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Mapping the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys to the MSCHE Standards for Accreditation

Many institutions rely upon the Ruffalo Noel Levitz suite of satisfaction and priorities survey results to demonstrate the fulfillment of institutional accreditation requirements. In the region served by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) – Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – MSCHE-accredited colleges and universities are responsible for showing fulfillment of the Standards of Accreditation as revised in 2014 to be effective in 2017-18. Ruffalo Noel Levitz student surveys can help!

The PDF documents available via the links below show the survey items mapped to the MSCHE requirements, tailored specifically to each survey version. Please note:

  • MSCHE requirements are stated in the publication, “Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education” (copyrighted in a 13th edition in 2015). The requirements are stated in 7 overarching standards. Each standard, though, is further described by characteristics or qualities that encompass the standard; these numbered statements are called the criteria. Some criteria elaborate detailed expectations via an outlined numbering, such as 1. a, 1. b, 1. c, etc. Users of these mappings should consult the MSCHE “Characteristics of Excellence” to interpret them in full context.
  • In order to simplify print formatting in the PDF available for download, the text of some MSCHE requirements has been lightly edited and/or truncated, especially if the original text is more than 20 words. Key words and phrases from the original have been preserved and with Standard numbering will lend itself to quick recognition. Please see the original text from MSCHE to understand any given requirement in its entirety.
  • Not all MSCHE Standards refer to processes that students can experience, so not all MSCHE standards have been listed with a survey item affiliated. In particular, it is not evident that students can observe or understand the processes of administrative planning and resource allocation, so no survey items have been mapped to that Standard VI (“Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement”).
  • The documents reflect the Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey item and the text of the item as it appears on the survey instrument. Survey items are clustered based on the Standards they support. Only the Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items which students rate for “Importance” and/or “Satisfaction” appear in these mappings. Some survey items may be associated with multiple standards, while others may relate to only one.
  • Most relationships in these mappings should be self-evident. Mapped relationships between a survey item and MSCHE requirements may be either direct or indirect. For example, not only do students experience instructional and support services directly, but also, the institutional training programs for faculty and staff indirectly affect the quality of the services that students experience. The mappings are meant to be illustrative, not comprehensive and definitive.
  • The final section of the document lists survey items which may be related to MSCHE requirements at the discretion of the survey user (especially, the campus-created survey items).
  • Questions about these documents or the survey instruments? Please contact Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items mapped to the MSCHE Standards of Accreditation

Download the appropriate document(s) based on the survey version(s) you are using on your campus:

Resources for Accreditation

RNL offers standardized assessment tools, custom survey instruments, consulting services and research to help you with your preparations for accreditation, reaffirmation, and self-studies. Whether you are new to the process or have experience and are looking for new options, Ruffalo Noel Levitz can assist you.

Assessment Tools

These standardized instruments gather data from students on their satisfaction levels as well as what is most important to them. The results identify campus areas for celebration and improvement. When administered annually or every other year, the data reflect where satisfaction levels have improved significantly. The reports also include national data for comparison. Within this family of surveys are instruments for various populations:

The Research Toolkit gives you an efficient, affordable resource for conducting campus research. Tools cover a wide range of research topics—from residence hall surveys to alumni surveys to competition studies. You receive the data in an organized tabulation report that you can use right away. Of particular interest:

Our custom research projects can include such elements as telephone and written surveys; in-depth interviews; predictive modeling; geodemography; focus groups; environmental scans; awareness and opinion measurement; research-based publications and websites; and audits of current practices, programs, and communications. We have experience conducting small, medium, and large market research projects that are highly customized to each institution, campus, and system. Our research has helped institutions take the actions they needed to be more competitive.

Consulting Services

Our experienced consultants can help you plan and implement actions that meet your goals for assessment and improvement.

Contact us

to discuss your goals and needs. Call us at 800-876-1117 or email us:
Julie Bryant, associate vice president for retention solutions, with expertise in the satisfaction-priorities surveys;
Kathryn Karford, assistant vice president, with expertise in the Research Toolkit and custom research project.

More Accreditation Solutions

National Reports

Read the national reports on student satisfaction and priorities.

Exhibit Booth

Visit our exhibit booth at the next SACS Annual Meeting to visit in-person with a Ruffalo Noel Levitz representative.