Update on the recent NEASC site visit

Sonya Stephens
Acting President

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke College community,

It is with gratitude and admiration that I write to update you on the recent site visit of the team charged by NEASC with the review of Mount Holyoke for reaccreditation.

We will not receive the written report until the end of the calendar year, and the decision about reaccreditation will not occur until late in the spring, when NEASC has had an opportunity to review and deliberate upon the findings of the visit, and when I appear at the Commission with the chair of the visiting team, Katherine Bergeron, the president of Connecticut College. We have, however, received some preliminary feedback.

What I am able to share at this time is that the visiting team was impressed — inspired, even — by the excellence of faculty, staff, students and the academic program; by participation in shared governance at all levels; and by the momentum of our progress since our last report in 2012. It was clear, they said, that Mount Holyoke continues to honor its legacy by offering an exceptional education to promising students from around the world. At the same time, they noted, the theme of change in the self-study conforms with what the team observed on campus, with both the considerable vitality and the very real challenges that such a degree of change represents.

The role of the team is also to highlight any areas of concern. We can expect to hear that, while good progress has been made, we must maintain the momentum in a range of activities both central to our mission and to the standards set by the Commission. These include, notably, the assessment of student learning outcomes with respect to the College’s learning goals, departmental degree objectives, and core programs such as Nexus and the Lynk.

We will learn more when we receive the report, and I will update you as we move forward in that process.

In the meantime, I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who played a part in the process, whether drafting standards or parts of standards, serving on the standards teams or the data first team, or participating in any one of a number of meetings that gave the visiting team an insight into our work and community at Mount Holyoke.

Special thanks go to Lenore Reilly, and to our colleagues in the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness for so capably leading this process, and for overseeing, with Jon Western, so much of the work and coordination that this effort requires.


Sonya Stephens
Acting President