From start to finish, the Middle States self-study period covers approximately three academic years.

From October 2018 to May 2019, preparation work was completed, which included organizing the approach and necessary leadership; bringing together the Steering Committee and working groups; and completing the Self-Study Design, a document submitted to and approved by Middle States before the study itself begins.

From June 2019 to May 2020, the University community conducted the self-study, identifying the ways in which it meets Middle States Standards for Accreditation in the context of its own mission and goals and answering research questions that view those standards in connection to Villanova’s institutional goals.

Working groups prepared reports for each of the seven standards that include recommendations for continuous improvement, and the Steering Committee completed the first draft of the comprehensive Self-Study Report.

From June 2020 to December 2021, the University community reviews the draft self-study report and hosts a preliminary visit from the Middle States Peer Review Team chair, making any final adjustments needed before it is submitted to Middle States.

The Peer Review Team then visits campus, reviewing and validating the findings of the University's self-study report, meeting with a wide number of individual and groups on campus, and preparing their own report observing our strengths and opportunities for improvement.

These documents are reviewed by the Middle States Commission, which responds with its formal action regarding the University's accreditation status October/December 2021.


Detailed Timeline


Fall 2018



Confirm co-chairs of the self-study



Co-chairs attend MSCHE Self-Study Institute



Confirm Steering Committee members

Begin forming composition of working groups
Spring 2019





Confirm IT collaboration and storage solution

Convene meeting of Steering Committee

Draft charge and institutional priorities for working groups

March 2019


Confirm members of working groups

Draft Self-Study Design and Documentation  


Draft communications plan

April 2019


Submit draft Self-Study Design and Documentation Roadmap to Liaison

Host MSCHE Liaison Self-Study preparation visit

Revise Self-Study Design as needed

May 2019


Confirm Self-Study Design (with approval from MSCHE)
Summer 2019
June to August


Launch Villanova’s Middle States Self-Study Website and Self-Study Design

Complete gathering of documents

Confirm updated Steering Committee and working groups membership

Fall 2019



Initiate work of working groups



Working groups complete chapter draft outlines



Work with MSCHE Liaison on selection of Team Chair

Working groups complete chapter drafts

Spring 2020


Review first drafts of self-study sections



Host first set of Community Forums for University to update on progress

Working groups update chapter drafts based on feedback



Working groups complete revised chapter drafts



Review second drafts of self-study chapters

Working groups update chapter drafts based on feedback

Fall 2020


Working groups complete drafts

Leadership Team compile final penultimate draft and of complete Self-Study Report



Steering Committee reviews penultimate draft and provides edits and feedback to Leadership Team
Spring 2021


Post penultimate draft on Middle States Self-Study website for comment



Host second set of Community Forums for University to update on progress



Leadership Team update final draft based on community feedback and final Steering Committee Review

Submit final draft of Self-Study to MSCHE Chair

April   MSCHE Team Chair Virtual Visit
May   Revise Self-Study Report as needed
Fall 2021



Submit final version of Self-Study Report and Verification of Compliance uploaded to MSCHE Portal for Visiting Team review

Final Self-Study report posted on Middles States Self-Study

September   Host MSCHE Team Visit
October/December   Commission meets to determine action

If you have any comments or questions pertaining to Middle States accreditation or the self-study process, we would like to hear from you.