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K-State Today

July 30, 2014



Music program reaccredited

By Tom Roesler

The music program in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University, has been approved for reaccreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music.

"The reaccreditation process requires the compilation of lots of information and through this process you get to know your program better," said Gary Mortenson, director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. "In the end this work helps the university provide a better educational experience for its students and gives faculty access to information and resources that will make them more effective in the classroom and studio. From my perspective, that makes all of the work worth the effort."

"I'm proud of our faculty, students and staff in the school who worked hard to make this reaccreditation possible," said Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. "Accreditation is a professional stamp of approval that tells the world that graduates from our school are prepared to make a difference, that they leave K-State as skilled professionals."

Founded in 1924, National Association of Schools of Music is an organization of 647 accredited school, conservatory, college and university members. Accreditation reviews focus on educational quality, institutional integrity and educational improvements. An accredited program is reviewed every 10 years.

"While gathering data for the accreditation review, we viewed our program at macro and micro levels, from many fresh perspectives," said Kurt Gartner, associate director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and professor of percussion. "Given the dynamics of the needs of our students and the demands of the professions for which they are preparing, the process allowed us to assess our program objectively, to plan thoughtfully, and to determine areas of particular focus for improvement. In process and outcomes, the reaccreditation of our program has affirmed the quality of our program, its students and faculty, and has underscored the commitment of central administration to our success."

Since becoming a school in 2012, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance has seen tremendous advances. This includes a half-million dollar renovation of Kirmser Hall and Fischer Stage, new lighting systems in the Mark A. Chapman Theatre in Nichols Hall, the renovation of West Stadium as the new home for the historic Purple Masque Theatre, and technology upgrades in multiple classroom, rehearsal and performance spaces. In spring 2014, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance announced it has become an all-Steinway School, a prestigious achievement due in large part to support from alumnus Mark Chapman.

"The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is in a strong position to continue to make dramatic improvements in quality and scope," said Mortenson. "We are providing exceptional opportunities for our students in all three disciplines, and we look forward to continuing to work with our supporters to continue that momentum into the near and long term."