Dartmouth to Begin Self-Study for Reaccreditation

News subtitle

The College is up for reaccreditation in 2020.

the top of Baker Tower surrounded by snow covered trees
(Photo by Robert Gill)

Dartmouth is beginning the first phase of a two-year-long reaccreditation process—a self-study conducted by faculty and administrators with community input.

“Reaccreditation is an invaluable opportunity for us to reflect on our progress on our strategic goals and our commitment to our mission and purpose,” says President Phil Hanlon ’77. “It’s also a chance to shine light on areas that may need more attention, get objective insights from our peer institutions, and look ahead to what we want to accomplish in the future.”

Dartmouth’s accreditation is reviewed every 10 years by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The nongovernmental, nonprofit, self-regulatory peer review process is intended to provide public assurance of institutions’ educational quality. While accreditation is not mandatory, some federal funding is tied to it, and it is a key validation of an institution’s reputation.

The NEASC reaccreditation process evaluates the entire institution—the undergraduate college and graduate and professional schools—on nine standards: mission and purpose; planning and evaluation; organization and governance; academic program; students; teaching, learning, and scholarship; institutional resources; educational effectiveness; and integrity, transparency, and public disclosure. The professional schools receive additional accreditation through appropriate credentialing organizations.

The process has three phases: the internal self-study, an onsite evaluation by senior leaders from peer institutions, and a review and final decision by NEASC.

President Hanlon has named F. Jon Kull ’88, the dean of the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, to chair the steering committee that is leading the process.

“The steering committee is looking forward to a thorough discussion of Dartmouth’s goals and aspirations and a frank assessment of how well we are doing what we say we want to do,” says Kull.

Interim Provost David Kotz ’86 will serve on the steering committee, along with all academic deans and several other senior leaders (a full list of the committee membership is posted on the reaccreditation website). In addition, an implementation group has been created to reach out to stakeholders throughout the community and draft Dartmouth’s self-study report.

The reaccreditation process begins this month and will follow the timeline below:

  • Self-study, January 2018—August 2019. The self-study consists of a year-long effort that involves the gathering of data, assessing progress since the College’s last reaccreditation, and soliciting and incorporating community feedback, culminating in a 100-page narrative report from Dartmouth. The information gathering begins this month. A first draft of the report will be shared with the campus and open for community comment from October—December 2018. A final draft will be submitted to NEASC in August 2019.
  • On-site evaluation, October 2019—January 2020. A team of senior leaders from peer institutions will visit Dartmouth in October 2019. This evaluation team will meet with Dartmouth’s senior leadership and other community stakeholders and submit a report to both NEASC and Dartmouth early in 2020.
  • Review and final decision, spring 2020. Finally, NEASC will review both the self-study and the report of the external evaluation team, and will make its decision about Dartmouth’s reaccreditation in spring 2020.

In addition, every five years Dartmouth submits an interim report to NEASC reflecting on its progress since the last comprehensive review. The next five-year report is expected to be due in 2025.

More information about the accreditation process and past reports are available online.

Hannah Silverstein can be reached at hannah.silverstein@dartmouth.edu.

Hannah Silverstein