Amherst College NEASC Reaccreditation 2008

For current information about reaccreditation please click here

CIHE Statement on the role and value of Reaccreditation
Evaluation Team
Final Report on Adopting the Mission Statement
NEASC Website
NEASC Standards (PDF)
Reaccreditation Timeline
Amherst Reaccreditation Committees
Report of the Committee on Academic Priorities
CAP departmental and program planning documents
CIHE Final Report

Welcome to the Amherst College 2008 reaccreditation website. This site provides information about accreditation and documents related to the self-study process.  Colleges in the New England region have a regular ten-year cycle of review by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), a division of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  Amherst completed its most recent cycle in January 2009, when the President was notified by the CIHE that the College’s accreditation had been renewed on November 20, 2008, and received the .  In accordance with its normal policy, the CIHE has scheduled Amherst for an interim review in 2013 and for a comprehensive evaluation in 2018.

The Reaccreditation Process

Accreditation review is a three-step process that entails a self-study by the institution, a visit to campus by a team of peer evaluators, and the team’s written evaluation and recommendations (see Evaluation Team Report below). Based on the Evaluation Team Report, the Self-Study Report, and other documents, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education formulated its decision that Amherst’s accreditation should be continued and sent its Final Report of January 12.  Please see the timeline for further details.

Self-Study Report

The self-study report is available as a printable PDF for review by all members of the campus community.  The self-study report was broadly informed by a campus-wide process of self-assessment and strategic planning that began with the appointment of the Special Committee on the Amherst Education in 2002 and that continued with curricular working groups and, finally, the Committee on Academic Priorities (CAP) in 2005. The reports of these groups can be found at the CAP site.

The self-study began in the spring of 2006 with the appointment of the Ad Hoc Faculty Advisory Group on Reaccreditation and the administrative Reaccreditation Steering Committee. These groups, the President, and the Dean of the Faculty, met with Barbara Brittingham, Director of the CIHE, on campus in May 2006 to discuss the reaccreditation process. In 2006-07, the faculty advisory group spearheaded the adoption of a mission statement for the college. After broad discussion of four successive drafts by the campus community, Board of Trustees, and alumni, the mission statement was approved in May of 2007 by the Faculty and the Board. The adoption process is described in the self-study report under Mission and Purposes. Starting in January of 2007, the appropriate administrative units drafted responses to the eleven standards for accreditation under the supervision of the steering committee and the faculty advisory group. From August through December, three preliminary drafts were reviewed by the Board of Trustees, the President’s senior staff, the central faculty governing committees, the Student Senate, the Advisory Council on Personnel Policies (ACPP), the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association, and at open forums for faculty, students, trustee-appointees, and members of the staff.  The third draft was posted on this site for comment by all members of the on-campus community. Further particulars about the drafting of the report can be found in the Preface of the self-study report. The chair of the Evaluation Team, President Alfred Bloom of Swarthmore College, made a preliminary visit to campus in October of 2007. The full evaluation team made its visit March 2-5, 2008.
Evaluation Team Report

Final Report of the CIHE

President Anthony Marx and Dean of the Faculty Gregory Call met with the Commission on November 20, 2008, to discuss the report of the Evaluation Team. At its meeting on that date, the Commission voted to continue the College’s accreditation.