Self-Study 2024-2025 Self-Study 2024-2025

Self-Study 2024-2025

Frederick Community College Mission Statement


Focused on teaching and learning, Frederick Community College provides affordable, flexible access to lifelong education that responds to the needs of diverse learners and the community.



Fall campus

Accreditation Overview

In the Commission's own description:


“The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), through accreditation, mandates that its member institutions meet rigorous and comprehensive standards, which are addressed in the context of the mission of each institution and within the culture of ethical practices and institutional integrity expected of accredited institutions. In meeting the quality standards of MSCHE accreditation, institutions earn accredited status, and this permits them to state with confidence: “Our students are well-served; society is well-served.” (see MSCHE Standards)

Visit the MSCHE website for more information:

Grants of accreditation are given for eight-year periods. In order to maintain its institutional accreditation, the College is responsible for meeting all of the MSCHE Requirements of Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation.

To see more about accreditation, access this page.


Accreditation Cycle


The College is required to demonstrate compliance through periodic reporting to MSCHE and to complete a self-study nearing the conclusion of the grant of accreditation. This is done through the following:


Annual Institutional Updates (AIU)


The College provides an annual update on its institutional characteristics including its institutional contacts, location, state degree granting authority, control, and its Carnegie classification; as well as key data indicators such as enrollment, financial information, and measures of student achievement.

Self Study


The Self-Study is required every eight-years, coinciding with the end of a grant of accreditation. The Self-Study is an opportunity for the College to conduct an in-depth evaluation of its operations, with an emphasis on a collaborative and data-driven process, demonstrating compliance with the Requirements of Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation.

Peer reviewers conduct an on-site review of the Self-Study, verifying the College’s compliance, and providing areas for improvement if warranted. The Self-Study is conducted over a three-year period. FCC’s Self-Study process began in Fall of 2022, utilizing the 13th Edition of the MSCHE Standards, and will be concluded in early 2025 with the peer evaluation and notice of action by MSCHE.


Intended Outcomes of the 2024-25 Self-Study

  1. Engage the College community in an inclusive and transparent self-appraisal process that actively and deliberately seeks to involve members from all areas of the College
  2. Demonstrate how the institution currently meets the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation through the Self-Study
  3. Demonstrate a data informed culture which focuses on institutional effectiveness and innovation in the attainment of the College mission and institutional priorities
  4. Demonstrate a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is present at all levels of the College


Self-Study Timeline 2022 - 2025


  1. 2022

    • Participation in the Self-Study Institute
  2. 2022

    • Appointment of the Self-Study Chairs
    • Selection of Steering Committee Members
  3. 2023

    • Steering Committee Charged
    • Begin drafting the Self-Study Design
  4. 2023

    • Establish Working Groups
    • Develop a Communication Plan
    • Finalize the Self-Study Design
  5. 2023

    • Submit Self-Study Design to MSCHE
  6. 2023

    • Host MSCHE VP Liaison
  7. 2023

    • Self-study Design approved by MSCHE
  8. 2023

    • Collection of Evidence demonstrating compliance
  9. 2023

    • Work Groups develop their Evidence Inventories and submit Interim Reports 1 through 3.
  10. 2024

    • Team chair selection
    • Working Groups refine their chapters and submit to the Steering Committee for feedback
  11. 2024

    • Steering Committee develops draft of the Self-Study Report
  12. 2024

    • The Self-Study Report is presented to the College community for feedback and review
    • Continued development of the Self-Study Report based on feedback
  13. 2024

    • Submission of the Self-Study Report to the evaluation team chair
  14. 2024

    • On-site evaluation by the team chair
    • Revisions to the Self-Study Report draft as needed based on team chair feedback
    • Final Self-Study Report presented to the campus community
  15. 2025

    • Submission of the Final Self-Study Report and evidence to MSCHE and the team chair
  16. 2025

    • On-site evaluation by the peer review team
    • Receive team report and prepare institutional response
  17. 2025

    • Notice of MSCHE action to FCC


Self-Study Design


The Self-Study Design is a roadmap which outlines the structure and processes that will guide the Self-Study. This document was created in Phase 1 of the overall Self-Study and is regularly updated.


