WPI Accreditation Visit Set for October

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5305

WORCESTER, Mass. -- A team of administrators and faculty members from colleges and universities around the Northeast will spend three days at WPI in early October reviewing all aspects of the University's operations, from its academic programs, to its student services, to its administrative and financial practices, to its standards for ethics and integrity. The visit is a critical step in WPI's bid to renew its decennial accreditation by the New England Association for Schools and Colleges.

For private colleges and universities like WPI, regional accreditation takes the place of government review and possible interference. WPI has been accredited, as an institution, by NEASC since 1937. Accreditation is granted for a period of 10 years; WPI was most recently accredited in 1991.

Before making a decision on reaccreditation, the association reviews material submitted by the University and then spends time at WPI poring over documents and records, meeting with selected faculty members, administrators and students, and even questioning individuals they meet in their travels about campus.

The bulk of the material WPI submitted to NEASC this year are responses to questions that are organized into 11 accreditation standards. These are:

Standard One: Mission and Purposes
Standard Two: Planning and Evaluation
Standard Three: Organization and Governance
Standard Four: Programs and Instruction
Standard Five: Faculty
Standard Six: Student Services
Standard Seven: Library and Information Resources
Standard Eight: Physical Resources
Standard Nine: Financial Resources
Standard Ten: Public Disclosure
Standard Eleven: Integrity

A team of administrators, headed by Lance Schachterle, associate provost for academic affairs, spent more than a year gathering information and writing these responses and preparing a wealth of additional data the association asked to see. The draft report was opened for review by the WPI community. More than 10,000 hits were recorded on a special site within the myWPI portal created to facilitate community discussion on the document. The final draft was submitted to NEASC last month. The text of the 11 standards, as well as the report's overview and preface, may be read on myWPI. Just click on the NEASC Team link in your "My Organizations" box.

The overarching purpose of the report is to explain how well the University is fulfilling the educational goals embodied in its Mission and Goal statements. These statements will be the reference point for the NEASC team's onsite evaluation, as well. The statements can be found in the print and on-line editions of the undergraduate catalog.

Members of the WPI community wishing to participate in the NEASC visit should contact Schachterle at ext. 5514 or les@wpi.edu. WPI and NEASC will have an open meeting that will give all members of the community a chance to interact with the campus visitors on Monday, Oct. 1, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Kinnicutt Hall in Salisbury Laboratories Following NEASC practice, senior managers will not attend this meeting.