PA College Earns Renewed Accreditation from MSCHE

by Pete Hudack July 29, 2021

College embarked on two-year Self-Study Process in academic effectiveness

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, central Pennsylvania’s preeminent educational institution for the health care field, has earned renewed accreditation status by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Additionally, PA College received 12 commendations for the quality of its graduates, its health and wellness programming, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Center for Excellence in Practice, and the new Health Care Core Curriculum.

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences was awarded initial accreditation from MSCHE in 2006, and continued accreditation in 2011. In 2019, the college embarked on another accreditation journey by participating in the agency’s self-study process. The multi-year process consists of two interrelated phases—a self-study conducted by an institution and peer review conducted by an evaluation team.

MSCHE is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, it serves as an accrediting agency and operates by conducting institutional reviews every eight years.

“The self-study process brought everyone at the college together to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs to prepare the next generation of Health Science professionals,” said Penni Longenecker, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. “It allowed us to grow, learn, and celebrate the importance of the MSCHE reaccreditation journey. We’re excited to have earned the renewed accreditation and the recognition of excellence for our programs and the quality of PA College’s educational experience.”

During phase one of the self-study, PA College conducted an in-depth analysis of its mission, goals, ethics, integrity, design, and delivery of student learning experiences, in addition to its educational effectiveness and need for institutional improvement. Pennsylvania College of Health Science’s report included more than 200 pieces of supportive evidence on its educational effectiveness and was culminated over the course of two years.

Following, the MSCHE peer reviewing group conducted an evaluation based on the Commission’s standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, policies and procedures, and federal compliance requirements. The peer review team consists of individuals from similar colleges and universities, which conducted a virtual site visit that included interviews with current students, alumni, board members, faculty, and staff.

“We’re proud of our recent, successful re-accreditation visit and meeting the compliance with all seven standards and 50 requirements of affiliation,” said Dr. Mary Grace Simcox, President of Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. “As PA College continues to evolve to meet the complex needs of health sciences professions, this re-accreditation represents our commitment to continued excellence and marks this institution as the pinnacle of health care education in our region.”

PA College will embark on the next scheduled accreditation visit in 2028-2029.