Berklee Cited for "Remarkable Progress"
According to the New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC), "accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of self-regulation of higher education that serves two purposes: assuring the public of quality and fostering institutional improvement." NEASC not only accredits Berklee, it accredits Harvard, MIT, Yale, Brown, and many other established colleges and universities in New England. The accreditation phase launched in 2013 was a particularly critical one for Berklee, considering the college's recent landmark changes and upcoming plans. While a positive outcome was expected, college officials were pleased to find that NEASC's approval was even more laudatory than anticipated. A letter from president Roger H. Brown provides more of the detail.
Dear members of the Berklee community,
Berklee College of Music has received a very positive report from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in response to our 10-year evaluation. In its official letter to the college, summarizing the results of the 10-year self-study and evaluation process, NEASC commended Berklee for "the remarkable progress made by the institution since its last comprehensive evaluation."
The letter specifically praised Berklee for:
- implementing "a mandatory audition and interview as part of the admissions process"
- tripling "applications over the past decade"
- increasing selectivity and reaching enrollment goals
- increasing the percentage of ALANA (African-American, Latino, Asian-American, and Native-American) students by 100%
- increasing the number of female students by 20%
- increasing student financial aid from $10 million to $36 million and creating Presidential and African Scholars programs
- developing a music theory and technology program for visually impaired students
- ensuring that “institutional assessment and systematic review are in place in all areas of the institution”
- exceeding the “first capital campaign goal by raising $54.5 million and constructing its first ‘purpose-built’ 16-story facility”
- expanding the online program and offering of new degrees through Berklee Online
In addition, NEASC commended Berklee’s “robust financial resources and excellent physical and IT resources.”
NEASC also confirmed accreditation for the master of music and master of art degrees and praised the master's and study abroad programs offered at Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain. It was impressed by “the fact that all 74 students” in the first class of the master’s degree program graduated in July 2013, and it praised the way that the Valencia campus is integrated into Berklee.
In total, NEASC commented on the remarkable passion, commitment, and progress our community has demonstrated over the last 10 years as we have moved the college towards the vision of being the “world's leading institute of contemporary music.” It also praised the quality of our self-study report and the fine teamwork of everyone involved in the self-study process. As a college, Berklee used the accreditation process to study ourselves, to assess our strengths and areas for improvement, and to tell our story.
Special thanks to everyone who was involved in this effort: the many faculty, staff, and students who helped to make this a success. Congratulations to all.
Roger H. Brown, President
Berklee College of Music
Read the approval letter that Berklee received from NEASC.
Read Berklee's self-study report prepared for the NEASC process.