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Leaders Circle of Peace
Setting Standards in Peace studies
Over spring break, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies Dean William Headley attended a meeting in Boston with several directors of other leading academic peacebuilding programs throughout the country. The purpose of the meeting was to share common interests and concerns, including career and job placement; accreditation and program evaluation; syllabi and program development; faculty hiring and recruitment; collective advocacy and fundraising.
Representatives from Notre Dame University, Eastern Mennonite University, George Mason University and host Brandeis University attended the meeting, in addition to Dean Headley.
The topic of accreditation and program evaluation was of particular interest. Unlike other fields, such as law or business which have professional accreditation bodies designed to evaluate the intellectual rigor of a particular program, the subject of peacebuilding does not currently have such a mechanism. It is only within the recent past that the subject has proliferated within academic institutions. However, directors from all 5 universities at the meeting agreed that it is now time to put standards in place for evaluating post-graduate education in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
The group will meet again in March 2012 to continue the collective effort of defining and standardizing these fields.