COA Receives Award for Excellence

BAR HARBOR — The New England Board of Higher Education this month made public its annual Higher Education Excellence Awards and College of the Atlantic received one of its highest commendations, the Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Excellence.


According to Michael Thomas, president and CEO of the board, “College of the Atlantic is richly deserving of the Robert J. McKenna award for Program Achievement. COA’s single major, Human Ecology, integrates knowledge from all academic disciplines and experiences. It moves students to explore and ultimately enrich the relationship of human beings and our social and natural surroundings – this approach challenges traditional attitudes and practices and encourages students to think and act comprehensively on a daily basis.”

According a statement issued by the New England Board of Higher Education, or NEBHE, COA’s “outstanding record was recognized by the board as being truly exceptional. Very few programs rise to this level of excellence.”

In acknowledging the award, Ken Hill, COA’s academic dean said, “We are so pleased to have our rigorous and innovative academic approach recognized by the NEBHE. Through human ecology, College of the Atlantic students gain the intellectual wisdom necessary to handle the challenges of the new century, tempered with the ecological awareness needed to sustain our planet into the future.”

The New England Higher Education Excellence Awards were launched in 2003 to recognize individuals and institutions that have made substantive contributions to improving higher education opportunities for New England students.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in environmental stewardship and experiential education, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning – human ecology – that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers who can lead all sectors of society to promote sustainable ecosystems while meeting compelling and growing human needs.

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