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B-CU School of Performing Arts and Communication Receives National Association of Schools of Music Accreditation


The Department of Music at B-CU Offers Nationally Accredited Programs to Students

After formally beginning the process with a National Association of Schools of Music consultant, in 2011 the La-Doris McClaney School of Performing Arts and Communication is now officially accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). It was former Stetson University School of Music Dean Dr. Jim Woodward who recognized the excellence of the B-CU music program and suggested the pursuit of NASM accreditation. “Because of the quality and notoriety of our music program, he had always assumed that we were already members (of NASM),” said Dr. Hiram Powell, Dean of Performing Arts and Communication. “NASM accreditation signifies that the B-CU Music program meets the highest standards of excellence,” Powell also stated.

With the national accredited music programs, students will graduate with the support from an esteemed association of scholars and musicians. “The University enjoys a rich history in music and the performing arts. What began nearly a century ago as simple singing in chapel assembly programs has grown today into one of the most recognized music programs in the Southeast and beyond,” Dr. Powell stated. Dr. Matthew Simmons, Professor of Music, thanked President Jackson, Provost Dr. Helena-Mariella Walrond and former department chairpersons for advocating for the necessary resources to support the final accreditation process along with former department chairpersons. He also congratulated the entire music department for their contributions and hard work to achieve this honor.

“Students will now have a clearer vision of the high quality education that they are receiving here at Bethune-Cookman University. They will better understand the benefit of having attended a school such as B-CU, where the music department is not just one or two dimensional, but broad in its scope, musical experiences, and educational impact,” Dr. Simmons explained.

Music program majors must complete 128 credit hours of musicianship, music technology and fundamental aspects of music courses. Graduates of both music programs will have a strong basis for musicianship and meet education requirements for those teaching music in the State of Florida. “I look forward to this coming year 2016-2017 when we continue to ascend to greatness by contributing to a vibrant artistic culture on the campus and community. We pride ourselves on maintaining a vigorous commitment to performance, music scholarship, and development of future music educators, practitioners, and arts advocates as stated in our mission statement,” said Dr. Simmons.

Dr. Marion Hundley, Associate Professor of Music affirmed, “This honor provides verifiable proof to the community that B-CU's commitment to training music professionals meets or exceeds national standards. The institution and students have long deserved this accreditation.” Graduates of the university include noted Broadway performer Harry Burney, renowned jazz educator Ronald Carter, regional Emmy award-winning composer Tyron Cooper and opera singer Camille Johnson, who enjoyed a lifelong career at the Metropolitan Opera. The university wishes to thank NASM for their guidance and assistance throughout the accreditation process. B-CU is proud to join the ranks of nationally accredited music programs.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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