The primary purpose of the accreditation process is to provide a mechanism that assists institutions and programs to analyze their operations, work, and aspirations. The results encourage artistic and educational improvements. The review is placed in the context of nationally-developed standards and facilitated by using consistent procedures that ensure fairness and objectivity. NASM’s focus is service rather than control. Since each institution is unique, the accreditation process balances two concerns: (1) An institution’s ability to fulfill NASM standards for curricular programs offered, and (2) Evaluation of institutional achievements based on the purposes and aspirations determined by specific institutions and for specific curricula.
In preparation for applications for membership, please review the items below. The NASM staff is available if any questions arise and looks forward to working with you as you prepare for your application.
- Eligibility. Review your institution’s eligibility and the definitions of membership/membership categories (i.e., Membership and Associate Membership).
- NASM Handbook. Review the Standards for Accreditation, as well as the Association’s Constitution, Bylaws (includes description of Membership categories, dues and fees structure, etc.), Code of Ethics, and Rules of Practice and Procedure. Please review the Handbook carefully to ensure your institution has the ability to meet or exceed all applicable standards for accreditation.
- NASM Procedures. Review the NASM Procedures for Institutions, Procedures for Self-Study, Instructions for Preparing Curricular Tables, and Procedures for Visiting Evaluators. Review and consider the various Self-Study formats. Please review the procedures carefully to ensure that your institution is capable and prepared to submit a complete and comprehensive application.
- Consultative Services. NASM strongly advises new institutional applicants to host an NASM consultant prior to the official on-site visit. NASM also offers consultative services through NASM staff.
- Institutions with Music Therapy Curricula. If your institution offers degree programs in music therapy, additional procedures must be used when applying for accredited institutional Membership or renewal of Membership.
- Connections with Other Review Procedures. If your institution wishes to hold a joint or concurrent visit with NASM’s and that of another accrediting agency, inform the NASM National Office at least two years in advance of the visit.
- NASM Annual Meeting. Attend the NASM Annual Meeting each November. Participate in the workshop entitled “Preparing for NASM Evaluation.”
- Individual Membership. During preparation for application for accreditation, the music executive is encouraged to become an individual member of NASM in order to remain current with the work of the Association.
- Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS). Institutions applying to NASM for the first time must include the latest HEADS Data Survey in its Self-Study as part of the Management Documents Portfolio. See Procedures for the Self-Study Document (Format A, B, or C) for further information.
- Instructions for Preparing Curricular Tables in the NASM Format. Review this document as an essential resource to completing the Self-Study.
- Definitions. A helpful glossary of definitions is available for terms related to the NASM accreditation process.