Achievement and Quality

The following document was published by the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations with the intention of assisting individuals and institutions. It has been developed by the four arts accrediting associations (NASAD, NASD, NASM, and NAST) and reflects a basic consensus by the representatives of over 1,200 accredited institutions and programs across the disciplines of art and design, dance, music, and theatre who seek broader public understanding of the nature of what they do and how they evaluate it as experienced professionals.

To further assist individuals and institutions, a list of all Achievement and Quality resources collectively for NASAD, NASD, NASM, and NAST may be found on the CAAA website.

Please read the following notes before clicking the link below to download the Achievement and Quality document.

Important Notes:

1. Accreditation Disclaimer. Except where specifically noted, the information provided here does not constitute accreditation requirements. These documents have been developed to serve the professional development and policy analysis functions of the arts accrediting associations.

2. Relationships to Education, Scholarship, Research. The material presented in this set of information addresses achievement and quality weighted toward the perspectives of creating and performing works of art. These perspectives have many applications to and often significantly inform study and projects in education, scholarship, and research in or about the arts. However, the fields of education, scholarship, and research have their own specific goals and criteria for success. These can be and regularly are combined with those of the arts, in part because there are significant commonalities as well as differences among all of them.

3. Relationship to Degrees and Credentials. The primary purpose of this material is to describe attributes and evaluation approaches of the arts and professionally oriented studies in them without regard to formats for learning provided by degrees. For one section, the expectations of professional undergraduate degrees are used to illustrate the composite fundamental competencies of specializations in each art form. But other combinations of degrees or studies may produce the competencies indicated. The principles outlined apply to all types of degrees, liberal arts or professional, that have significant creative and/or performance objectives.

Download Achievement and Quality: Higher Education in the Arts (PDF)