Acceditation panel warns USMMA about sex harassment, governance

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA):

(KINGS POINT, N.Y.) — On Thursday, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) issued their expected determination regarding accreditation, and while they 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: combating sexual harassment and assault, particularly during Sea Year; and governance of the USMMA. 

The academy remains accredited while we work with MSCHE to address the requirements and recommendations, and ensure the highest caliber education for the academy’s midshipmen. The academy has two years to reach compliance, and we are confident that we can return to compliance within that span of time.

Superintendent Rear Adm. James A. Helis, USMS, said “the academy appreciates MSCHE’s candid, thoughtful, and thorough work. We are committed to the process of continued improvement to accomplish the academy’s mission. I am confident that USMMA will meet the requirements and recommendations.”

The MSCHE Evaluation Team’s assessment also found “noteworthy achievements in the following areas: admissions; achievement of the licensing component of the institutional mission; the advisory board’s assessment reports; the Sea Year; progress on developing a formal and integrated leader development program; and assistance provided to department and course-level assessment.” In fact the most recent incoming classes at USMMA are the most diverse in its history, and the most qualified. Further, in each of the last three years, Kings Point graduates have had record “pass” rates in the grueling four-day U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer licensing exam.

To read the MSCHE Evaluation Team's report, click here.

By Professional Mariner Staff