UNC Pembroke’s Department of Art was granted associate membership in the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). UNCP is one of only five NASAD-accredited institutions in North Carolina.
NASAD’s Commission on Accreditation voted in October to grant UNCP membership and to approve all of its eligible degrees: Bachelor of Arts in art, Bachelor of Arts in art education (K-12) and Master of Arts in art education (K-12).
NASAD is an organization of more than 300 schools, colleges and universities that has established national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for the visual arts disciplines.
Dr. Richard Gay, chair of the Department of Art, said the accreditation is a real asset to the department and its future.
“This accomplishment is the result of hard work and collaboration between the department and the university’s administration,” said Dr. Gay. “We are very proud of the results, which reflect the excellence of our programs, faculty and students.”
Chancellor Kyle R. Carter also hailed the accreditation, praising the department for its diligence.
“A great deal of hard work went into this accreditation effort by the entire art department,” Chancellor Carter said. “It is a reflection of their dedication in providing UNC Pembroke students with the best education possible. The art department and the university greatly benefit from this well-deserved recognition.”
A rigorous self-study process, followed by a two-day site visit by NASAD professionals, showed the Department of Art to have reached NASAD accreditation standards. The accreditation process focuses upon two principal concerns: educational quality and institutional probity.
The review of educational quality is made according to nationally recognized standards developed by the association with the full participation of its member institutions and in consultation with various professional groups in the field of art and design. The review process determines whether the candidate institution is providing the educational services it advertises and whether its own stated operational procedures are being followed.
According to NASAD, UNCP’s Department of Art fulfilled its mission “to promote the student's ability to see, consider, and actively engage in visual culture” and to “provide opportunities for broad artistic and intellectual development of the university body at large, and specifically nurture and support a quality liberal arts education.”
Accreditation recognizes that an institution ascribes to, believes in and has met an external set of basic criteria for the programs it offers. It also indicates that threshold standards are adhered to in a fashion that provides a base of academic strength and operational integrity.
In addition to accreditation, NASAD also conducts statistical research, provides professional development for leaders of art and design schools and engages in policy analysis. Other member institutions in North Carolina are Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, North Carolina State University and Western Carolina University.