Achievement and Quality

The Council of Arts Accrediting Associations have developed several Achievement and Quality resources to assist individuals and institutions. They have been developed by the four arts accrediting associations (NASAD, NASD, NASM, and NAST) and reflect 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.

Please read the following notes before accessing the resources below.

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.

Achievement and Quality Resources

A PDF document titled Achievement and Quality: Higher Education in the Arts is available for download by clicking the link below. The text reflects a belief based on centuries of experience: the natures of the arts disciplines and the ways work is done in them dictate the basic principles and approaches necessary for achievement and quality in educational settings and in evaluation.

The document below contains four pieces: basic conceptual information; general observations about the nature of the art forms and quality and achievement in them; issues of evaluation from three perspectives: individual, institutional, and public; and resource documents.

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

To assist readers in digesting the information provided within the above document, the following resources are available  available for download. Each of the following are also contained within the PDF document itself: