Claflin University’s Department of Music has been approved for full membership by the Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music.
“This is a major academic achievement, and I want to express appreciation to Dr. Isaiah McGee for his leadership, to the music faculty for its contribution and to all other individuals who formed the team that guided us to this successful conclusion,” President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said. “We can be proud of another step forward in our effort to achieve excellence in all that we do for our students.”
NASM, founded in 1924, is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with nearly 650 accredited institutional members that establishes national standards for music programs. Institutional membership is gained only through accreditation.
Claflin University has been an associate member of NASM since 2004.
“At that time, we were on the right track and we were doing good things, but we weren’t quite there yet,” said McGee, chair of Claflin’s Department of Music. “Then, there was a new building in the process, library holdings were increasing and new instruments were being purchased.”
After also making adjustments to the Department’s curriculum, McGee said the University felt it was time to “elevate our academic program and go for the accreditation.”
The accreditation says “we’re providing quality music education to students,” he continued. “It’s not a blueprint that tells you exactly what you must do, but rather it establishes a framework that guides our program.”
Claflin is among 19 NASM-accredited music programs in South Carolina.
“We all have different programs, and we approach music education differently, but we’re all at the same table in terms of the quality of programs we offer,” he said. “This accreditation reinforces to the public that Claflin University’s Department of Music is a top-notch program. We now have the official stamp of approval.”
This is the first time Claflin’s music program has been accredited by the NASM. McGee said the process was a team effort.
“The endeavor was a University effort,” he said, adding that every aspect of the program – from curriculum to fiscal responsibility – was reviewed. “After I received the letter, I called all of the faculty members and thanked them for their hard work. It took the support of every faculty member, and they all worked long hours to make this possible.”
As a new NASM member, Claflin’s Department of Music will go through the reaccreditation process in five years. If that goes well, the Department will seek reaccreditation every 10 years.
For more information about Claflin University’s Department of Music, visit www.claflin.edu. For more information about NASM, visit http://nasm.arts-accredit.org.