Purpose, Protocols and Requirements

The primary purpose of the on-site visit, also known as the on-site review, is to develop an external perspective on the work of the school. This perspective is considered by ACCPAS along with a) materials submitted by the institution and b) standards as published in the Handbook. The visiting evaluators shall be afforded an opportunity to visit and consider all arts programs offered by the institution irrespective of where they are administered.

During the course of the visit, as appropriate to the goals of the school, the evaluators do the following:

  • Observe classes, studios, rehearsals, and lessons particularly in the arts disciplines offered (faculty should be advised that visitors may not stay for the entire session)
  • Interview faculty, arts and general administrators, students/parents, and board members
  • Hear/see students perform alone and in groups, and review student work in the arts disci­plines at various levels offered
  • Inspect facilities and equipment
  • Examine libraries and information resources (books, periodicals, scores, slides, recordings, information technologies, music, etc.)
  • Examine items such as performance tapes and original works or copies thereof, submitted in fulfillment of requirements
  • View websites applicable to the school
  • Examine student records
  • For pre-collegiate schools, examine transcripts or records of achievement, and inspect records of students’ arts examinations and repertory
  • Consider the budget applicable to the school and its arts programs

These activities provide information that enables the visitors to complete a report that:

  • Compares visitors’ impressions of conditions, evaluations, and projections with those described in the Self-Study
  • Identifies the extent to which there appears to be compliance with standards for ACCPAS accreditation
  • Recommends specific improvements
  • Makes suggestions concerning opportunities or problems not yet apparent

All involved in the visit are expected to a) maintain a professional, collegial, peer-review approach; b) keep the process focused on the school, its programs, and its effectiveness; c) contribute to the factual accuracy of the Visitors’ Report; and d) cause as little disruption as possible to the artistic and educational routine of the school.

Additional perspectives on the visit, the work of visiting evaluators, and the Visitors’ Report format are found in Procedures for Accreditation – Part III: Instructions for Visiting Evaluators.