Coastal Carolina University's music program has been awarded formal accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Now the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts has had all three of its arts programs – music, art and theater – accredited by the professional associations connected with those disciplines.
"This professional accreditation is important recognition of the excellence of our arts programs, and is an indication of the fine work our arts faculty and staff have done over the last several years," said William Richardson, dean of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. "For each department, the process has been long and difficult."
NASM is the national accrediting body for music programs at institutions of higher learning. It is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 630 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.
"We've known that the music programs at Coastal are high quality, but it is important for the professional authorities to recognize this as well," said Donald Sloan, chair of CCU's Department of Music. "Graduate programs are more likely to consider a student who has studied at an accredited institution. The NASM accreditation increases the reputation of a program, and influences what others think about the value of the student's degree."
Earlier this year, the University's Department of Theatre was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. The Department of Visual Arts was fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design in fall 2009.