On February 13, a Middle States Town Hall for the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) community was held in Theatre 2 at the College’s main campus, 199 Chambers Street in lower Manhattan.
The purpose of the meeting was to update students, faculty and staff on a visit to BMCC by an evaluation team from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) scheduled for March 11 through March 14.
The Middle States self-study process is an opportunity for BMCC to evaluate how it meets or exceeds the MSCHE Standards for Accreditation. It focuses on the College’s mission and goals, and makes recommendations for improvement.
The Town Hall opened with a brief video showcasing BMCC’s theme, “Make the City Your Classroom,” that shows students at the college’s lower Manhattan, uptown and other sites.
BMCC President Antonio Pérez was the event’s first speaker.
“The purpose of today’s meeting is let you know what we should expect when the Middle States team comes to visit us next month,” he said. “These are our colleagues, coming in to help us be a better institution. It’s a process that we welcome. It will help us make BMCC the institution that we believe we are, and make it even better.”
A second video, Setting the Stage for Opportunity, highlighted the BMCC Theatre program, which provides students with internships and guides them through auditions and large-scale productions.
After it screened, Karrin E. Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, showed a PowerPoint of the BMCC self-study timeline. “Student success is at the heart of everything we do at BMCC and it drives the Middle States process,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of time and people to get us where we are today.”
Professor of Science Lauren Goodwin, who co-chairs the BMCC Middle States process with Wilks said, “Participating in the Middle States self-study process is one of those ways you can be in a committee with colleagues from all over the college. It changes the way you view the college as a whole.”
She encouraged members of the BMCC community to read the BMCC Strategic Plan, which came out of the self-study process.
Christopher Shults, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning, closed the presentations with an overview of the upcoming Middle States visit. The Middle States team will meet with BMCC cabinet members, program directors, academic chairs, students and others, he said.
“They want to see that what we say in our Self-Study Design Document reflects reality,” Shults said. “We did not write this document as a checklist to the standards—we used the standards as a framework, through which to tell the story of our college and how we look to improve student success every day. Student success is at the core of what we do and what we will talk about while the Middle States team is here.”
For more information about the BMCC Middle States process, visit the BMCC Middle States Steering Committee & Working Groups and Self-Study Report 2017-2018.