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. NAST’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 NAST 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 NAST 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).
- NAST 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.
- NAST Procedures. Review the NAST 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. NAST strongly advises new institutional applicants to host an NAST consultant prior to the official on-site visit. NAST also offers consultative services through NAST staff.
- Connections with Other Review Procedures. If your institution wishes to hold a joint or concurrent visit with NAST’s and that of another accrediting agency, inform the NAST National Office at least two years in advance of the visit.
- NAST Annual Meeting. Attend the NAST Annual Meeting each March. Participate in the workshop entitled “Preparing for NAST Evaluation.”
- Individual Membership. During preparation for application for accreditation, the theatre executive is encouraged to become an individual member of NAST in order to remain current with the work of the Association.
- Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS). Institutions applying to NAST 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 NAST 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 NAST accreditation process.