AU further expanded its reputation for excellence by achieving candidacy status with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Philadelphia-based MSCHE was established in 1919 and is “a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-based membership association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation.”
The commission “supports its members in their quest for excellence and provides assurance to the general public that accredited member institutions meet its standards.”
At its session at the end of June, the MSCHE granted Athabasca University Candidate for Accreditation Status. This means that following a rigorous process AU has achieved recognition and is progressing toward accreditation. It has “provided evidence of sound planning, seems to have the resources to implement the plans, and appears to have the potential for obtaining its goals within a reasonably time,” according to a letter from the commission’s chair.
Dominique Abrioux notes that achieving this status is “an essential condition for the university’s expansion into the United States, which will in time allow recognition of AU as North America’s premier institution of open and distance education.”