Dana School of Music praised in accreditation review

Mike Crist, director of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University.

Mike Crist

Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music has an excellent faculty dedicated to teaching, research, creative activities and community involvement and students who are engaged and highly qualified.

Those are among the findings of a recent review by the National Association of Schools of Music, the nationwide accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines.

NASM voted earlier this summer to re-accredit the Dana School of Music for an additional 10 years. The next full review of the program will be in the 2020-21 academic year.

“Receiving re-accreditation from NASM provides for all of our programs a level of credibility that maintains our position among the elite music schools in the nation,” said Mike Crist, director of the Dana School of Music. “What this says is that music educators from across the country recognize that we are doing a good job, and that’s important.”

Bryan DePoy, dean of the YSU College of Fine and Performing Arts, added, “The accreditation process for music is rigorous and thorough, and the fact that the Dana School of Music is reaccredited is an objective testimonial to the extraordinary quality of music instruction and performance at YSU.”

As part of the re-accreditation process, Dana created a 100-page self study examining all aspects of the school, including curriculum, staffing, finances and facilities. A team of NASM evaluators, led by Lawrence R. Mallett, interim director of Graduate Studies in the School of Music at the University of Kansas, then visited Dana for three days, sitting in on classes and rehearsals, listening to student recitals, and meeting with students, faculty and administrators.

In addition to accolades for faculty and students, the evaluation team noted in its report that Dana has a good music curriculum that prepares well-rounded musicians and teachers, has an excellent record of placing students in graduate schools and public schools and that the academic work of students in the graduate program is outstanding.

Crist said Dana has been accredited by NASM since 1947. The school, which offers 13 bachelor’s degrees and five master’s degrees, enrolls about 300 undergraduate music majors and 38 graduate students and employs 28 full-time and 22 part-time faculty. The student/faculty ratio is approximately 10:1. The school maintains 31 ensembles, including University Chorus, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble.

The Dana School of Music was founded in 1869 as Dana’s Musical Institute in Warren, Ohio. In 1941, the Institute became the Dana School of Music at Youngstown College. Youngstown College became Youngstown State University in 1967. For more information, visit the Dana School of Music online.

Crist said a team that included himself and professors Darla Funk, Tedrow Perkins and Stephen Ausmann, headed the re-accreditation effort, and he thanked all faculty as well as DePoy and Joe Edwards, former dean, for their efforts in the process.