Fort Hays State University’s Department of Music and Theatre is now one out of 647 universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music which establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees.
“It’s a real boon to say that we’ve been re-accredited, because it means that the work we are doing here meets national standards and that our students are well-trained,” said Benjamin Cline, music department chair. “Re-accreditation is a stamp of approval, so the accomplishment will be used to let people know that what we do here at FHSU is of high quality and high value to students.”
Ever since it received its first accreditation in 1944, the Department of Music and Theatre has been upholding these national standards.
“I’m pleased, but not surprised about the re-accreditation,” said Paul Faber, dean of the college of arts and sciences.
The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) puts on an extensive search in order to find universities that meet its high standards. This process includes but is not limited to a self-study, a site visit by trained musicians who are part of the accreditation, and a formal review by the NASM.
“The process involves a lot of investigation, data gathering, and conversations amongst colleagues,” Cline said. “Those conversations are one of the most valuable parts of the process, because they allow us to look at the department through the eyes of the association. By doing so, we learn things about ourselves that ultimately make us a better department. ”
With this re-accreditation under their belt, the music department is excited to see what the future will bring.
Currently, the music department is seeing changes being made to their facilities in Malloy Hall. Classrooms, rehearsal halls, and studios have all received a much needed technology upgrade to ensure that students have the tools they need to become “world ready.”
Over the summer, the Felten-Start Theater, located at South Campus Drive, also conducted some renovations to upgrade lighting, seating, and technical systems. However, technology can only do so much. The faculty and students are what makes the music department such a huge success.
“The music faculty are dedicated and thoughtful teachers, and our students show an unusual degree of commitment to performance, technology, composition, and music education,” Faber said. “I am happy to see their success is recognized by our peers in NASM.”
“This mark of affirmation really just confirms that the educational models we’ve applied make the difference in preparing students for careers in music,” said interim provost, Chris Crawford, in a recent press release that,