Tuesday, April 9, 2019
A scene from 'Twelfth Night' production

The National Association of Schools of Theatre has granted full membership to UNC Charlotte’s Department of Theatre. Gained through an intensive peer review process, membership is granted only to institutions that meet all of the rigorous accreditation standards established by NAST.

Founded in 1965, the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 184 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for theatre and theatre-related disciplines and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational and other theatre-related endeavors.

“My colleagues and I are honored to become accredited members of the National Association of Schools of Theatre,” said Lynne Conner, chair of the Department of Theatre. “NAST sets the highest standards for accreditation and leads the way in establishing state-of-the-discipline guidelines and expectations for the field of theatre education. This well-deserved recognition of our program acknowledges the excellence of our faculty and staff and the vibrancy and growing achievement of our students.”

As a new member, UNC Charlotte’s Department of Theatre was granted membership status for a five-year period. At the end of five years, the department can apply for renewal of membership. Institutions approved for renewal of membership are granted 10-year periods of accreditation.

Lee Gray, interim dean of the College of Arts + Architecture, described the accomplishment as “representative of the talent, creativity and high level of work achieved by our faculty and students and a testament to Dr. Conner’s dynamic leadership of the Theatre Department.”

The Department of Theatre is the fifth and final unit in the College of Arts + Architecture to receive national accreditation, completing an intensive multi-year effort that was a key goal at the outset of the college’s founding.

In 2014, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) granted associate membership to UNC Charlotte’s Department of Music. The Department of Dance received full membership in the National Association of Schools of Dance in 2015. Accredited since 1979, the School of Architecture received renewal of accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board in 2016. And in 2018, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design granted full membership to the Department of Art and Art History.