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Frequently Asked Questions

MECA Continuing Education Questions

Questions And Answers

What is MECA?

The Music Education Center of America (MECA) Continuing Education program is a component of the graduate division. Courses are offered in concentrated formats in one-week blocks during the summer, or over a series of weekend or online sessions during the academic year.  The faculty often include visiting professors and leading professionals in the music education field.

The continuing education program at VanderCook has been an integral part of the College's graduate program since the early 1940's, and is one of the foremost programs of its kind in the country. VanderCook's Music Education Center of America (MECA) provides graduate level courses designed to fill the practical needs of band, choral, general and string music educators.

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Who may take MECA courses?

Candidates eligible for enrollment in MECA Continuing Education courses must have previously earned a music degree from an accredited college or university, or have a bachelor's degree in another discipline and minimum of 60 hours of music or music education credits at the undergraduate level.  

Up to 12 hours of graduate credit earned through the MECA Continuing Education program may be applied to VanderCook's master's degree.  Separate catalogs are published each semester for fall, spring, and summer MECA courses.

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Who teaches in the MECA program?

VanderCook's own faculty of experienced and distinguished music educators provide practical, hands-on instruction to hundreds of music teachers from across the country and abroad. In addition, visiting professors from colleges and universities throughout the nation, renowned clinicians, performers, music publishers, authors of music education text and method books, and composers of band, choral and string literature are invited to serve on VanderCook's adjunct faculty.

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What courses are offered?

Music teachers of all grade levels have the opportunity to advance their content knowledge and professional development through a wide variety of graduate level courses in band, choral, string, general music, and computer technology.

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Where is VanderCook College of Music?

VanderCook College of Music lies three miles south of downtown Chicago on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, minutes from the heart of one of America's cultural capitals; home of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. The address for the main VanderCook building is 3140 S. Federal St., Chicago, IL 60616-3731.

The majority of on-campus MECA Continuing Education courses take place within the main VanderCook building.  During the Summer MECA term, classes often take place in other buildings on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus as well as De La Salle Institite.   

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How do I get to VanderCook College of Music?

BY CAR from the north or west: Exit Interstate 90/94 at 31st Street. Turn left on 31st St. Cross the expressway, pass under the railroad tracks, and turn right on Federal St. After about 250 yards, VanderCook is on your right.

BY CAR from the south: Exit I-90/94 at 35th Street. Continue straight to 33rd St. and turn right. Pass under the railroad tracks, and turn left on Federal St. VanderCook is about 250 yards on the left.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Two elevated CTA railway stations are within a short walk of VanderCook: the "35th/Bronzeville/IIT" station on the Green Line and the "35th/Sox" station on the Red Line. Many bus routes also perate in the vicinity.

BY TRAIN: The Rock Island Line of the Metra commuter rail system stops within four blocks of the college, at the "35th St./'Lou' Jones/Bronzeville" station. The Rock Island Line connects to the LaSalle Street Station in downtown Chicago.

For Metra and CTA schedule and route information, contact the RTA (Regional Transportation Authority) Travel Information Center at (312) 836-7000, or visit

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Where can I park on campus?

For additional information and resources regarding parking on the IIT campus please visit the IIT Parking Office Homepage.

Parking is available in the nearby IIT Visitors Pay Lot A4. The entrance is located on State Stree, just south of 31st Street.  Free parking is available on Sundays in IIT Permit Lot B4 in front of the VanderCook Building.

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Where will I live?

Students may choose to live in the McCormick Student Village, or the newly constructed State Street Village (designed by Helmut Jahn) on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Housing prices are affordable and include a meal plan.

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How do I register for class?

Please visit our MECA Registration Page for detailed information regarding course registration.

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Can I audit a course for no credit?

Any course may be audited for no credit.  There is no tuition discount for auditing.

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What if I need to cancel my registration?

Refunds of tuition, less the non-refundable deposit, may be requested up to noon on the Friday prior to the beginning of the course. VanderCook reserves the right to cancel any course due to insufficient enrollment, in which case all deposits will be refunded.

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How do I request a Transcript?

VanderCook College issues only official transcripts. You must submit your request in writing by either downloading a transcript request form (PDF) and printing it out for submission, or by following the directions below.

  • Name, address and telephone number
  • Social Security number
  • Approximate dates of attendance
  • Degree, if any
Also include: name, title (if applicable) address, including zip code of where the transcript should be sent.
The cost is $5 per request. Transcripts can be sent to students. Transcripts cannot be processed until payment is received.
Please mail requests to:
VanderCook College of Music

Attn: Transcripts
3140 S. Federal St.
Chicago, IL 60616
You may also fax your request to (312) 225-5211 with your signature and a credit card number.
VanderCook accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
All questions pertaining to transcripts may be directed to:
Carolyn N. Berghoff, Registrar

DIrect Line: (312) 788-1151

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Who can I call with questions?

Please do not hesitate to call the Office of Continuing Education if you need further information or assistance. Call directly at: (312) 788-1133.


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Hi Wes,   I received your test email.



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2016-2017 Orff Workshop Series:I am registered for this class for 1 credit, but will be able to attend all six workshops and want to pay the extra money for 2 credits. I have called and emailed on how to do, but receive no response.

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VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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