Queensborough Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Every five years, the college undergoes an accreditation event, on alternating ten-year schedules. One accreditation event is a comprehensive self-study of the institution, which is prepared and submitted to the commission. A site visit is then arranged in which a group of external reviewers—colleagues from the region—visits the campus and files a report with the college and the commission. In its November meeting, reviewing the self-study and team report, the commission renders a decision on reaccreditation, which is reported to the college. The other accreditation event is the periodic review report, which is an update on developments since the self-study and addresses any issues or concerns from the previous report or designated by the commission. A team convened by the commission meets to review the report and submits a report of its own to the commission, which formally meets in November to render a decision on accreditation. Though the periodic review report is not as comprehensive as the self-study, both accreditation events are equally important.
The Middle States Commission has 14 standards of excellence by which it evaluates an institution, with particular emphasis on comprehensive, integrated, and sustained assessment processes and the assessment of institutional effectiveness in achieving institutional mission and goals. If a college loses its accreditation, it would also lose all federal funding, which means no financial assistance for students, and difficult, if not impossible, transfer of credit for students.