The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits schools that meet their established criteria for excellence known as the Twelve Standards and establishes student performance and organizational objectives to work on, over a seven year time period. To determine how well Merion Mercy Academy meets each of the standards, faculty, staff, students and parents completed an online survey at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. A total of 482 surveys were completed. These responses were tallied and averaged. The highest possible rating was a 4. Merion Mercy Academy received no average rating lower than a 3.03. Merion Mercy Academy met or exceeded the expectations for each Standard. The Twelve Standards are: Philosophy and Mission, Governance and Leadership, School Improvement Planning, Finances, Facilities, School Climate and Organization, Health and Safety, Educational Program, Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning, Student Services, Student Life and Student Activities, and Technology.
Merion Mercy Academy chose the Excellence by Design protocol that uses strategic planning as a vehicle for growth and improvement in student performance and in the school’s capacity to affect that growth. Excellence by Design leads the school to establish objectives for improving student performance and organizational capacity based on its vision of a preferred future for its students. Therefore, Excellence by Design is a future-oriented and visionary process. In addition, the protocol provides for a continuous review of programs and services and of the results of student performance. It also allows diverse constituent groups to participate in charting the future of the institution.
The Middle States Planning Team consists of Administrators, a member of the Board of Trustees, faculty, students and current and past parents. The Planning Team began meeting in the fall of 2010 to review strengths and weaknesses of the school, as identified through the survey results for each Standard and will continue to meet throughout the seven year accreditation period to oversee the departments and the Academic Board as they make progress with the implementation of their action plans. The Planning Team will also review the data collected by departments to see how the action plans are impacting student learning and performance.
Faculty members worked together to revise philosophy statements and graduation outcomes for each department, as well as identify student performance objectives that were used to plan for growth and improvement over the next seven years. The faculty participated in Middle States Planning days in the spring of 2010 and the fall of 2011 where they reviewed the current Mission and Belief Statements, established the Profile of a Graduate, and created action plans to improve student learning and performance in the areas of critical thinking and analytical skills. The Academic Board worked to create the action plan for the organizational objective relating to faculty professional development.
In July 2011, The Middle States Association approved the school’s objectives, which focus on improving analytical and critical thinking skills and faculty professional development.
The Middle States Evaluation team visited Merion Mercy Academy in February 2012 for three and a half days. During their visit they met with administration, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, students and parents to ask questions in reference to the twelve Middle States Standards. At the end of the visit, the Visitation Team Chair spoke with the faculty and reported that the Visitation Team would make the recommendation for reaccreditation to The Middle States Association of Colleges and School.
In the fall of 2012, Merion Mercy Academy received the official reaccreditation certificate from The Middle States Association of Colleges and School.
Updates will be posted at the end of each school year regarding the progress made on action plans. A follow up visitation will take place after 3 years to review the progress that has been made on the action plans.