N.C. Central University still has a jazz program, despite a recent decision by the UNC Board of Governors to discontinue the undergraduate jazz degree as part of a systemwide review.
Ira Wiggins, director of Jazz Studies at NCCU, said various music concentrations were brought into one degree program called Bachelor of Music. Those concentrations include music education and ethnomusicology, as well as jazz. The realignment of the program will help enhance enrollment numbers and ensure the survival of the various music specialties according to UNC criteria, Wiggins said. The changes go into effect in 2016-17.
While the standalone undergraduate jazz degree is being phased out, the master’s degree remains. The jazz curriculum is not being cut, and the faculty and staff remain intact, Wiggins said.
Across the UNC system, 46 degree programs were discontinued and 10 others were merged with other programs. The UNC board periodically reviews programs that have “low productivity,” meaning few students enrolled. Some degrees were folded into other programs as part of normal reorganization.
NCCU’s jazz department was bombarded with calls after news of the UNC board’s discontinuation of the undergraduate jazz degree. But Wiggins said NCCU “continues to be dedicated to fostering a quality education, shaping the future of aspiring musicians, and maintaining the integrity of this great art form.”