GIA honored as a ‘School of Distinction’

The Gemological Institute of America was recently named a 2006 School of Distinction by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology.

GIA was one of 31 schools out of the more than 840 ACCSCT’s members to qualify for the award. The award honors institutions that have a proven record of providing quality education programs and that demonstrate a commitment to the expectations of the Commission’s accreditation.

GIA’s On Campus education programs have been accredited by the group since 1973.

“The School of Distinction award is the highest honor ACCSCT awards to its accredited schools. By achieving the School of Distinction award, the Gemological Institute of America has shown its commitment not only to the value of accreditation and educational quality, but also to the students and communities which it serves,” said Michale McComis, associate executive director for the ACCSCT.

The commission is recognized by the United States Department of Education as a private, nonprofit, independent accrediting agency for the past 35 years. The agency recognizes non-degree-granting and degree-granting schools in the United States that are predominately geared toward occupational, trade, and technical careers.

“We strive to make the total GIA experience exceptional from our students’ first contact to their graduation,” said Brook Ellis, GIA vice president of education. “We are very pleased to be recognized by the ACCSCT with the School of Distinction Award because it validates our mission to ensure superior customer service.”

Accreditation is a voluntary peer-review process that begins with the submission of an application and continues with periodic self-evaluation reports that assess the school’s curriculum, faculty, student recruitment, admissions, student services, student progress and management. An on-site visit from a commission team follows. They examine the facilities; interview management and staff; survey students, graduates and employers; and verify that the school is operating in compliance with the Standards of Accreditation and meeting its announced objectives. The commission then determines whether schools will be granted initial or renewed accreditation.