Tampa, Fla. – The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts has earned continuing accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. Accreditation was initially granted in 2012 to the performing arts school, which is reevaluated every five years in an extensive and rigorous process.
“Accreditation provides accountability, validates and encourages continuous improvement of the Conservatory through third party input which identified powerful practices we demonstrated and improvement priorities for us to work toward. As a result of the process, our students receive a higher level of performing arts education,” stated Suzanne Livesay, Straz Center vice president of education.
Hillsborough County Public Schools, Palm Beach County Public Schools and Miami-Dade City County Public Schools are accredited by SACS CASI as well, and the Patel Conservatory’s accreditation status allows the potential for students to receive school credit for classes taken at the conservatory.
To earn accreditation, schools must meet SACS CASI’s high standards, be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school and implement a continuous process of school improvement. The Patel Conservatory is one of just a handful of performing arts schools in Florida to receive accreditation.
SACS CASI provides nationally-recognized accreditation, the purpose of which is continuous school improvement focused on increasing student performance. Because this accreditation is recognized across state lines, parents are assured that the Patel Conservatory meets nationally accepted standards for quality and successful professional practice.
“SACS CASI Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school on the primary goal of creating lifelong learners. The Patel Conservatory is to be commended for engaging in this process and demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement,” said Dr. Mark Elgart, President/CEO of AdvancED.
More information is available at www.patelconservatory.org. The Patel Conservatory offers classes in dance, music and theater for students of all ages and experience levels. Each year, the Patel Conservatory and the Straz Center’s arts education programs enrich the lives of more than 70,000 students in our classrooms, on our stages and through the community.
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The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its programs are funded in part by the City of Tampa; the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners; the Tourist Development Council/Hillsborough County; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.