Press Release

GIA Campus in Carlsbad Recognized as 2017 ACCSC School of Excellence

Photo courtesy of ACCSC.
GIA education staff accepts the ACCSC School of Excellence Award. Pictured from left: Elizabeth Brehmer, director of jewelry manufacturing arts operations; Vusala Aranjo, manager of global education accreditation and regulatory affairs and Title IX coordinator; Brenda Harwick, manager of on-campus and lab gemology instruction; Susan Johnson, director of education accreditation and regulatory affairs; Vickie Clements, ACCSC Commissioner; Kimberly Overlin, dean of students; Kelly Yantzer, director of global education standards; Jennifer Kim, campus manager; Susan Elliott, director of education resources. Photo courtesy of ACCSC.

Campus receives ACCSC’s most prestigious institutional award for 2nd consecutive time

Carlsbad, Calif. – November 2, 2017 – GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) Carlsbad campus received the 2017 School of Excellence Award from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). GIA is among an elite group of only 15 post-secondary ACCSC-accredited institutions to receive the award this year. This recognition includes a six-year grant of accreditation, an honor reserved for ACCSC’s highest performing institutions. The Carlsbad campus was first named a School of Excellence in 2012; GIA’s New York campus was similarly recognized in 2014.

“We are honored to again be recognized by ACCSC as a School of Excellence,” said Bev Hori, GIA senior vice president and chief learning officer. “This accreditation is so important to our work in preparing the next generation of gem and jewelry professionals.”

“ACCSC is incredibly proud of the work being done by our accredited member institutions to ensure that students not only have a high-quality education, but graduate with the critical skills they need in order to enter and advance in their chosen occupational field,” said Dr. Michale McComis, ACCSC’s Executive Director. 

The School of Excellence Award recognizes ACCSC-accredited institutions for their consistent commitment to the expectations and rigors of the accreditation process, as well as a commitment to delivering high-quality educational programs and services to students and graduates. ACCSC conducted a comprehensive assessment of GIA’s educational programs, student services, and required that GIA’s graduate employment records be independently verified by a qualified third-party.

ACCSC accredits GIA’s on-campus courses and programs in Carlsbad and New York. The award was announced at ACCSC’s 50th anniversary Professional Development Conference held Sept. 25 – 27 in Reston, VA.

2017 marks 50 years of continuous recognition for ACCSC, including earning, in 2011 & 2016, consecutive five-year recognition grants from the U.S. Department of Education. Today, ACCSC remains committed to helping enhance the student educational experience for over 150,000 students attending more than 650 accredited institutions located across the country.   Read more on ACCSC online at


About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.     
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism.