SNOW'S THEATRE ARTS DEPARTMENT ACHIEVES NAST ACCREDITATION  

Snow is one of two Schools in Utah that are NAST-Accredited

EPHRAIM, Utah—April 13, 2005-Snow College today announced that the department of theatre arts has been awarded full accreditation and membership in good standing by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Mike Helms, Snow's department chair for theatre, and Dr. Kim Christison, former dean of performing arts at Snow, learned of the accreditation at the 40th annual conference of NAST held in Louisville, Ky.

"This tells educators, students and parents that we're deeply committed to, and serious about the curricular and production aspects of our program," commented Mike Helms. "Eighty-one institutions applied for NAST accreditation this year. Snow was one of eight to achieve it."

NAST, founded in 1965, is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities. It has approximately 143 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate, graduate degrees and other credentials. Snow College joins Brigham Young University as the only other NAST-accredited institution in Utah and is one of only four junior colleges to achieve NAST accreditation.

Dr. Christison led Snow's efforts toward NAST accreditation, which comes after 2 ½ years of preparation. Accreditation is a process by which an institution periodically evaluates its work and seeks an independent judgment by peers that it achieves established educational objectives and meets the standards of the body from which it seeks accreditation. Typically, the accreditation process includes:

    A self-evaluative description (self study) of the institution or unit
    An on-site review by a team of evaluators
    A judgment by an accreditation decision-making body.
Accreditation reviews focus on educational quality, institutional integrity and educational improvements.

"We didn't have to pursue this accreditation," remarked Christison. "Two things motivated us. First of all, we are asked to be about excellence at Snow College and we take that seriously. Secondly, the completion of the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts gave us the facility to truly offer the practical and theoretical experience students studying theatre need."

With this recognition, Snow College may be the only two-year college in the nation with both its music (NASM) and theatre program (NAST) recognized for achieving and maintaining national accreditation standards.