Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- February 4, 2004
Cal Poly Music Department Receives National Accreditation
The Music Department at Cal Poly recently received an unqualified
five-year accreditation from the National Association of Schools of
The award of accreditation culminates nearly two years of preparation,
including departmental deliberations, a preliminary review, a thorough
self-study, and a site visit by an accrediting team in May 2003.
The reviewers visited academic classes, rehearsals and a student recital.
They met separately with faculty members, alumni and current students.
“This puts Cal Poly's music program in the company of the finest
programs in the country,” said Department Chair Clifton Swanson.
“Ever since the establishment of the major in music in 1991, our
graduates have continually demonstrated the quality of our program when
they go off to major graduate school programs, public school teaching
and industry,” he said.
The accreditation process requires meeting rigorous standards in the
areas of program philosophy, program design, excellence of teaching,
performance opportunities, equipment, facilities, faculty and general
"The Cal Poly Bachelor of Arts degree in music is a general degree
designed to maximize the personal abilities and goals of each of its
majors through personal attention and excellent opportunities,"
The lengthy self-study was prepared by the entire music faculty with
specific members responsible for assigned areas. The final document
was refined by faculty member Alyson McLamore and Administrative Support
Coordinator Druci Reese. It was the responsibility of the visiting two-member
team to assess the quality of the program firsthand and to verify the
information found in the self-study, including the department's own
determination of areas for improvement. The accreditation notification
made note of the excellence of the self-study.
Although Cal Poly's Music Department has been a part of the university
since its inception, it began to offer a bachelor’s degree in
music in 1991. The department was initially urged to design a program
that was unique and complementary to Cal Poly and its mission. As a
result, the existing program offers traditional courses found at most
universities plus a variety of courses in research methods, music technology,
non-Western music and America's music.
"Because of a long tradition of maximizing the involvement of non-music
majors from all across campus, the current program still prides itself
on the inclusive nature of its offerings," Swanson said.
The accreditation notification complimented the department on designing
a program that worked well at a highly competitive university.
“The department is delighted with the results of its first application
for accreditation," Swanson said. "Not only was the entire
process informative for our own reflection and planning, but it was
actually an enjoyable experience. It was a pleasure talking with the
visiting team and was mutually beneficial as we discussed our common
strengths and challenges.”
"The successful accreditation is especially satisfying because,"
McLamore said, "most first attempts at NASM accreditation are routinely
met by at least a temporary postponement plus a list of areas to be
addressed before accreditation is granted."
Contact: Jo Ann Lloyd, (805) 756-1511