Recently our provider, Cultural Experiences Abroad, had an official visit by a team of evaluators from the University of New Haven. Although CEA hosts academic programs at over 20 locations globally, it is actually the University of New Haven that oversees and accredits the courses offered in all of those places.
It just so happened that the Dean of International Studies at P.C., Dr. Adrian Beaulieu, was invited to serve as part of the UNH accreditation team. Dr. Beaulieu was asked because of his vast experience in the “world of study abroad”. Also, he has an obvious connection to CEA through our PC/ CEA Theology Religious Studies Center in Rome.
Now in its fourth year, our Center provides Theology classes for P.C. students as well as any other students who come to Rome through CEA. Our Theology courses are the only classes in Rome not transcripted by UNH. Theology/ Religious Studies students receive their transcripts directly from Providence College.
Every five years a rigorous process of accreditation takes place. CEA prepares a self-study report to submit to the administration at UNH. This summer our CEA Rome Team submitted a report of over 90 pages outlining just about everything that happens at their global campus here in the eternal city.
During their visit, the evaluators participated in the entire life of the global campus for three days. They sat in on classes, interviewed students, and consulted faculty and staff about the work of CEA in Rome.
They also visited student apartments and learned about the life of American students here. The point was to immerse themselves in the daily activities of the students, faculty, staff, and administration and get a feel for the “ethos” of the program. This “up close” experience, as well as the self study report, gives the accreditation team plenty of perspective to be able to evaluate CEA in Rome.
But it certainly was not all work and no play for the UNH team! They enjoyed an aperitif and dinner with faculty one evening. And another evening they participated in a site tour visit of the Jewish Ghetto which ended with dinner at a famous kosher restaurant.
Because of our partnership with CEA, this visit was important for Providence College too. Like CEA, we’re interested in maintaining high standards, being proactive about student needs, and thinking creatively about enhancing the experience for future students who come to Rome. All in all, it was a learning experience for everyone and helped to forge an even stronger bond between CEA and P.C.