Every 10 years, as required by the Institute’s accrediting agency, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), MIT undergoes a process of institutional review. The process begins with a comprehensive self-study, followed by an onsite visit by a team of peer evaluators and ends with the commission’s assessment and decision about continuing the Institute’s accreditation.
Since December 2017, nine planning groups of MIT officers, faculty, staff, and students have considered MIT’s evolution since its last review in 2009 and its plans for the future in relation to NECHE’s standards for accreditation. The planning groups have prepared a draft report, which examines a wide range of Institute activities, including academic programming, student life, resources, and educational effectiveness. The MIT Steering Committee invites community feedback on the report by May 1.
The report surfaces three key themes. First, over the last decade, MIT’s educational model has become more interdisciplinary, more experiential, more digital, and more flexible. With a commitment to improve the first-year experience and increased attention on the General Institute Requirements, these qualities will likely become further ingrained in an MIT education.
Second, making a better world means making a better MIT. To achieve the impact the Institute envisions across the nation and around the world, MIT must take a critical look internally to strengthen its campus community and its place in Cambridge, according to the report. This work includes a revitalization of the Institute’s physical infrastructure, steps to make the community more inclusive and welcoming, and renewed attention on improving the student experience.
Finally, the report explores the forces that led to the creation of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. It also details the work underway to shape the college, and anticipates the college’s impact at MIT and beyond.
The steering committee will submit its final report to NECHE and a team of external evaluators this summer in preparation for the team’s onsite visit in September. During that visit, MIT will hold open forums for members of the community to share their experiences and perspectives with the evaluators as part of the reaccreditation process.