Who Are We Guided Independent Study Course Information Student Center Design Center News job Site

All the boats pictured on this site were designed by Westlawn alumni.
Click here to see a gallery of alumni designs.

Westlawn alumni are prominent in the marine industry. Click here to see more.

Click here for information on Westlawn's short continuing education courses.

Click here to sign up for Westlawn’s free email journal, The Masthead, with: technical information, what’s happening at Westlawn, and boating industry updates.

Click here to order books, apparel and accessories.











For Immediate Release

Contact: Caroline Chetelat at ABYC

(410) 990-4460, x22

[email protected]


Westlawn Announces Reaccreditation With High Marks

DETC Finds Top-Notch Boat-Design Training at Westlawn


February 5, 2007, Annapolis, MD:  The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is pleased to announce that its accrediting body, the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), has reaccredited Westlawn without condition, during Westlawn’s regular five-year reaccreditation review.  Founded in 1930, Westlawn has been nationally accredited by DETC since 1971 - for over 36 years.  Westlawn’s next reaccreditation is scheduled for five years from now, starting in 2011.


Following the current accreditation review, DETC had high praise for Westlawn.  DETC executive director Michael P. Lambert stated that, “Westlawn’s implementation of a systematic approach to distance learning is effective and impressive. The services provided to the students by the Westlawn staff are exemplary, and the instructors and staff are well qualified and very experienced.”  Lambert continued, “the Institute’s offices are nothing short of perfect.”  He then went on to say that, “the curriculum offered by Westlawn can only be described as outstanding; it truly meets the needs of the small-craft design industry.”


Westlawn director, Dave Gerr, noted, “people outside of the academic world are often unfamiliar with the accreditation process.  It is exhaustive.  At DETC, for example, accredited institutions submit their entire curriculum for review to two independent 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.”


Evaluation of the curriculum by professionals in the field is just one part of the process.  Accreditation 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.  No aspect is unexamined.


Gerr continued, “Though it’s a big project and a big investment for any school, the work involved for accreditation pays off in systematically ensuring that the school evaluates and improves it’s own program and operations.  Further, the school receives outside evaluations and recommendations from other education professionals who have taken a long detailed look at your school.  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 well over three decades, and look forward to their continued support,” Gerr concluded.



The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) was founded in 1926 to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the distance-learning field. The independent seven-member Accrediting Commission of 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 DETC Accrediting Commission.



Founded in 1930, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is the only nationally accredited and state-certified distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States. As the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat and Yacht Council, 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.

■ 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 (860) 572-7900 or visit the Westlawn website at: www.westlawn.edu.