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Frequently Asked MECA Questions

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Is the college accredited?

VanderCook College of Music is a an independent, nonprofit, degree-granting institution fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the National Association of Schools of Music.  Its teacher certification programs are approved by the Illinois State Board of Educaiton.

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Frequently Asked MECA Questions

How can I add or drop a MECA course?

If you are switching a course from the one for which you initially registered, please use the Add/Drop Form. Completed forms should be submitted to

If you are not dropping a course in which you are already registered and wish to enroll in additional courses, please use the standard Registration Form.

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How do I cancel my enrollment in a MECA course?

Please use the Add/Drop Form to cancel enrollment. In addition, please be aware of the following cancellation policies:
Refunds of tuition, less the non-refundable deposit, may be requested up to 12:00 p.m. CST on the Friday prior to the beginning of the course. Students canceling enrollment in a weekend or retrospective course will be refunded their tuition less $25. 
Students canceling enrollment in online courses will receive a refund less $75. 
Students canceling enrollment in Band Instrument Repair will receive a refund less a $150 cancellation fee. VanderCook reserves the right to cancel any course due to insufficient enrollment, in which case all tuition will be refunded.
Cancellations received after the above deadlines are not eligible for refunds. Tuition deposits are calculated based on the number of credits offered per class. VanderCook reserves the right to cancel any course due to insufficient enrollment, in which case all tuition and deposits will be refunded.

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Can I pay my tuition balance online?

Unfortunately, tuition balance payments cannot be accepted online at this time. If paying by credit card, please contact VanderCook’s Business Office at 312.788.1143 with your course #(s) and card information.

If paying by check, please indicate “MECA” and the course #(s) in the memo field.

All tuition balances must be paid in full on or before the first day of class.

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How can I request a balance statement or receipt?

All enquiries regarding balances and payments should be directed to the Business Office at 312.788.1143.

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How can I request a transcript?

Transcript requests can be made online using the Transcript Request Form. Any enquiries regarding transcripts should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at 312.788.1151.

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What financial aid is available?

Unfortunately, financial aid is not available to continuing education students.

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Can MECA courses be audited?

Any MECA course may be audited for a no-credit option, however, full tuition costs and cancellation policies apply to all audited courses.

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Is there a limit to how many MECA courses I can take?

Students enrolled in VanderCook’s master’s degree program may only enroll for 15 credit hours of MECA courses per term (please note that no more than 12 hours of graduate credit earned through MECA courses may be applied toward a master's degree at VanderCook).  

There is no limit to the number of MECA courses that can be taken by students who are not enrolled in the master’s degree program.

During the summer session, all MECA students may take only one course per week.

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How are credit hours calculated?

Semester credit hours for the MECA Continuing Education program are calculated using the 60-minute clock hour (750 minutes per credit).

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How important is it if I miss a class?

Every half-day absence results in the lowering of the final grade by half a letter. Due to the limited nature of MECA courses, it is not possible to make up any missed assignments, activities or lessons.

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When are classes held?

Summer on-campus MECA classes are generally held Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from  8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, unless otherwise indicated or established by the course instructor.

Weekend courses are held on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

The on-campus portions of hybrid online/weekend courses vary per course and instructor.

Chat sessions for online MECA courses vary per instructor. Your instructor will determine chat session schedules once the course has convened.

All summer Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Level courses are held 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, all levels, both weeks.

Lunch and break times are determined by each individual instructor.

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What does MECA stand for?

The Music Education Center of America (MECA) continuing education program is a component of the graduate division. Candidates eligible for enrollment in MECA 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.

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Who can I call if I still have a question?

Please contact the MECA Office at or 312.788.1139.

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VanderCook College of Music

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

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