Grace College Transitions Music Department
School of Music to be Closed, MasterWorks Will Continue
Effective in May, Grace College announced today that it will discontinue its School of Music, eliminating the music majors from the more than fifty degree programs the college offers. The fifteen current music students who have accumulated more than eighty-six credit hours as of December 2009 will be able to graduate as music majors, while the twenty-two other students of the program will be encouraged to change majors or transfer to other colleges. Grace administrators are currently working with several other Christian colleges, all accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, to facilitate seamless transitions for any student wishing to transfer. U.S. News and World Report as a top-tier college in the Midwest, Grace has sustained record enrollment in each of the past four years, expanding its course offerings with the addition of three new majors—political science, web design, and environmental biology—in the past eighteen months.
“As we continually seek ways to enhance the college’s effectiveness, we realize the need for renewed focus and efficiency. The decision to bring an end to Grace’s music program is a difficult one, but one we feel is best for the future of the college,” said Dr. Ronald Manahan, president of Grace College and Theological Seminary.
Five faculty members will not have contracts renewed in May as a result of the changes. Those affected by the staff reduction will qualify for a severance benefit, additionally receiving outplacement and counseling services for themselves and their families. A tuition benefit for employees and spouses who are currently in a degree program, as well as their dependent children, will continue through spring 2018.
Grace College will continue to be the site of the MasterWorks Festival, an intensive month-long experience for high school and college students of music and fine arts, through the summer of 2010. Manahan emphasized Grace is taking whatever steps it can to encourage the ongoing presence of MasterWorks in the community.
Manahan continued, “The college recognizes the community impact of MasterWorks, its economic contribution, and most importantly the advancement of the arts in our local culture.”
Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a top-tier college in the Midwest, Grace has sustained record enrollment in each of the past four years, expanding its course offerings with the addition of three new majors—political science, web design, and environmental biology—in the past eighteen months.