September 25, 2014
After two years of self-assessments, reading policies, examining curriculum and making a big move, the dance program in Texas Tech University’s Department of Theatre and Dance earned national accreditation, making Texas Tech the only school in the state in which all four arts programs are accredited.
The National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) approved the dance program’s application for accreditation in early September. The schools of music and art, as well as the theatre program, were already accredited by national agencies.
“National arts accreditation validates the benchmarking of our programs with national standards, enabling our academic programs to participate in review processes that are current, timely and relevant in providing quality education for our students,” said Carol Edwards, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “National accreditation becomes our beacon for success.”
Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, the head of the dance program, said the accrediting board looked at a number of factors, including curriculum and the program’s facilities. Until 2012, when the program moved into the Creative Movement Studio, dance classes met in the women’s gym, which did not meet NASD’s standards.
“We were prepared, and when that last piece fell into place, it was full steam ahead,” DeCesaro said.
She credited a number of dance and theatre faculty members who participated in the accreditation process, as well as Edwards, who supported the process from the start.
Next steps for the dance program include a “maintenance schedule” for the accreditation standards and taking a more active role in the future of dance in higher education. As an NASD member, Texas Tech gets to vote on policies and standards that will affect curriculum for dance programs throughout the nation.
“Texas Tech can be a formative part of the trajectory of dance in higher education,” DeCesaro said. “Being accredited means, in part, we are recognized for best practices.”
“Accreditation of our programs reflects a quality of commitment and education our faculty provide our students,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “Congratulations to Dean Edwards and Professor DeCesaro and her staff. They have taken the program to new heights and we are proud of their dedication to the Department of Theatre and Dance and the students who work hard under their leadership.”
The J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts at Texas Tech offers a diverse array of programs and courses in art, music, theatre and dance.
The college seeks to prepare students who will be leaders in the profession by employing the highest standards in performance, teaching, research, and artistic and creative vision.
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