WKU dance program earns national accreditation

Joanna Williams

Students looking for quality dance instruction may now find that WKU’s program has the right moves to suit their needs.

On Monday it was announced that WKU’s dance program has earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance.

The program’s accreditation makes it the fourth and final arts program at WKU to become accredited, according to a university press release. WKU is now one of only 30 schools in the nation to have its music, theatre, dance and art programs all meet the standard.

“It says that we have the same standards with everyone else accredited in the country as far as facilities and curriculum,” said Clifton Brown, associate professor of dance and coordinator of dance.

David Young, head of the Theatre and Dance department, said that the department has been pursuing accreditation for more than two years and it has come fairly quickly.

“It’s a multi-year process to do it, and I think we’ve been at it for two and half years now,” he said.

Young said to earn accreditation, the department had to do a self-study, along with having visitors from the association prepare a report on how the program fits its standards. The department also had to wait three years to pursue accreditation, since the bachelor of arts degree in Dance began in 2007.

“It’s a long process,” Young said.

Young said that NASD accreditation is important because “they set standards for quality.”

Brown said accreditation is important because it now allows the department to notify WKU that the program has outgrown the dance studio they’ve been using. In order to maintain the NASD standard of quality, they need a bigger space, Brown said.

Brown said the department is in the middle of asking for a solution to the overcrowding, but he doesn’t know whether it will be in the form of an upgrade or renovations.

Lisa Draskovich-Long, a visiting assistant professor of dance, said this is the next step for the department.

“It’s going to do wonders,” she said. “Our department is really moving into the next century and this a really big feather in our cap.”