Accreditation is granted to community and precollegiate arts institutions, schools, and programs meeting all standards of ACCPAS. Institutions approved for the first time are granted five-year periods of accreditation. At the end of five years, the institution is expected to apply for renewal of accreditation. Renewal of accreditation is normally granted for ten-year periods. The standards for accreditation are published in the ACCPAS Handbook.
I. FREESTANDING SCHOOLS
A. Independent Community Schools of the Arts
These institutions offer instruction in one or more arts disciplines to children, youth, and adults in their local community. The institution is not an elementary, middle, or high school, nor is it a degree or professional diploma-granting postsecondary institution.
B. Arts Centered Public and Private Schools and Preparatory Institutions
This type of institution offers a pre-school, elementary, or middle school education, or a high school credential and allows at least 20% of the time or the credits for graduation to be focused in at least one of the art forms.
Institutions described in A and B above, with programs in one or more of the following arts disciplines: dance, music, theatre, and the various visual arts, and meeting the Basic Criteria for Membership and the standards for accreditation may be accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools. ACCPAS grants accreditation status only.
Institutions with arts programs in music only or in dance only may seek accredited institutional Membership with the National Association of Schools of Music (music) or the National Association of Schools of Dance (dance) instead of the ACCPAS. NASD and NASM do not offer institutional accreditation to institutions that teach more than one arts discipline. However, under certain conditions, the dance or music unit on multi-discipline institutions can be reviewed by NASD or NASM as appropriate.
ACCPAS accreditation of dance or music programs produces eligibility for accredited institutional Membership in NASD or NASM, as applicable and upon payment of dues, ratification by the appropriate NASD or NASM commission, and fulfillment of other obligations. Such membership is optional. Theatre or visual arts programs with ACCPAS accreditation may establish a correspondent relationship with NAST or NASAD.
II. COMMUNITY, PREPARATORY, AND PRECOLLEGIATE PROGRAMS AFFILIATED WITH COLLEGES, CONSERVATORIES, PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS, AND UNIVERSITIES THAT HAVE OR ARE SEEKING ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP IN NASAD, NASD, NASM, or NAST
A. Basic Review
Affiliated programs in a specific discipline named as a separate entity and provided with a designated administrator are automatically reviewed by NASAD, NASD, NASM, or NAST and included in the accreditation status of the parent institution.
B. Intensive Review
Affiliated programs in dance or music may volunteer to seek a more intensive review by NASD or NASM through the process of those Associations. Any institution with affiliated programs in dance, music, theatre, or visual arts may seek an intensive review by ACCPAS. Except in unusual circumstances, the ACCPAS review will always be undertaken jointly with a review for accreditation in one or more of the other disciplines, and in the case of music and dance, be equivalent to an intense review by NASM or NASD.
III. MULTIDISCIPLINE PROGRAMS IN POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS
If a postsecondary institution has as community, preparatory, or precollegiate unit that offers two or more arts disciplines, it may elect to have the program reviewed by ACCPAS.