MSCHE Self-Study

Dear Colleagues

I invite your participation as Athabasca University begins its Self-Study focusing on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's (MSCHE) Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.

Since Athabasca University’s last self-study and MSCHE team visit, the University has approved Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities and has undergone a number of programmatic and organizational changes, including a comprehensive course and program review. During this period, MSCHE has also changed its accreditation processes and accreditation cycle. Among the changes are a reduction in the number of evaluation standards from 14 to 7, a reduction in the number of years between the institutional self-study and MSCHE team visit from 10 years to 8 years, the submission of annual reports and the elimination of the 5 year Periodic Review Report.

The self-study process is intended to be valuable to our institution, enabling us to demonstrate our commitment to continuous improvement and to strengthen the institution.

This Self-Study will allow AU to:

  • Reaffirm that it meets the Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation of the Middles States Commission on Higher Education;
  • Strengthen the culture of student learning assessment and better integrate effectiveness measures in the integrated planning process; and
  • Contribute to the expansion and generation of new learning opportunities in current and emerging academic fields.

Sustaining accreditation requires AU to supply evidence that we meet seven standards of excellence.

Standard I: Mission and Goals
Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
Standard III: Design and Delivery of Student Learning Experience
Standard IV: Support of Student Learning Experience
Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, Administration

The Steering Team will be co-chaired by Dr. Margaret Kierylo, Associate Vice President, Integrated Planning and Assessment and Dr. Veronica Thompson, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Self-Study process will require Working Groups (organized around MSCHE standards), as well as broad participation from faculty and staff members in the development of AU’s Self-Study report.

If you are interested in participating, or if you have any questions, observations, and recommendations, please reach out to Dr. Kierylo at or Dr. Thompson at

On this webpage you will find a number of documents, including the draft Self-Study Design and timeline, that will assist you in keeping up with the work of the Steering Committee and its 7 Working Groups as they prepare for the next MSCHE team visit in Spring 2021.

Thank you for supporting AU’s compliance with MSCHE's standards and our continuing progress toward institutional improvement.


Matthew Prineas, PhD
Provost and Vice President Academic