EDINBURG - The University of Texas-Pan American Communication Department recently received official notification from the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) granting accreditation to the UTPA Theatre Program.
"We have basically been given the good house keeping seal of approval," said Dr. Marion F. Monta, professor of communication at UTPA. "This is a big honor for the department as well as the University."
The commission voted to approve the department for accreditation in April, making UTPA only one of four schools in the state of Texas with an accredited theatre program.
The program has been granted accreditation for a period of five years with the following degree listings: Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Performance, Theatre Education, Design, and Television/Film) and a Master of Arts in Theatre.
According to Monta, NAST closely inspected every section of the theatre program before granting approval.
"They checked out everything," Monta said. "From the physical facilities to the number of graduating students, they made sure that the program we offered measured up to their very high standards."
Monta also said receiving accreditation was just the beginning.
"You have to maintain the program at the same level or better for a period of five years," Monta said. "After five years, NAST comes back to inspect the program again to make sure everything is up to standards before reinstating the accreditation."
NAST said in a statement, "The unit's (program) mission is firmly rooted in the liberal arts. The department's mission, goals and objectives reflect a strong commitment to multiculturalism and diversity, creating strong connections between the University and community, and providing a forward-looking, integrated approach to theatre arts education and training that encompasses all of the media."
For more information on the program's accreditation, contact Monta at 956/381-3583.