National Office for Arts Accreditation (NOAA)

The National Office for Arts Accreditation (NOAA) is the name given to the staff and facilities shared by the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Theatre, and the National Association of Schools of Dance. NOAA has no corporate identity nor funding designated specifically to itself. In addition to the work of these four accrediting bodies, NOAA manages these cooperative efforts that involve all four accrediting bodies, the Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) project, the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations (CAAA), and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). The HEADS project is an ad hoc institutional research effort financed primarily by the four higher education accrediting associations. CAAA is focused on interagency discussions and projects pertaining to matters of common interest. ACCPAS provides accreditation services for arts-oriented schools and programs for children, youth, and/or adults in a community.

The primary purpose of NOAA is to provide daily management services for the five accrediting bodies and the related activities of HEADS and CAAA. Each accrediting body is completely autonomous.

Each staff member in NOAA serves the same functions for each accrediting body and the NOAA as a whole. Special assignments are made with respect to the HEADS project and CAAA. This structure is possible because the four higher education accrediting bodies agreed in the early 1980s to use procedures similar enough to provide efficiencies in the National Office and to allow easy combination of accreditation procedures whenever joint visits were requested by institutions or programs.

Further information about the organizations and efforts staffed by NOAA is available at their respective sections of this website.