Self-Study Design Cover


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Self-Study Design


The Self-Study Design is a roadmap which outlines the structure and processes that will guide the Self-Study. This document was created in Phase 1 of the overall Self-Study and is regularly updated.


Steering Committee

The Self Study Steering Committee is the body that ensures that the self-study is conducted in a rigorous manner that is inclusive, in-depth, and works toward achieving the intended outcomes of the self-study process. Steering Committee Members support the overall work of the Self-Study. The Committee is composed of two Co-Chairs of the Self-Study, Chairs of the Working Groups, and other individuals deemed necessary to the development of the final Self-Study.

The co-chairs of the Self-Study are:

  • Frederick Cope, Assistant Professor of English
  • Kevin Martin, Senior Researcher for Institutional Effectiveness

The Steering Committee is composed of the following individuals:

  • Jane Beatty, Executive Director for Student Finance/Bursar
  • Gerald Boyd, Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness (Accreditation Liaison Officer)
  • Molly Carlson, AVP for Continuing Education and Workforce Development
  • Frederick Cope, Co-Chair of the Self Study, Assistant Professor of English
  • Gohar Farahani, Executive Director, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
  • Julie HortonEducation Program Coordinator
  • Kevin Martin, Co-Chair of the Self Study, Senior Researcher for Institutional Effectiveness
  • Sandy McCombe Waller, AVP for Academic Affairs/Dean of Health, Business, Technology, and Science
  • Colleen McKnight, Director for Library Services
  • Karen Place, Capital Project Planner, Capital Planning
  • Diana Oliver, Human Resources Manager
  • Nichole Pollard, Interim Associate Vice President for Student Success
  • Benita Rashaw, Interim VP for Student Affairs
  • Brian Stipelman, AVP for Academic Affairs/Dean of Liberal Arts
  • Karen Wilson, Department Chair, Computing & Business Technology; Assistant Professor, Business Studies

Work Groups

Work Groups are the principal means of identifying compliance with the MSCHE standards and documenting their evidence. Each Work Group is aligned with a specific standard and are responsible for demonstrating compliance with the standard. The Working Groups are led by a Chair and Vice Chair. The Chair is responsible for reporting the progress made within the Work Group to the Steering Committee and must be intimately involved in the overall process to do so. The Vice Chair of the Work Group is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the work of the Working Group.


Work Group 1: Mission and Goals The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

Work Group 2: Ethics and IntegrityEthics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Work Group 3: Design and Delivery of Student Learning ExperienceAn institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

Work Group 4: Support of the Student ExperienceAcross all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

Work Group 5: Educational Effectiveness Assessment Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Work Group 6: Planning, Resources, and Institutional ImprovementThe institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.

Work Group 7: Governance, Leadership, and AdministrationThe institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.



What kind of reporting occurs to Middle States beyond just the Self-Study?


What is a Self-Study and what topics are explored in it?




What role does diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) play in the Self-Study?



I hear a lot about “evidence” for the Self-Study, but I am not sure exactly what this means in a practical sense.



How can I get involved?


How were members of the Steering Committee and Work Groups chosen?



Are there Middle States trainings that might help me understand more about what is required by our accreditor?


What if I want to learn more about the Self-Study and institutional accreditation in smaller chunks?


Work Groups

Where can I find information about the scope of work of each Work Group?


Where can I find more information about Work Group progress?

Get Involved with the Self-Study


The Self-Study process is intentional collaborative and representative of the varied thoughts and visions of the College community. As such, we welcome individuals to self-nominate for areas in which they feel they might best contribute to the Self-Study. The following are areas in which the Steering Committee has greatest need for support: The following are areas in which the Steering Committee has greatest need for support: 1) participation in a Work Group and 2) serving as secondary readers and commenters on drafted chapters of the self-study.

Complete this brief questionnaire to express your interest.



Kevin J. Martin, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher, Institutional Effectiveness
Phone: 301.846.2621

Frederick Cope
Assistant Professor, English