When Roger L. Williams took over as director in 1977, the Art Academy
was still, in essence, a 19th-century studio school. The Academy had cooperative agreements with UC and Northern Kentucky University that allowed its students to transfer credits to receive degrees from the universities, but the NASAD accreditors leaned heavily on the Art Academy to create its own degree program. In 1979, the Academy finally instituted a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program, which required introducing traditional academic courses to the curriculum.