The Francis Marion University Theatre Arts program has been reaccredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
NAST, founded in 1969, is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities. It has approximately 135 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.
FMU’s program, established in 1991, is a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts (Design, Performance). NAST first accredited FMU’s program in 1997. The reaccreditation will be in force for 10 years.
The reaccreditation process consisted of a self-study by the theatre program, a site visit by NAST, and a vote by the NAST Commission to grant reaccreditation. The site team reviewed both the academic and theatre components of the program.
According to Lawrence P. Anderson, chair of FMU’s Department of Fine Arts, national accreditation gives FMU students majoring in theatre performance or theatrical design easier access to the best graduate and professional programs. “Accreditation by NAST shows that we uphold recognized professional standards,” he said. FMU currently has about 40 theatre majors.
Anderson praised the theatre faculty – Keith Best, Robert Brooks, Glen Gourley, David Granath, and Abigail Wurster – for their contributions to the reaccreditation process.
“I also want to commend the theatre program faculty and Professor Anderson for their hard work in bringing about the successful reaccreditation of the FMU theatre program,” said FMU Provost Richard Chapman. “The continuation of NAST accreditation is a tribute to the quality of the theatre program at Francis Marion University.”
NAST accreditation is the highest level of accreditation a theatre arts program can receive. FMU is one of only four institutions in South Carolina to have NAST accreditation.
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