Relationships with Other Organizations


NAST maintains relationships with other organizations in support of accreditation efforts across the field in higher education. A list of related organizations in the following categories is provided below (in alphabetical order by and within each category):

Please Note: For information regarding joint reviews and other inter-agency coordination, please see Connections with Other Review Procedures.

Accreditation Organizations (Discipline-Specific)

Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)

NAST is a member of ASPA. ASPA brings together the specialized accrediting agencies in a forum for discussion, debate, and review of current issues and events.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

NAST and CAEP join in cooperation for the benefit of institutions. The standards of the two associations do not contradict one another. NAST reflects education accreditation status in its Directory Listing of member institutions. CAEP’s policy regarding the review of theatre education programs states:

“CAEP reduces the amount of evidence needed from programs accredited by other national specialized accreditors for inclusion in CAEP’s review of the education unit (school, college or department of education).”

CAEP accepts information from the following specialized accrediting organizations:

[Editor’s Note: The excerpt below omits the names of all organizations except the Reston-based arts accreditation associations represented by this website.]

For programs accredited by one of these organizations, CAEP requires units to present the official notice of accreditation from the other specialized accrediting organization. As necessary, CAEP may require the submission of additional information.

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

NASAD is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in art and design and art/design related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)

NASD is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in dance and dance related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

NASM is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in music and music related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

Accreditation Organizations (Regional)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Formerly part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes the following 19 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

MSCHE accredits institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

NEASC accredits post-secondary educational institutions in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

NWCCU accredits post-secondary institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

SACS accredits post-secondary educational institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

WASC accredits four-year post-secondary educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, and Northern Marianas Islands, as well as schools for American children in Asia.

Federal Agency

United States Department of Education (USDE)

NAST is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as the institutional and specialized accrediting body for the field of theatre. This recognition enables NAST to function as a gatekeeper for the purpose of Title IV funding eligibility for independent schools of dance not otherwise institutionally accredited.

National Individual Membership Organizations Concerned with Theatre Study

American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE)

American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT)

Other Organizations

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

Arts Schools Network (ASN or NETWORK)

The Arts Schools Network strives to inspire excellence in arts education by supporting and serving the leaders of specialized arts schools at the K-12 level, fostering communication, promoting the development of new schools of the arts, and providing leadership and direction in arts education.

Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)

NAST is a member of ASPA. ASPA brings together the specialized accrediting agencies in a forum for discussion, debate, and review of current issues and events.

The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA)

ELIA is an independent network of European arts education institutes covering all the disciplines of the arts including dance, design, theatre, fine art, music, media arts and architecture. ELIA was founded in 1990 and has approximately 350 members in 47 countries.

International Digital Media and Arts Association (iDMAa)

iDMAa is a forum for professionals working across the wide range of disciplines and initiatives clustered around the emerging field of Digital Media and Arts.

University Resident Theatre Association (URTA)

The University Resident Theatre Association was founded in 1969 with the mission of supporting excellence in professional training of theatre artists, ensuring the continued renewal of the American theatre.