The New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.) assessed the University through the reaccreditation process in 2013. Suffolk University was reaccredited.
NECHE, the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in New England, reviews accreditation status every ten years. In addition to a comprehensive site visit (described below), a major component of the reaccreditation process is a comprehensive self-study report, which requires the University to undertake a self-study (i) to measure institutional quality and effectiveness and (ii) to evaluate itself according to NECHE standards. Suffolk University last undertook a comprehensive self-study from 2000-2002 in connection with its reaccreditation by NECHE in 2002.
As it has in past accreditations, the University established a Steering Committee for the process. The Steering Committee established eleven subcommittees to address each of the eleven NECHE standards of quality and effectiveness. The eleven standards addressed the following institutional activities:
- Mission and Purposes (Standard 1)
- Planning and Evaluation (Standard 2)
- Organization and Governance (Standard 3)
- The Academic Program (Standard 4)
- Faculty (Standard 5)
- Students (Standard 6)
- Library and Other Information Resources (Standard 7)
- Physical and Technological Resources (Standard 8)
- Financial Resources (Standard 9)
- Public Disclosure (Standard 10)
- Integrity (Standard 11)
The Steering Committee and vice presidents recommended faculty, staff, and administrators to serve on each of the subcommittees. The Steering Committee, the chairpersons, and all subcommittee members first convened on March 24, 2010 for an initial meeting to discuss the role of the subcommittees and the resources available to support each subcommittee. The Associate Director from NECHE attended the meeting to provide an overview of the self-study process.
In December 2011, Dr. Sebastián Royo was appointed NECHE Accreditation Liaison Officer, with the task of leading the University in its accreditation efforts. In March 2012, the NECHE subcommittees were reconfigured for greater inclusion, which included the addition of student or alumni representatives each subcommittee. Under his direction, the subcommittees have met regularly since the launch of this process, engaging the entire University community. Please see the timeline for more information about important dates during the self-study process.
The comprehensive, institution-wide self-study formed the basis of the site visit, October 20-23, 2013, during which time a visiting team of peer evaluators from other colleges and universities similar to ours, came to campus and further assessed Suffolk University. After the site visit, the visiting team submitted a written report to NECHE and to the University regarding their assessment. The University had an opportunity to respond to the visiting team’s written report. Ultimately, CIHE considered the self-study, the visiting team report, and the University’s response in its decision regarding the University’s accreditation status. In 2018-2019, NNECHE will conduct a five-year review, in which the University will consider its progress since 2013.