Florida College Receives NASM Accreditation

July 13, 2011

Florida College received word yesterday that the National Association of Schools of Music had voted to approve Florida College’s Associate Membership.

According to Florida College president Dr. H.E. “Buddy” Payne, this represents, “a huge step forward,” as the College continues to, “enhance the academic credibility of [the] four year programs.”

“Parents can be further assured that the liberal arts education their young people receive at Florida College will not only establish them in their faith in God and His Word, but will also provide them a solid academic foundation upon which to build their future in the working world or in further academic study,” he says.

This accreditation differs from Florida College’s general accreditation through SACS, which examines institution-wide expectations and standards. NASM is comprised of approximately 630 colleges, universities, and conservatories from across the country that focus on, “optimum learning conditions for music students and [to] develop the strength and quality of music in higher education.” (NASM website)

According to music program chair Dr. Doug Barlar, this accreditation means that the Florida College music program, “has been examined by a visiting committee from much larger and more prestigious schools and that their analysis and our responses have satisfied a rigorous examination by a commission of music school deans and music department chairs.”

No matter how general or specific, accreditations always benefit students. In fact, the Florida College Bachelor of Arts degree in Music was created with this future accreditation in mind, since NASM accreditation is one vital way that a music department can assist its graduates.

“Most schools with reputations for quality music programs have chosen to go through the self-study and evaluation process,” says Dr. Barlar. “Becoming a NASM school will immediately give our students more credibility when they apply to graduate schools and for music jobs.”

The meticulous application process required a consultation visit in 2008, completion of a self-study and two-day onsite visit in 2009, a commission review in 2010, and additional responses by the college. Before NASM can offer Associate Membership, reviewers evaluate the department’s resources, policies, library, instruments, equipment, facilities, technology, teaching loads, faculty development, and more.

While the application process is long and exacting, the music department—and the College in general—is thrilled to add this accreditation to its growing list of credentials and achievements.

“All of us at Florida College are deeply grateful to our chairman, Dr. Doug Barlar, and the entire Music faculty for putting forth the extra effort required to secure this additional outstanding recognition for their department and the College,” says President Payne. “We hope this will be the first of many comparable departmental accreditations for our bachelor’s degree programs.”