The Richland College music department recently received accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). This prestigious accreditation was announced at the NASM annual meeting in Arizona on Nov. 19.
“This accreditation means that the Richland College music program meets all the same standards for the first two years of music study as any four-year institution, making our transfers transparent,” said Diane Hilbert, executive dean of the Richland College School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts. “It means that we now have a voice at the national table to participate in national and state concerns regarding music education and to work with our colleagues in planning for the future of music education and the needs of our students and the changing workforce they will enter.”
For the past four and a half years, the music faculty have been working through the process to be granted accreditation by NASM. At the NASM Annual Meeting, 312 applications for new and renewal accreditation were reviewed by the NASM Commission on Community College Accreditation. Richland College was one of only two two-year institutions in the United States that were approved for new accreditation, and the fourth two-year institution in Texas to be nationally accredited by NASM. Other Texas two-year institutions to receive this accreditation include Del Mar in 1948, Odessa College in 1964 and Amarillo College in 1966.
Before receiving this accreditation, Richland College completed a thorough application process. This involved Hilbert attending the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) Leaders Institute and completing a process map and budget project, inviting a NASM consultant to evaluate all aspects of the Richland College music program, completing a self-study, receiving a site visit from the accreditation team, responding to recommendations from the team and submitting recommendation updates to the commission.
“This would not have been possible if it had not been for our music faculty and our students’ commitment to the quality and growth of the music program,” said Hilbert. “Additionally, the process of the self-study enabled us to identify opportunities for improvement and to plan strategically for the future needs of the program.”
Founded in 1924, NASM is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 650 accredited institutional members. It works to establish national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for music and music-related disciplines, and to assist institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational or other music-related endeavors. For more information, visit nasm.arts-accredit.org.
The Richland College music department combines comprehensive academics, laboratory and ensemble work and applied instruction to prepare students for advanced musical study, build base-level credentials for working musicians and enrich general education for non-music majors. Programs offered include band, choir, jazz, orchestra and steel band. For more information about the Richland College music department, visit richlandcollege.edu/music.