In March, 2018, Hampshire College received its ten-year reaccreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The College had undergone a comprehensive review in 2017 and was found to be in compliance with the Standards for Accreditation established by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), one of the commissions under the NEASC umbrella. (CIHE has since become the New England Commission of Higher Education, an independent Commission that continues to collaborate but is no longer affiliated with NEASC.)
In continuing Hampshire’s accreditation, NEASC acknowledged the College’s many strengths including:
NEASC also recognized Hampshire’s efforts in fiscal year 2017-18 to enact a long-term financial sustainability plan aimed at turning around recent declines in enrollment and retention, reducing the College’s dependence on tuition for revenue, and establishing a stable financial footing for the future.
Download NEASC's May 4, 2018 letter of accreditation to Hampshire College.
In October, NEASC asked Hampshire to submit a report in Spring, 2019, emphasizing success in such critical areas as improving the college’s financial position and engaging in multi-year financial planning; meeting its goals for enrollment, retention, and discount rate; and achieving its goals with respect to faculty and staff compensation.
See more information about NECHE and the accreditation process.
The 2017 NEASC review involved two primary processes: One, a comprehensive self-study of Hampshire led by a committee of the College’s senior campus leaders, with Professor Aaron Berman and Secretary of the College Beth Ward serving as cochairs; and two, an evaluation of the College by executives and faculty visiting from peer institutions. Some 100 members of the Hampshire community – employees, students, and trustees – supported the College's reaccreditation committee by providing input for the self-study and being available to evaluators during the site visit.
The College submitted its self-study report to NEASC in September, 2017, and the evaluation team made its site visit to Hampshire in October, 2017. The visiting evaluation team was chaired by President Richard Miller of Olin College of Engineering and included members representing Rhode Island School of Design, Lesley University, Wheaton College, Western Washington University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Berklee College of Music. The self-study, the review team’s report, and Hampshire’s response to the report all became part of the Commission’s deliberations. The final step was an appearance before the Commission by Hampshire’s Board of Trustees Chair Gaye Hill, President Jonathan Lash, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Eva Rueschmann, and Reaccreditaton Committee Co-Chair Beth Ward, together with Olin President Richard Miller.
Hampshire was first awarded accreditation in 1974, four years after enrolling its first class of students.