Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

AFA earns 10-year accreditation

Distinguished evaluation team cites 16 points of commendation

By Tech. Sgt. Cortchie Welch

Academy Public Affairs

The Air Force Academy hit an “institutional grand slam home run,” earning a maximum 10-year accreditation after undergoing a comprehensive and intense evaluation by a team of distinguished leaders in higher education April 27-29.

During its visit, the eight-member team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools reviewed the Academy’s ongoing ability to meet the commission’s criteria for accreditation.

The commission recently released preliminary results of its report, recommending the Academy receive its next accreditation site visit in 10 years. The team, consisting of leaders from diverse and well-respected institutions nationwide, cited 16 points of commendation and only four concerns for the Academy. The final written report is scheduled to be released at the end of this month.

According to Academy senior leadership, everyone on the installation played a key role in the accreditation process.

“You should feel proud of this superb institutional accreditation-it is a true reflection of your very hard work,” said Lt. Gen. John Regni, Academy superintendent. “This is like an institutional grand slam home run for us. Thank you all for your daily commitment to excellence which led to this institutional recognition.

“The team cited 16 points of commendation and noted that was an unusually high number for an accreditation visit.”

Brig. Gen. Dana Born, dean of the faculty, expressed her appreciation as well for the Academy’s hard work and commitment to making the accreditation visit a success.

“All of us at the Academy can take great pride in this accomplishment,” General Born said.  “Although we did a good deal of specific preparation, the overwhelming success of this accreditation visit has to be attributed to the daily pursuit of excellence by every cadet and permanent party member in all the mission elements.”

The Academy has been accredited at the bachelor’s degree level by the NCA/HLC since 1959. In 50 years since that unprecedented action, the school has been continuously accredited at maximum 10-year intervals.

The Air Force Academy is widely recognized as one of the finest higher-education institutions in the nation. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the top Baccalaureate College in the West. Forbes lists USAFA as the 16th best college in the nation (out of 569) and Barron’s lists the Academy as one of the “most competitive” colleges in the country.

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