Statement of Accreditation from The Middle States Commission

June 29, 2012

Dr. Gail 0. Mellow
LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York 31-10 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Dear Dr. Mellow:

At its session on June 28, 2012, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education acted:

To reaffirm accreditation. The Periodic Review Report is due June 1, 2017.

Enclosed for your information is a copy of the Statement of Accreditation Status for your institution. The Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS) provides important basic information about the institution and its affiliation with the Commission, and it is made available to the public in the Directory of Members and Candidates on the Commission's website at Accreditation applies to the institution as detailed in the SAS; institutional information is derived from data provided by the institution through annual reporting and from Commission actions. If any of the institutional information is incorrect, please contact the Commission as soon as possible.

Please check to ensure that published references to your institution's accredited status (catalog, other publications, web page) include the full name, address, and telephone number of the accrediting agency. Further guidance is provided in the Commission's policy statement Advertising, Student Recruitment, and Representation of Accredited Status. If the action for your institution includes preparation of a progress report, monitoring report or supplemental report, please see our policy statement on Follow-up Reports and Visits. Both policies can be obtained from our website.

Please be assured of the continuing interest of the Commission on Higher Education in the well-being of LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York. If any further clarification is needed regarding the SAS or other items in this letter, please feel free to contact Dr. Debra G. Klinman, Vice President.

R. Barbara Gitenstein, Ph.D. Chair

c: Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor, City University of New York Central Administration

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other locations abroad.

Read Entire Statement of Accreditation Letter 

Response to the Middle States Evaluation Team's Final Report

April 30, 2012

Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski, President
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19204

Dear Dr. Sibolski:

We wish to begin by thanking Dr. Stephen Curtis and the visiting team assembled for LaGuardia Community College. The College worked as a large collaborative to produce a comprehensive self-study, and the team engaged the campus in a thorough and thoughtful review of the supporting evidence, and multiple conversations with many faculty, staff and students.

We find the review fair and balanced in its analysis. There is only one omission that is puzzling to us which we would like to bring to the Commission’s attention. LaGuardia Community College is proud of the extensive commitment we have made to evaluating general education learning outcomes through a rigorous analysis of student work. Over the past ten years, we have invested considerable time and talent in developing an ePortfolio process to capture students’ work at the beginning, middle and end of their academic career. Faculty have worked assiduously to develop and refine rubrics to evaluate student work against our general education competencies. As the Team Report notes, this assessment project is still a work in progress. But a bi-annual rubric analysis of student work is now routinely carried out by an enthusiastic group of cross-disciplinary faculty, providing college-level assessment data.

Since we currently have over 40,000 artifacts deposited in student ePortfolios, our ability to analyze appropriate samples of student work has advanced to provide overall assessments of the impact of LaGuardia Community College on student learning outcomes. On the chart below (which can also be found on page 97 of our Self-Study Report), you will see that LaGuardia can provide evidence for improvement in student learning in four key competency areas.

graph- final report

Faculty teams scored samples comparing two categories of students (those with 25 and under credits vs. those with 45 and over) to assess student progress through the core competencies. Each artifact was scored on a 1-6 scale by two readers, yielding a combined score for each student ranging from 2-12. Ideally, students at or near completion of their academic careers at the college should receive a score of 10 (a 5 from each of the two readers). Overall, the results showed that students are making progress (an average increase across all rubrics of .87), though the scores for the 45 credits and over group are not yet where we would like them to be, i.e., they have not on average reached a score of 10.

LaGuardia Community College is happy to be able to provide evidence of advancement, although our goal is to produce even more substantial gains in student learning as we use this data to improve instruction across the campus. The lack of attention afforded to this important aspect of our assessment program was confusing, particularly because it was highlighted in our self study and appeared to be the kind of activity of interest to the Commission.

With this singular concern identified, we would like to again thank the Commission for appointing such an extraordinary Chair of our Visiting Team, as well as the strong team, and look forward to the final determination of the Commission on our status.


Dr. Gail O. Mellow


2012 Comprehensive Institutional Self-Study Report [ Entire Document] (127 pages)

Executive Summary 

 Chapter 1:  Standard 1: Mission and Goals  
 Chapter 2:  Standards 2, 3 & 7: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal, Resources & Assessment  
 Chapter 3:   Standards 4, 5, & 6: Leadership, Governance, Administration, and Integrity  
 Chapter 4:   Standards 8 & 9: Student Admissions, Retention, and Support Services 
 Chapter 5:  Standard 10: Faculty 
 Chapter 6:  Standard 11: Educational Offerings       
 Chapter 7:  Standard 13: Related Educational Activities 
 Chapter 8:  Standards 12 & 14: Assessment of Student Learning and General Education 

Appendices to the Report [ Entire Document] (166 pages)

Appendix 1 & 2
Appendix 3 & 4
Appendix 5 & 6
Appendix 7 & 8 

You can learn more about the purposes of accreditation, the self-study process, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education at the Accreditation, Self Study, and Timetable, sections of this site.

Gordon Tapper
Professor of English
Chair of Middle States Steering Committee