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Middle States Holds USNA Town Hall

  POSTED ON: Friday, April 11, 2014 8:00 AM by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan L. Correa

Middle States Holds USNA Town Hall

By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan L. Correa

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The U.S. Naval Academy will hold a town hall meeting April 30 hosted by Dr. Christy Faison, Vice President of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The meeting will take place in Sampson G14 at 1 p.m. and is open to anyone from the academy who would like to attend.

This meeting will allow Faison to give Naval Academy staff and faculty information about the Middle States accreditation process and answer questions. It is one of several meetings that she will be holding throughout the day.

“Dr. Faison is not here to evaluate us,” said Vice Academic Dean Boyd Waite, who is serving as one of the co-chairs of the preparation effort. “She is here to help us better understand the process we are about to begin.”

Waite has been in contact with Dr. Faison for the past few months, helping her get familiar with the academy in preparation for her visit.

“This visit is Dr. Faison’s chance to meet many of the members of the USNA team,” said Waite. “This is her chance to get a feel of what the Naval Academy is all about.”

“The preparation for re-accreditation is a two and a half year process, which for the Naval Academy started in the fall of 2013 and will end in the summer of 2016,” said Assistant Dean for Planning and Assessment Katherine Cermak, the other co-chair of the preparation effort.

“This re-accreditation review of the academy will take place after we conduct an intensive self-study over the next 18 months,” said Cermak. “This allows us to look at our programs and our mission.” 

More than 80 members of the USNA team from all parts of the Yard – including faculty, administrators, and staff – are helping develop this self-study.

Middle States will not only look at the academic part of USNA’s mission.

“Their main interest is how we accomplish our full mission as an institution,” said Cermak. “Our mission is not to just give students degrees. It includes the moral, mental and physical aspects, and how we prepare midshipmen for naval service, so we need everyone at the academy to be a part of this.”

Though the academy is not legally required to be accredited, there are clearly many important benefits. 

“Without institutional accreditation, it would be very difficult for midshipmen to go to graduate school,” said Cermak. “Our engineering, computer science, and chemistry programs could not be accredited by their respective accrediting organizations. Being accredited tells the world that you’re willing to participate in processes of self-improvement and external review.”

Middle States is a voluntary, non-governmental membership association serving the Mid-Atlantic region that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement of institutions of higher learning, and it instills public confidence in an institution’s mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement.

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