About Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Middle States is an international organization that “aspires to improve the quality of education in the United States and around the world by assisting schools to achieve excellence through the process of accreditation, by affirming to the public a member school’s trustworthiness and commitment to continuous improvement, by providing the network and resources for the promotion of proven practices.” (Middle States Mission Statement).
This accreditation process (which engages students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community at large in a rigorous evaluation process) combined with our focus on ongoing strategic visioning and planning ensures a steadfast and constant focus on the future and on optimizing the student experience and our approach to creating college-bound and career-ready graduates.
The Current Reaccreditation Process
York Catholic is in the process of a new cycle of self-evaluation and renewal as we work toward reaccreditation through the Middle States Association. Reaccreditation is done on a seven-year cycle, and our last visit from a Middle States team took place in the fall of 2015. A team of five Middle States representatives will return to York Catholic and spend three days with us in March 2023, reviewing our current growth plan and talking with faculty and staff, parents, students, and school board members. Over the course of their visit they will observe the day to day operation of the school and take a close look at how well we meet Middle States criteria as set forth in twelve standards. The twelve standards to be examined are as follows:
- Philosophy and Mission
- Governance and Leadership
- School Improvement Planning
- School Climate and Organization
- Health and Safety
- Educational Program
- Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning
- Student Services
- Student Life and Student Activities
We began to prepare for reaccreditation in the fall of 2021, sending out a Middle States survey to parents soliciting feedback regarding our performance in all twelve areas. All students in grades 8-12 took a similar survey that November, as did faculty members. A total of 642 (parents, students, and faculty) participated, and the results were tallied. The results from this survey are at the core of our growth plan moving forward. Areas of weakness were identified, and our plan for growth and improvement was developed accordingly.
Our Middle States protocol is called Excellence by Design, and it requires that we establish three measurable objectives to track and document over the next seven-year cycle, with positive results. Of our three objectives, two are academic in nature.
- The first objective focuses on career exploration and the development of a curriculum designed to better prepare our graduates for life after high school in regard to career choice, job satisfaction, and ultimately, success in the workplace.
- The second objective focuses on Business and Technology, and our need to update course offerings in order for our students to be competitive in those constantly changing career fields.
- The third objective is not academically driven, rather it targets our ongoing efforts to raise funds necessary for continued building renovations.
All survey results and action plans have been compiled in a document that will be submitted to the Middle States team for review. This same document will be made available on this page for public review. Once reaccredited, we will continue to develop action plans annually, with a mid-cycle review to take place in 2026. All supporting data and baselines will be available for review on our accreditation page online. Questions regarding the process or our upcoming visit may be directed to Kathy Hand, Director of Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Middle States Association, York Catholic retains membership in the National Catholic Education Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.