ARCC Music program receives full accreditation

Anoka-Ramsey Community College Music Department recently received much sought-after full accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for its associate in fine arts in Music degree program.

This distinction attests to the high-standards of Anoka-Ramsey Music programming, having met the criteria for academic strength and operational integrity. In some cases, accreditation also assists in the transfer of credits from one institution to another.

“Accreditation means our Music program meets the same rigorous national standards as prestigious Minnesota institutions such as the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, St. Olaf College, St. Thomas University, Northwestern University, Concordia College in Moorhead and more,” said Music Faculty member, Melissa Bergstrom who spearheaded the accreditation process. “Credits earned through our degree program are now nationally recognized as on par with these institutions as well as schools across the country.”

An associate in fine arts (AFA) degree in Music from Anoka-Ramsey helps students prepare for a career in music and related fields.

To do this, the degree offers a two-year music theory sequence, a yearlong music history sequence, private lessons instruction, and small and large ensemble performance opportunities. After completing the AFA in Music, students may pursue a career in music or may transfer into a four-year program as a junior status student. Upon completion of the AFA degree program, students can go on to complete bachelor’s degrees in music performance, music education, music business, or music therapy.

From 2000 to 2010, Anoka-Ramsey Music programming experienced a 198.1 percent increase in students, including both students who major in Music and those who take music as an elective course for their program of study.

ARCC faculty member wins poetry contest

A poem by Anoka-Ramsey Community College English Faculty member, Paige Riehl recently won first place in a national poetry contest sponsored by Literal Latte, an online literary magazine based in New York.

The poem titled, “Edie Watches the Tsunami from her Bed at Life Care Rehabilitation Center in Las Vegas, March 2011,” received a $1,000 prize. To read the award-winning poem, visit

More about the Author: Riehl has published poetry and prose in many notable publications including: Nimrod International Journal, South Dakota Review, Literary Bohemian, Word Riot, The Honey Land Review and others.

She was a finalist for the 2011 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry sponsored by Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry; the 2011 River StyxInternational Poetry Contest; and the 2011 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry sponsored by the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

She teaches college composition, literature and creative writing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and is currently working on a book of poetry.