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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Middle States Offers Programs of Distinction Award
For top-tier schools committed to advancing excellence, the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) offers Programs of Distinction awards, which provide an opportunity to take accreditation to the next level. The Program of Distinction award recognizes high-achieving schools for their ongoing accomplishments in a specific area and serves as an external validation that the program is world class. “These programs are models for other academic programs throughout the world,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of MSA-CESS. The Programs of Distinction review process helps accredited schools identify strengths and areas for growth and provides inspiration and guidance for attaining a high quality program. The process involves a rigorous self-assessment of all aspects of the program, followed by an on-site visit by one or more educators who specialize in the specific program area. For programs that may still need to grow and improve, the process is an excellent tool for self-assessment and external evaluation, and an effective guide toward attaining Program of Distinction recognition in the future. MSA-CESS provides a detailed feedback report. Middle States accredited schools are eligible to apply for Program of Distinction recognition for outstanding programs in one or more of the following categories: • STEM • 21st-Century Skills • Early Childhood Education • Global Literacies • Music • School Counseling • Service Learning • Visual Arts • World Languages Last year, MSA-CESS recognized The American Community School of Beirut in Lebanon for Programs of Distinction in Early Childhood Education and World Languages-Arabic. “The American Community School of Beirut sets high expectations for ourselves and our students,” said Head of School Hamilton Clark. “This recognition by MSA affirms that we are meeting and exceeding those expectations with world class programs that further our mission of empowering students to become creative problem solvers who live well balanced lives and serve Lebanon and the world community with understanding and compassion.” To learn more about the Programs of Distinction, contact the Middle States Association at [email protected] or 267.284.5000. Visit the Middle States Association online at www. msa-cess.org.
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