May 8, 2014
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
WTAMU Theatre Program Granted NAST Accreditation
CANYON, Texas—After five years of rigorous review, the theatre program at West Texas A&M University has been granted accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). The WTAMU program is now one of 10 accredited programs in the state of Texas and the first accredited program in The Texas A&M University System.
NAST is the national accrediting agency for theatre and theatre-related disciplines. The agency sets the standards for both undergraduate and graduate programs and reviews the mission, curriculum, faculty and facilities of a program before granting accreditation.
Members of WTAMU’s theatre faculty began the process five years ago with an initial program review, a preliminary application to NAST, then a year later the process of writing a self-study. A 100-page document was compiled and an assessment was made to make sure the program complied with national standards. In the fall of 2012, an accreditation team visited campus and spent three days attending classes, watching performances and reviewing curriculum and syllabi. Throughout the process, recommendations were made, and the WTAMU theatre program followed through by making a few changes to its curriculum, altering or removing classes and hiring a sixth faculty member for musical theatre beginning in the fall of 2014.
“Being granted national accreditation is a tremendous accomplishment for us,” Royal Brantley, director of theatre, said. “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that our peers, at the national level, view us with academic confidence and artistic respect.”
As an accredited program, WTAMU will provide annual reports and audits to NAST. An accreditation team will visit the WTAMU campus again in five years to review the program’s status and progress to make sure it is being maintained according to NAST standards.
“National accreditation will enhance the University’s reputation and better enable us to recruit high-quality theatre students,” Dr. Jessica Mallard, dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, said.
WTAMU is one of 177 theatre programs across the country accredited by NAST. The 10 accredited programs in Texas are Baylor, Del Mar College, KD College Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts, Midwestern State, Southern Methodist University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas—Pan American, WTAMU and the University of Incarnate Word.