PLAINVIEW - Wayland Baptist University's music department has something new to sing about. The department received word on July 21 that it earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music, a nationwide organization that is recognized for excellence.
The university was accepted as an associate member for a period of five years, after which time Wayland will be up for an accreditation review. The designation is standard procedure for first-time applicants to NASM.
The honor came after an extensive self-review process that began in 2000, a preliminary consultation in April 2001 and an on-site accreditation review led by a team of NASM officials. During that visit in October 2002, the panel heard student testimonies and performances, sat in on classes and visited with music faculty and university officials. They combed over curriculum and degree requirements as well in order to make their decision, said Dr. Ann Stutes, music department chair at Wayland.
Stutes said the years-long process meant redefining the music department and its goals, including the addition of courses and faculty to create a well-rounded program and strengthen the existing offerings.
She added that the NASM accreditation should improve the university's ability to recruit music students and future music faculty.
"(NASM approval) puts us in a different grouping of schools and encourages highest standards. It keeps you reviewing your degree plans and programming to keep you in the mainstream," said Dr. Carl Moman, professor of music who helped oversee the process, giving due credit to students and faculty of the past who helped bring the department to where it is today. " We only stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before and press on."