shoemaker - Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Tami Amrom - Associate Director of Student Activities and Orientation
  • Jenna Davis - Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • Bridgette Hagerty - Associate Professor of Biology
  • Julie Rasmuson - Director of Student Accessibility Services
  • Darrel Wilt - Director of Counseling Services
  • Student Member

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group IV

  • What systems and processes exist at the College that support students and foster their success?
  • What policies and procedures exist regarding credit evaluation, safe and secure maintenance of student records, and FERPA compliance?
  • What practices does the College undertake to admit, retain, and support a diverse population of students?
  • In what ways are co-curricular experiences, including athletics, student organizations, and other activities, regulated by the same procedures and policies as other institutional programs?
  • How does the College assess the effectiveness of internal and external programs and services that support the student experience? How are those results used to further develop these programs?

MSCHE Standard V - Educational Effectiveness Assessment

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: Gabriel Cutrufello - Associate Professor of Communication and Writing, Chair of Communication and Writing
  • Vice Chair: Kristy Daniel - Associate Registrar for Records and Progression
  • Mary Boldt - Associate Professor of Language and Literature
  • Jamie Guilford - Associate Director of Career Development and Employer Relations
  • Greg Kaliss - Assistant Professor of History
  • Josh Wyrick - Associate Professor of Civil Engineering
  • Student Member

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group V

  • How are the degree and program-level goals interrelated with the institution’s goals? 
  • Where are these goals located, and how are they disseminated to relevant stakeholders?
  • In what ways are the student learning outcomes processes consistent with the college's mission and goals?
  • What processes and supports are in place that ensure that student assessments are ongoing and sustainable?
  • How does the college use institutional, departmental, and program student assessment results?
  • How does the college use technological tools effectively to assist in assessing students’ learning?
  • What is the college’s culture of assessment in which data are used to guide decision-making?
  • How does the college support the faculty development opportunities that use outcomes assessment data to improve student learning? What resources are available, and how are they used?
  • How does the college share and discuss student assessment results with the relevant stakeholders, including faculty, administrators, and students?
  • How does the college periodically assess the effectiveness of its outcomes assessment processes?

MSCHE Standard VI - 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.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: Fred Becker - Associate Professor of Hospitality Management, Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Vice Chair: Renee Tacka, Assistant Professor, Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship
  • Sarah Gallimore - Director of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Sean Georgi - Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Molly Milam - Assistant Professor of Education, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
  • Anne Saylor - Instructional Designer and Technologist
  • Jeff Schiffman - WVYC Radio Station Manager, Instructor Audio and Radio Production

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group VI

  • How does the planning and resource allocation reflect the College’s goals and long-range plan at the unit (office, School, academic department) and institutional level?
  • What data is used to guide the planning process? To what extent do all constituencies of the College participate in the planning, resource allocation, and improvement process? 
  • How does the allocation process ensure that there are sufficient human, fiscal, and infrastructure resources to support the College’s mission and outcome expectations? 
  • What is the decision-making process for planning and what parties hold the decision-making authority to facilitate planning and renewal and the responsibility to ensure the implementation of improvements? 
  • How are the planning and decision-making processes communicated to all of its constituencies?
  • What ensures that the annual independent audit is used as a tool to assist in monitoring the College’s effective and efficient use of resources? 
  • What evidence is there that the College uses a systematic approach to improve efficiency, contain costs, and develop revenue streams to support its mission? 
  • What process is used to periodically assess the College’s planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal processes? 

MSCHE Standard VII - 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.

Working Group Members

  • Chair: Rory Kraft - Associate Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Arts and Humanities
  • Vice Chair: Karen Rice-Young - Manager of Archives and Special Collections Manager
  • Sophia Barnes - Alumna (2022), West Chester University Graduate Student (M.A. in English)
  • Elizabeth Burns Frey - Director of York College Fund
  • Eleanor Leung - Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • Laura Wand - Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Joshua DeSantis - Assistant Provost, Graduate and Professional Programs and Associate Professor, Education
  • Student Member

Lines of Inquiry for Working Group VII

  • What evidence demonstrates a clearly-defined system of shared governance, including written policies outlining the responsibilities of the different stakeholders? How are these policies shared with the campus community?  What evidence exists that the written policies are adhered to?\
  • What is the current structure and membership of the Board of Trustees?  What structures are in place to avoid conflicts of interest and to make sure that the board plays an appropriate role in the oversight of the institution’s policies and financial affairs?  What processes are in place to identify any need for changes to the structure and membership?
  • What evidence demonstrates that the constituents of governance are operating within their primary sphere of responsibility and expertise? 
  • What policies and procedures are in place to ensure that the chief executive officer and other administrative leaders have appropriate credentials, professional experience, resources, and assistance?
  • What evidence demonstrates a clear organizational structure with indication(s) of reporting structure and spheres of decision-making?
  • What evidence displays regular evaluation of the effectiveness of governance, leadership, and administration?
  • To what extent does the College’s administration possess the skills, time, assistance, technology, and expertise required to perform their duties? How does the College use systematic procedures for evaluating administrative units and for using assessment data to enhance operations?