SCGSAH Receives National Programming Accreditation

Christina Vandiver

The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a public residential high school for the arts located in downtown Greenville, announced that it received a reaccreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). This renewed accreditation is effective for the next 10 years and includes all arts programs and the school’s academic program for a SC high school diploma. The Governor’s School is one of only 17 schools in the nation with ACCPAS accreditation and one of only four public schools.

“We are excited to again have the national stamp of approval of the work of the Governor’s School community,” said Dr. Cedric Adderley, president. “Our programs are some of the best in the nation, and I’m pleased to know that we offer such a competitive artistic and academic experience for our students in every possible way.”

The multi-year process, which began in 2021, included an extensive written self-study, formal site visit, and a final Commission review. The Governor’s School was commended for having no citations or issues of noncompliance with the artistic, academic, or operational standards of the association.  

About the Accreditation Process
The application process began with the initiation of the written self-study. This comprehensive report required multiple campus committees and all units to examine and report on compliance with operational ACCPAS standards. These included, but were not limited to alignment with the school’s mission, curricular requirements, admissions, retention, finances, personnel, and facilities.

Following submission of the self-study document, the school hosted a site visit of evaluators from the Commission in October 2023. While on campus, the team observed all campus operations to determine alignment with the statements and evidence noted in the self-study.  They visited classes, attended rehearsals, met with students and administrators, and other stakeholders in the Governor’s School community to validate all that was presented prior to their arrival. Representatives from the Commission met in February 2024 for a final review of all that was gleaned from the self-study process and site visit to reaffirm the school’s accreditation for the next 10 years.

Approval of New Film Program
The Commission also granted plan approval for the Governor’s School to launch the new Film program for the residential high school in August 2024. Approval for the Film program means that it will join the existing five flagship programs—Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts—and create new synergies for collaborative work across the campus. The program will be a launchpad for the growth of the film industry in South Carolina, as it will allow for exciting learning opportunities for young aspiring filmmakers.

“Completion of the self-study was a heroic task and the site visit proved that our work with students is where it should be in making them college and career ready.” said Chad Prosser, Governor’s School board chair. “These efforts, coupled with what was necessary to gain approval for the new Film program, required an intense collective effort by every member of the Governor’s School community. We are indeed fortunate to have such a strong cadre of committed personnel working toward continuous improvement of our school.”

ACCPAS was established in 2000 by the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations (CAAA) to review and accredit schools and programs providing non-degree instruction in the arts disciplines to children, youth, and adults. Members of the CAA are the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and the National Association of Schools of Dance.  Among them, these organizations accredit over 1,200 institutions or programs in the arts, primarily in conservatories, colleges, universities, and independent schools of the arts.