After Warning, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Granted Full Accreditation

Photo: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has been restored to full accreditation more than a year after it was issued a warning by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that its accreditation could be in jeopardy over non-compliance in certain areas.

“The Middle States Commission on Higher Education granted the US Merchant Marine Academy full reaccreditation on November 16, 2017, after determining the institution meets the commission’s rigorous and comprehensive standards in displaying characteristics of excellence in higher education,” USMMA said in a statement on Monday.

Accredited institutions are required to engage in an 18-24 month period of self-study at least once every 10 years intended to demonstrate institutional compliance with accreditation standards and to promote institutional improvement. But following the Academy’s last mandatory self-study review and a MSCHE evaluation team visit during the 2015-16 academic year, the MSCHE put the Academy on warning thats its accreditation could be in jeopardy.

“While MSCHE found the Academy’s academic foundation is sound, and in many ways exemplary, they issued a warning with recommendations regarding two broad areas separate from academics: combatting sexual harassment and assault, particularly during Sea Year; and governance of the USMMA,” the Academy said in a statement June 30, 2016 after receiving the warning.

As part of the warning, the Academy was given two years to reach compliance while the remaining accredited as it worked with MSCHE to address all requirements and recommendations.

Rear Admiral James, A. Helis, USMMA Superintendent, said, “I thank all of the staff, faculty, and Midshipmen who worked so hard to achieve this milestone.”

In accordance with Middle States’ transition to an eight year reaccreditation cycle, the Academy’s next full reaccreditation review will be in 2024.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is one of the five Federal Service Academies.