MIDDLETOWN, Pa .– Indrit Hoxha, associate professor of economics at the School of Business Administration at Penn State Harrisburg, has been selected to serve on the Accreditation Board for the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency in his country of ‘origin, Albania.
The mission of the council is to ensure the quality of higher education through external and internal evaluations, to maintain quality standards and to promote and improve the quality of higher education institutions and study programs. that they offer.
âThe idea is that they want to make sure that they improve the quality of education and make sure there is no conflict of interest,â Hoxha said.
Hoxha was one of 11 members selected for a four-year term on the Albania Accreditation Council. Six of those selected were Albanian and five international. Hoxha was the only one from the United States.
During the first visit to Albania in September, the board members met with government officials including the prime minister, university presidents and experts running the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency .
Hoxha was selected to the Board of Directors because he was actively involved in internal quality assurance processes within Penn State Harrisburg, in particular with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
âGiven my experience at Penn State Harrisburg with the accreditation processes and the overall experience as a teacher, they have reached out,â he said.
Wanting to help his home country, Albania, Hoxha hopes to use the skills he learned in the United States and use them to improve higher education in Albania.
Hoxha’s duties as a member of the Albanian Accreditation Council mirror the duties of American accrediting institutions, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredits Penn State, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which accredits Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration. First, there is an internal assessment where the university analyzes how it is performing against the standards set by the government and the previous accreditation board.
Then there is an external report where experts, approved by the Accreditation Board, visit universities and conduct their own assessment of their performance against standards. The accreditation board receives both reports, and Hoxha’s job will be to come to an agreement with the rest of the board on who should be accredited or not and for how long.
âIt’s a great responsibility, and at the same time, it’s a great honor to serve on the (board),â Hoxha said.
Since there will only be six meetings a year, Hoxha can still teach at Penn State Harrisburg and serve on the board. For some meetings he will have to travel to Albania, but for others he will be able to attend virtually.
While Hoxha looks forward to using her skills, he is especially looking forward to giving back to his home country with this new role in addition to representing Penn State at such levels.
âEveryone has the desire and the will to help their own country,â Hoxha said. “While being able to work at one of the best universities, Penn State, I (will) always be contributing to my country and sharing my expertise as an academic.”