| About | Recognition and Accreditation | Accreditation Self Study
Worcester State University is fully accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, or NECHE. This regional accrediting body, previously known as NEASC, is responsible for both evaluating the academic quality of higher education institutions and promoting continuous improvement among them. In carrying out its mission, NECHE assures the public, government entities, and other constituents of institutions’ regulatory compliance and adoption of best practices for the delivery of higher education.
Accreditation is an ongoing process that involves, at a minimum, comprehensive evaluations that generally span ten years and include interim evaluations. Comprehensive evaluations are conducted by volunteer teams of colleagues who are charged with both reviewing institutional data and reports and then, in a visit to the institution under review, verifying that the information presented is accurate and in line with NECHE standards, which cover all aspects of institutional operations.
The creation of a comprehensive evaluation self-study is a major undertaking requiring the efforts of the entire campus community. It serves as the primary means by which the institution demonstrates its aspirations, shortcomings, and general satisfaction of accreditation standards. The self-study is the first document evaluation team members will use to become acquainted with the institution, and it will serve as a guide for future accreditation actions that support the institution’s continuous improvement efforts.
January 26, 2021
This year we initiate our New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) re-accreditation process, just as implementation of our 2020-2025 strategic plan begins in earnest. The timing will permit each to inform the other, strengthening both.
The first step, a comprehensive self-study, is now underway and will take approximately 18 months. A steering committee, with subcommittees organized around NECHE’s nine standards for accreditation, has been formed under the direction of co-chairs Dr. Emily Soltano and Dr. Noah Dion. They aim to bring us together, from all parts of the campus, to learn from one another about the excellent work we do here every day and how we might do it even better.
A critical step will take place in the fall of 2022, when a team of evaluators comes to Worcester State for a site visit. At that time, we will share with them the fruits of our hard work, showcasing a campus that truly puts students first in all that we do. A NECHE decision is expected to be issued in the spring of 2023, affirming our accreditation and indicating any future actions we may need to take.
Those of you who’ve been through the NECHE (formerly NEASC) process in the past know that its “seal of approval” is typically good for ten years, with mid-term evaluation(s) occurring along the way, to make sure that areas of concern are being addressed.
Ultimately, a successful accreditation by NECHE indicates to the world that we comply with the rules governing higher education and meet our industry’s standards. Their external validation is essential for demonstrating that we are worthy of investments from state and federal government sources, private grant agencies and foundations, and donors. It reassures our community partners, too.
In short, it’s important. And a thorough, thoughtful self-study will not only position us for a successful re-accreditation, it can spur the kind of innovative thinking necessary for us to become one of the best-run, student-centered campuses in New England.
We need everyone’s voice to be heard!
Barry M. Maloney,President
The self-study steering committee is made up of the co-chairs of each subcommittee as well as other campus leaders. The mission of the committee is to coordinate the work each subcommittee has undertaken and ensure that its findings can be woven into a single narrative about the university as told in the self-study.
The steering committee meets regularly to determine whether common issues or challenges are evident and to share strategies and solutions for addressing them. Committee meetings provide an opportunity to pose questions and challenge assumptions that may have been overlooked by an individual subcommittee.
Noah Dion, Director of Academic Affairs SupportEmily Soltano, Professor, Department of Psychology & Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Robert Brooks Professor, Criminal Justice DepartmentMarilyn Cleary Assistant Dean of Graduate and Continuing EducationMeghna Dillip Professor, Chemistry DepartmentAdrian Gage Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life and HousingSara Grady Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional DevelopmentRoger Greenwell Associate Professor, Biology DepartmentTona Hangen Professor, History and Political Science DepartmentJennifer Hood-DeGrenier Professor, Biology DepartmentDaniel Hunt Associate Professor, Communication DepartmentLinda Larrivee Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural SciencesRaynold Lewis Associate Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural SciencesJohn Meany Associate Director, Athletics DepartmentDina Nichols Board of TrusteesJoseph Quattrucci Associate Professor, Chemistry DepartmentSarah Strout Assistant Vice President of Assessment and PlanningColleen Sullivan Associate Professor, Psychology DepartmentHenry Theriault Associate Vice President of Academic AffairsDon Vescio Professor, English DepartmentJonathan Walker Director of Internal Controls and Risk AssessmentKaren M Wigren Staff Assistant to the Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural SciencesLois Wims Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
The self-study is created from the work of nine different subcommittees, each of which is aligned to a particular NECHE accreditation standard. The committees gather evidence, evaluate the university’s performance in respect to each standard, and construct narratives that address how improvements can be made. Each subcommittee is tasked with focusing on its standard according to the specific mission, values, and goals of the university. It’s conclusions should align with strategic plans for future success.
Daniel Hunt, Associate Professor, Communication DepartmentKaren Wigren, Staff Assistant to the Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences
Leisha Alcia Staff Assistant, Academic Success CenterKristine Camacho Assistant Professor, Education DepartmentTara Hancock Executive Director of Alumni Relations and EngagementEdgar Moros Director of the Intensive English Language InstituteStacey Luster General Counselor and Assistant to the President for Employment and Equal OpportunityMarc-Kendy Paul Student
Meghna Dilip, Professor, Chemistry DepartmentLinda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education Health and Natural Sciences
Anthony Adade Associate Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information OfficerDiara Canton StudentThomas Kelley Director of RetentionSyamak Moattari Associate Professor, Health Science DepartmentMim Plavin-Masterman Associate Professor, Business Administration & Econonomics DepartmentTanya Trudell Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department
Adrian Gage, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residence Life and HousingTona Hangen, Professor, History and Political Science Department
Joe Dicarlo Dean of Enrollment and Director of AdmissionsCarl Herrin Assistant to the President and Chief of StaffTyanna McCaulsky StudentKathleen Murphy Associate Professor, Chemistry DepartmentKaren Tessmer Associate Director of Athletics and Head Women's Basketball CoachMark Wagner Director of the Center for Civic Engagement Adam Zahler Professor, Visual & Performing Arts Department
Sara Grady, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional DevelopmentJennifer Hood-DeGrenier, Professor, Biology Department
Mark Beaudry Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice DepartmentCarol Donnelly Professor, Education DepartmentAllison Dunn Professor, Earth, Environment, and Physics DepartmentJulie Frankian Staff Associate, Academic Success CenterMartin Fromm Associate Professor, History and Political Science DepartmentMaria Fung Professor, Mathematics DepartmentHy Ginsberg Associate Professor, Mathematics DepartmentBonnie Kanner Professor, Psychology DepartmentRoberta Kyle Associate Vice President and Dean of Graduate and Continuing EducationBen McElroy Assistant Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Transfer AdmissionsElaine McKenna-Yeaw Executive Director, Worcester Center for CraftsRuss Pottle Dean of the School of Humanities and Social SciencesMaryLynn Saul Professor, English DepartmentElizabeth Siler Associate Professor, Business Administration & Econonomics DepartmentSeth Surgan Professor, Psychology DepartmentColleen Wheaton Director of First Year and Transfer Services
Raynold Lewis, Associate Dean of the School of Education, Health and Natural SciencesColleen Sullivan, Associate Professor, Psychology Department
Dean Bowen Assistant Director and Fitness Center ManagerLyndsey Broxton StudentJoanne Jaber Gauvin Assistant Director of the Urban Action InstituteLaura Wildemann Kane Assistant Professor, Philosophy DepartmentNabin Malakar Assistant Professor, Earth, Environment, and Physics DepartmentFran Manocchio Assistant Dean and Director of Student Accessibility ServicesMichael McKenna Director, Conference and Event ServicesKristie McNamara Director of the Office of Student Involvement and LeadershipJessica O'Connor Staff Associate and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy DepartmentAbbigail Poplawski StudentTammy Tebo Assistant Dean of Academic Services
Joseph Quattrucci, Associate Professor, Chemistry DepartmentHenry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs
Mary Fowler Professor, Mathematics DepartmentYan Hu Assistant Professor, Biology DepartmentMatthew Palm Assistant Professor, Urban Studies DepartmentJacqueline Raftery-Helmer Assistant Professor, Psychology DepartmentMeredith Rosario Staff Assistant, Administration and FinanceYomari Rivera Student
Donald Vescio, Professor, English DepartmentJonathan Walker, Director of Internal Controls and Risk Assessment
Matt Bejune Executive Director, Library Jodi Briggs-Pickett Executive Director of University AdvancementKathryn Frazier Assistant Professor, Psychology DepartmentMargaret Gurney StudentAnisa Hoxha Director of Budget, Planning and Policy DevelopmentNicole Kapurch Assistant Director and Special Assistant to the President, and Liaison to the Board of TrusteesMary Jo Marion Assistant Vice President of the Latino Education InstituteMichael Mudd Director of AthleticsSusan Moore Executive Director of Human Resources and BenefitsDave Needham Assistant Director of Multimedia ServicesJeffry Nichols Associate Professor, Chemistry DepartmentSandra Olson Assistant Vice President of FacilitiesKatey Palumbo Director, International Programs
Marilyn Cleary, Assistant Dean of Graduate and Continuing EducationRoger Greenwell, Associate Professor, Biology Department
Rosemary Ahmadi Staff Associate, Instructional Designer and Training SpecialistCharles Bray StudentAmanda Cornine Instructor, Nursing DepartmentBrittany Jeye Assistant Professor, Psychology DepartmentDavid Melpignano Day Adjunct Faculty, Communication DepartmentAdam Shaughnessy Staff Associate, Academic Success Center
Robert Brooks, Professor, Criminal Justice DepartmentJohn Meany, Associate Director, Athletics Department
Elena Arranz Non-Matriculated/Adult Student Advisor, Department of Graduate and Continuing EducationMaria Isabel Gariepy Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal OpportunityJason Kapurch Director of University PoliceAndrea Latter Instructor, Nursing DepartmentAmiya Phillips StudentChristina Santana Assistant Professor, English DepartmentMaureen Stokes Assistant Vice President of Communications and MarketingCasey Sullivan Staff Assistant, Financial Aid OfficeJack Reardon Associate Director of Network and Infrastructure ServicesWei-Chu Xu Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department
2013 Worcester State University NEASC Accreditation Report 2018 Worcester State University NEASC Interim 5th Year Accreditation Report 2020 Worcester State University NECHE Distance Education Expedited Review Report NECHE Self-Study Guide (2018)
Those interested in serving on a subcommittee may email Emily Soltano or Noah Dion directly.
Those interested in providing anonymous concerns or suggestions may do so here.
Those interested in participating in open steering committee meetings can access the times and meeting information here.
Those interested in providing public comment in regard to the comprehensive evaluation may do so starting September 1, 2022, in accordance with NECHE’s policy.
Those interested in participating in open sessions with the NECHE evaluation team may Emily Soltano or Noah Dion directly.
Noah Dion, Director of Academic Affairs Support
Emily Soltano, Professor, Department of Psychology & Director, Center for Teaching and Learning