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Most major art programs in the US have an additional accreditation by NASAD,( Natrional Association of Schools of Art and Design). In fact, all of the major stand alone art schools with the notable exception of SCAD are NASAD accredited.
Since there has been a lot of discussion about the benefits of studying at a NASAD accredited school, I wrote NASAD and asked them. Here is the response that I got. You may take this in any way you see fit:
I am not able to answer your question directly, but I can give you a bit more information about NASAD. It is best to provide an excerpt from our written material:
The Associations Role as a Specialized, Professional Accrediting Agency
NASAD recognizes the need to find ways of clarifying and maintaining standards in art and design through responsible education of artists and designers. By means of accreditation, it can encourage those institutions that consistently give students a sound basis for significant future accomplishments in art and design. Accreditation also imposes on those institutions the responsibility for continual effort to strengthen art and design education in generalin both accredited and not-yet-accredited schools. In addition, it provides a basis for public recognition of an institutions quality.
The acceptance of NASAD as the only recognized accrediting agency covering the entire field of art and design has placed upon the Association the following responsibilities: to maintain high educational standards; to safeguard the profession against inadequately prepared educators and practitioners; to disseminate information on accreditation to institutions, counselors, teachers, parents, and students; to guard against improper non-educational pressures on individuals and institutions; and to consider other important educational problems and issues. The Association recognizes and accepts these responsibilities.
Institutions come to us on a voluntary basis. In doing so, they agree to accept the responsibilities as outlined above. They are also subject to periodic review and renewal of accreditation.
The selection of an accredited versus non-accredited institution is strictly a subjective matter.
All institutions develop their own criteria for admissions and transfer policies. While it may be reasonable to expect that credits from an accredited institution would be accepted at another, it is entirely up to the accepting institution.
For comparison purposes it may be helpful to note that NASAD curricular standards require that studies in the major area, supportive courses in art and design, and studies in visual arts/design histories normally total at least 65% of the curriculum.
An institution that accepts peer review and is dedicated to strengthening its programs and helping its students to develop essential competencies is certainly one that accepts its responsibility toward higher education.
I trust that this information will be of some service to you.