Pacific Union College's department of visual arts has been accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), the primary accrediting body for all top art and design schools in the country.
"We felt like being aligned officially with an accrediting body was an important step to validate the quality of art education at PUC," explains Rajeev Sigamoney, chair of the department.
Accreditation through NASAD puts PUC in association with over 360 other accredited schools, of which PUC is the only one affiliated with the Adventist Church.
"From this relationship, we will gain an even greater understanding of best practices in all disciplines we teach, and organizational processes to make sure the department handles every aspect of art education at the highest possible level," Sigamoney says.
The accreditation process began nearly four years ago, and included reviewing requirements, meeting with NASAD representatives, and a college self-study of over 200 pages to ensure every aspect of PUC meets the highest standards possible.
"We were able to look at ourselves in the mirror and continue to push for improvements," Sigamoney says. The self-study and feedback from NASAD led to changes to the department's programs and facilities, bringing PUC in line with NASAD's high standards.
The department of visual arts offers a B.F.A., a B.A., and an A.S. in areas such as film, fine art, graphic design, and photography, as well as minors in art and art history.
"The department of visual arts, since well before I got here, has been one of the premiere departments in all of Adventist academia," Sigamoney says. "It has been a safe haven for many students, and a shining light of what a quality Adventist education can look like. This accreditation validates the education we have been striving to give the thousands of students who have gone through our hallways, preparing them for careers in the arts and equipping them to find meaning in their vocations."