Policy on Postponements

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NAST reviews member institutions for continuation of accredited institutional membership on a regular cycle. This cycle is established by the original date accreditation is earned. The date of an institution’s next full on-site review is confirmed in an institution’s Commission Action Report received after and upon approval of an institution’s comprehensive application for accreditation or reaccreditation. The date is also published with the institution’s listing on the NAST website.

From time to time, institutions with NAST accredited institutional membership may require additional time to prepare for a comprehensive review and therefore find it necessary to seek postponement of the scheduled date of a full reaccreditation review.

Should such a request be necessary, the following protocols and guidelines apply.

  1. A first-time postponement from one academic year to the next may be granted by the NAST staff upon the presentation of reasonable cause from the institution.
  2. A postponement of more than one academic year may be granted only by the Commission on Accreditation upon the presentation of reasonable cause from the institution.
    NOTE: In addition to the presentation of reasonable cause, requests for postponements shall include confirmation of the academic year to which the institution wishes to postpone its on-site review (i.e., 2023-2024, 2024-2025, etc.) and the number of the postponement requested (i.e., one-year, two-year, etc.). One- and two-year postponements advance the subsequent cyclical review year by the length of the postponement. Postponements beyond two years do not advance the subsequent cyclical review year.
  3. At the time of any request, an institution seeking a postponement is expected to be current with all obligations required of accredited institutional members of NAST. These include but are not limited to:
      a.   Filing annual reports including the HEADS Data Survey, the Accreditation Audit, the Affirmation Statement, and, if a free-standing theatre institution, the Supplemental Annual Report;
      b.   Seeking Plan Approval for any new or proposed curricula;
      c.   Requesting review of any substantive changes;
      d.   Responding as specified to any current and ongoing request(s) of the Commission;
      e.   Filing a Notice of Intention to Apply form for continuation of accredited institutional membership as required by NAST procedures and protocols or by the Commission; and
      f.   Responding as specified to any current and ongoing request(s) of the NAST staff regarding matters that fall within the responsibilities of staff. A request for postponement will not be considered unless the institution is current in all respects with its NAST obligations, as outlined above.
  4. The NAST staff will review all required and requested documentation to ensure that the institution is current with all obligations.
  5. If a request for postponement is granted, institutions must remain current with all obligations outlined in item 3. above during the period of postponement. Failure to do so may result in (a) Administrative Warning, (b) Accreditation Warning, (c) actions specified in Article I., Section 2. of the Bylaws, (d) a Commission-mandated interim on-site review by an NAST visitor, and/or (e) other specific requests, actions, or requirements to determine conditions at the institution.
  6. Institutions granted postponement(s) may be asked to:
      a.   File one or more Progress Report(s) during the period of postponement as requested. The content and schedule of such Progress Reports will be determined by the Commission based upon the circumstances described by the institution and the reasons for the request, and the length of the postponement granted.
      b.   Proactively file with the Commission, by submission to the NAST staff, any information indicating and documenting current or predictable conditions that may place the accredited institution or unit at risk of falling out of compliance with standards regarding the institution’s fundamental operational viability and/or its ability to deliver the curricula that (1) fall under the purview of NAST, or (2) have been approved and listed previously by NAST.
  7. Institutions receiving approval from the Commission to postpone for a period of more than two years may be asked by the Commission to provide to the Commission a draft or completed text of one or more sections of the Self-Study as specified by the Commission. This may include but is not limited to (a) curricular charts for all programs falling under the purview of NAST, (b) information required in the Instructional Programs Portfolio section of the NAST Procedures for the Self-Study Document (Format A, B, or C), and/or (c) a copy of each year’s HEADS Data Survey. Specific category and content requirements and schedules will be established for each institution by the Commission.
  8. Should, in unusual circumstances, the Commission grant a postponement of three years or more, it may require an interim on-site visit by NAST visitors, for the purpose of reporting to the Commission the extent to which fundamental conditions at the institution appear to be consistent with NAST standards.
  9. The procedures outlined above do not alter the applicability of other published NAST procedures and requirements regarding accredited membership in the Association.

Amended by the Board of Directors (March 17, 2016)