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Contact: John Adey at ABYC

(410) 990-4460, x117


Contact: Dave Gerr at Westlawn

(207) 853-6600, x50


Westlawn Announces its Ninth Reaccreditation

DETC Finds Top-Notch Boat-Design Training at Westlawn


February 24, 2012, Annapolis, MD and Eastport, ME: The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is pleased to announce that its U.S. accrediting body, the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), has reaccredited Westlawn without condition, during Westlawn’s regular five-year reaccreditation review. This is the ninth consecutive reaccreditation for Westlawn Institute without a single condition or correction required—a nearly unequalled record. Founded in 1930, Westlawn has been nationally accredited by DETC since 1971—for forty years. Westlawn’s next reaccreditation is scheduled for five years from now, starting in 2016.


Michael P. Lambert, Executive Director of the Federally-recognized Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), located in Washington, DC, said this about Westlawn's grant of reaccreditation:


"Westlawn Institute has been accredited by DETC for the past forty years, and this most recent reaccreditation underscores the fact that Westlawn has continued once again to prove that it meets the very rigorous academic and business standards of the DETC.


Accreditation from DETC is not easily earned, and only about one in five applicant institutions are able to achieve it. The standards of DETC are among the most stringent and consumer-friendly in the nation, and Westlawn has earned its accreditation laurels without conditions nine times in the past four decades. Each time, Westlawn has been able to sail past the finishing line with all colors flying, and each time, Westlawn has shown that it merits the utmost confidence of the public, the boating industry and most of all its students as being the very best it can be as a world-class educational institution.


On behalf of the Accrediting Commission of the DETC, we warmly congratulate Westlawn Institute on its well-deserved grant of reaccreditation."


Westlawn director, Dave Gerr, stated:


“People outside of the academic world are often unfamiliar with the accreditation process. It is exhaustive. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education sets the overall regulations that govern the process, and in recent years has made requirements more and more rigorous. This includes a requirement that all accredited institutions be 100% compliant with all regulations and standards. There is no longer any allowance even for minor deviations. In addition to complying with regulations and standards, accredited institutions must submit their entire curriculum for review to two outside experts in the field being taught. These experts are selected independently by DETC and, favorable or not, the school never knows who the reviewing experts are, so evaluations are completely unbiased and completely independent. Accreditation further looks at every aspect of a school’s operation, from enrollment and grading policies, through student services, to financial and accounting practices, to long-range planning.


Though it’s a big project and a big investment for any school—made even tougher by the new Department of Ed rules—the work involved for accreditation pays off in systematically ensuring that the school evaluates and improves its programs and operations. Further, the school receives outside assessments and recommendations from other education professionals. Even more important is the benefit to our students who can be assured of the very best educational experience, industry recognition of their training, and the ability to transfer credit to other schools and educational programs. We’ve found DETC to be an invaluable partner for over four decades, and look forward to their continued support.”


In addition to its long-standing U.S. accreditation by DETC, Westlawn Institute’s Yacht & Boat Design Program was accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), in London, England, in May of 2011. Westlawn Institute thus maintains two accreditations, U.S. and international.



The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) is a non-profit accrediting association located in Washington, D.C. The Council was founded in 1926 to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the correspondence field. The independent nine-member Accrediting Commission of the DETC was established in 1955; shortly thereafter it gained the approval of the U.S. Department of Education as a "nationally recognized accrediting agency" under terms of Public Law. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also recognizes the Accrediting Commission.


With its 86 years of history and its highly refined and federally recognized accreditation program, DETC offers distance-learning institutions the most current, relevant and practical services for the 21st Century. DETC accreditation assures students, employers and the public that the institutions it accredits have been thoroughly evaluated and been found to meet the highest educational and administrative standards of excellence.



Founded in 1930, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is the only nationally accredited distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States. Westlawn is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), in Washington DC, and is listed as an accredited school by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Westlawn is internationally accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), in London, England. As the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the mission of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is threefold:

·       To provide our students with the skills and knowledge required to build a rewarding career in the profession of yacht and small-craft naval architecture, via distance learning.

·       To support continued growth of the recreational and small-craft marine community through the development of well-trained, safety-oriented, boat designers developing better products for the benefit of the boating public.

·       To provide continuing education to marine-industry professionals.


To learn more about Westlawn, please call (207) 853-6600 or visit the Westlawn website at: www.westlawn.edu.