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Educators See Why Naval Academy Tops College Rankings

Posted on: October 25, 2012 08:00 EDT by Jessica Clark

High school educators, guidance counselors and community leaders from across the U.S. visited the Naval Academy Oct. 22-25 for the Admissions Office’s Centers of Influence Conference.

The conference is designed to make those who work with high school students more aware of what the Naval Academy has to offer. For the second straight year USNA was ranked the #1 public school by high school counselors according to U.S. News & World Report.

Conference visitors attend a variety of presentations about the Naval Academy where they learn about the admissions process, international opportunities for midshipmen, officer development, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives, and the academy’s athletics program.

Visitors also received a tour of Naval Academy facilities, including science and engineering labs and a yard patrol craft.

“This has been an eye-opening event for me,” said Shaun Lain, program director of College Campus Tours in Atlanta, Ga. Lain’s company has been conducting tours in the D.C. area for five years, but this was his first time coming on the Naval Academy Yard.

“I’m enthused about the leadership principles that they teach here. I believe everyone is a leader based on their unique gifts, but those gifts need to be refined, and I think this is the golden place to refine those gifts,” he said.

Lain now plans to include Annapolis on the company’s East Coast tours and is already working on having some students attend a mini-STEM program at the academy in the near future.

Rori Abernethy, chair of the Mathematics Department at her school in Oakland, Calif., said she was impressed by the support and resources available, as well as the diversity of the students.

Abernethy works with minority students who often have a hard time - even with very high grades - getting into the colleges of their choice, particularly with increasing international competition. With minorities making up 35 percent of the Naval Academy student body, Abernethy feels the academy offers an opportunity her students need.

“The Admissions Office hopes that each COI participant will return to their school and spread information about these opportunities to students who may not be aware that the Academy is an option for them,” said Ashley Rawls, who works in the Admissions Office.

“After attending a COI visit, educators are better equipped to help their students navigate through the rigorous admissions process and understand the fantastic possibilities that await should the student be accepted into the academy,” she said.

Counselors and school officials interested in attending a COI should sign up The Class of 2017 application is available to students now and will close on March 1, 2013.

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