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Values: In addition to maintaining rigorous standards for admission and graduation, American universities are noted for their commitment to definitive core values. This list below is certainly not complete, but it does provide AUS with some general concepts that the board of trustees should keep in mind as planning for AUS as it evolves as a university committed to graduate education and both basic and applied research:
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HISTORY: Education Specialists, members of the business community throughout Sicily, and civic leaders in Siracusa, Sicily’s oldest city (first colonized by Greek settlers from Corinth in 734 BC), have begun planning to establish a new American style university to serve undergraduate and graduate students from Sicily, Italy and elsewhere in Europe and North Africa. The American University of Sicily (AUS) established and registered, as a nonprofit association in 2018. Since then, a great effort has been put to build on the twin models of the best universities in the USA as well as in Europe. It will join the growing number of dynamic American-style universities that have taken root and are thriving in many European nations, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and South and Central Asia. At present there are more   than   150   North   American   college   and   university   programs   located   throughout   Italy.   Only two, however, are free-standing and legally registered degree granting institution s that offer full-time and complete degree programs in Italy: the American University of Rome and John Cabot University, also in Rome (Trastevere). The prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna offers only one year of a two year masters’ degree which students must then complete at the main campus of SAIS in Washington, DC. While widely respected, It is not a separate institution. The steady growth of these American-style universities reflects the growing international recognition of their unique appeal and success as well as their firm commitment to verifiable quality, entrepreneurial energy, active community engagement, and an emphasis on basic and applied research that reflects broader national priorities. The greatest assets of an American University in Sicily will be its emphasis on providing graduate and professional programs of unquestionable quality as demonstrated by the highest level of university accreditation in the USA; its commitment to English as the language of instruction; and active linkages with the best American universities in the USA as well as around the world that will contribute to unique partnerships with AUS and its stakeholders. There is no university in Sicily that can offer these advantages. Well established and venerable universities in Palermo, Messina and Catania represent the best standards and traditions of the European model of higher education in Italy but do not strive to meet the highest international standards of quality as evidenced by US accreditation. Moreover, there is no evidence that its professional programs are accredited by recognized international accrediting agencies such as AACSB or ABET. Neither does it employ English as the official language of instruction and does not yet seem to have established dynamic and effective partnerships with established universities in the USA, Europe, the Middle East or Asia. AUS will begin with a clear focus on graduate and professional programs designed in close consultation with local and national stakeholders in Sicily and Italy. It will be firmly committed to attaining full academic accreditation by USA accrediting agencies as well as satisfying the rigorous requirements of international accrediting agencies in various disciplines that cover all topics related to the Mediterranean.
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