The University of Virginia’s College at Wise announced Tuesday that it’s Division of Music earned National Association of Schools of Music accreditation.

The Division of Music becomes the sixth academic department at UVA Wise to receive accreditation. The music program joins education, nursing, software engineering, computer science, and chemistry.

“The Division of Music decided to pursue NASM accreditation in 2013, and faculty worked hard to make it happen,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “The accreditation will be of immense benefit to our students and to our music graduates. National accreditation was a goal under our Envisioning 2020 strategic plan to strengthen existing programs to boost educational outcomes. NASM accreditation of our Division of Music meets that goal.”

The college hosted a consultant during the spring semester of 2016 to offer insight on areas that were in need of attention. The consultant encouraged the college to pursue accreditation.

The music faculty and lead writer Professor Donald Sorah composed the self study, a 67 page document that provided an internal review of the curriculum, policies, personnel, student achievement, library holdings, and future planning. The self study was submitted for review by NASM Visitors in January 2017. Two visitors spent two days on campus speaking with faculty, students, and administrators while also reviewing documents, attending rehearsals, and attending a special recital showcasing solo student performances.

“The Division of Music is proud to have earned NASM membership as it is an external validation of the quality of the program, curriculum, resources, and instruction provided for its students of music, whether as music majors, music minors, or as students enrolled in music classes to earn liberal arts core credits,” Sorah said. “The lengthy application process has provided much needed self-reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of our program, an opportunity to investigate our purpose within the institution, and has encouraged us to be forward-thinking, envisioning the future of our music program.”

Joseph McNulty, a music major, said NASM accreditation will be beneficial to students in countless ways.

“The NASM accreditation gives me a new sense of pride in my music program,” McNulty said. “I feel proud knowing that I have been able to complete a program that is nationally recognized. Over the past three years that I have been a student, I have noticed critical changes that made this all possible. All of the professors and students have worked diligently to assure that all documentation is completed with the highest accuracy and diligence. I am overwhelmingly excited to see what the future holds for UVA Wise.”