College of visual and performing arts accreditations and assessments


Winthrop's academic programs are measured by national standards of quality. ArtsWinthrop is one of only a few universities in the United States and the only institution – public or private – in South Carolina with all five of its arts programs nationally accredited. In addition, our teacher education programs in art, music, theatre, and dance are accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).


If you'd like to learn more about these national accreditation agencies and their national standards, please click on the following links:



The College of Visual and Performing Arts has a comprehensive assessment process that serves as a guide for assessment planning and implementation. Each department has its own system for collecting and analyzing data on the performance of their students and uses this data to improve teaching and learning as well as to increase unit effectiveness. The assessment plans are designed to support the assessment requirements of the various professional organizations by which our programs are accredited and/or nationally recognized: NASD, NASAD, NAST, NASM, CIDA, CAEP and the requirements for SACS-COC for regional accreditation.


All of CVPA's programs have established essential student learning outcomes for each degree program and have linked (or are in the process of linking) these outcomes to Winthrop's University Level Competencies (ULCs). Various methods are utilized to assess these outcomes, including specific measures in capstone courses and experiences, portfolios, performances, examinations and assignments, alumni and employer surveys, and student exit surveys. Other evidence used to measure unit effectiveness include information collected through department and college annual reports, which are submitted annually to the Institutional Effectiveness office within the Office of Academic Affairs.




The Department of Design manages professional, B.F.A. programs of study in interior design and visual communication design, which includes tracks in graphic design and illustration. Both programs are fully accredited and have the reputation of being among the most respected of these programs of study in the Southeast. The faculty in the department are prominent within their fields, maintain an active presence within the profession, and have gained recognition for their authorship, scholarship, and involvement within their programs of study.



Fine Arts

The Department of Fine Arts places a high value on students learning how to work creatively and collaboratively within their communities. The department recognizes the need to understand the ever-changing global environment, the cultural bonds that people share, and how that understanding is reflected in the context of our immediate surroundings. Our programs prepare students for today’s challenges technically, aesthetically, and intellectually. One of our goals is to ignite the art of thinking in all Fine Arts students. Students leave the program with a body of work reflective of professional studio, art education, and art history standards.





The Department of Music enjoys a long and distinguished history as an outstanding music program. An accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1940, the department boasts a strong faculty of 45 dedicated and caring professors delivering a quality curriculum. Students have an opportunity to perform as a soloist or in 25 renowned ensembles, to teach music incorporating the latest methodologies, and to compose music. Nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate students pursue a quality and varied curriculum in the six degree programs offered through the department.




The Department of Theatre and Dance has served the campus for more than fifty years and offers more than a dozen theatre and dance productions annually, including dance concerts, musicals, full-length dramas, one-acts, and professional productions in collaboration with Shakespeare Carolina each summer. Small class sizes mean individualized attention and that students choreograph/direct a majority of the productions. Winthrop is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.