Briefing Letters: Spring 2007

Eleven NAST briefing letters distributed to institutional representatives during the period February through May 2007 are available for free download and unrestricted use and distribution by institutions of higher education and other interested parties. The briefing letters provide an overview of several issues associated with the relationship among institutions of higher education and accrediting organizations. Traditionally, this relationship was conceived and operated on the principle that each entity was independent, and independence was to be especially protected with regard to specific academic decisions.

The eleven NAST briefing letters are listed below in the order they were presented to the Membership. Clicking on each will download the respective document as a PDF file.

Versions of the briefing letters for the fields of music, art and design, and dance are available, if interested, on the Web sites of NASM, NASAD, and NASD, respectively.

Queries about the briefing letters may be directed to the National Office at

Briefing Letter 1 – February 5, 2007

Introduction of the issues for the higher education system.

Briefing Letter 2 – February 8, 2007

Freedom and independence of institutions of higher education and the accreditation system.

Briefing Letter 3 – February 15, 2007

Federal control of academic matters.

Briefing Letter 4 – February 21, 2007

Accreditation is important to the freedom and independence of individual institutions and programs.

Briefing Letter 5 – March 1, 2007

Results or “outcomes” in higher education and accreditation.

Briefing Letter 6 – March 21, 2007

Results or “outcomes” in terms of disciplinary or professional content.

Briefing Letter 7 – April 3, 2007

The public interest in higher education.

Briefing Letter 8 – April 11, 2007

Public information and accreditation.

Briefing Letter 9 – April 24, 2007

Definitions and concepts of student learning.

Briefing Letter 10 – May 14, 2007

Sources, natures, and purposes of improvement and innovation in higher education.

Briefing Letter 11 – May 22, 2007

Preservation of the fundamental values underlying the work of NAST and the other arts accrediting associations.