U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: National Association Of Schools Of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation ( 1982 / 2014)
    (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
  2. Action Item: Petition for Continued Recognition
  3. Current Scope of Recognition: The accreditation throughout the United States of freestanding institutions that offer theatre and theatre-related programs (both degree and non-degree-granting), including those offered via distance education.
  4. Requested Scope of Recognition: Same as above.
  5. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 07/31/2019
  6. Staff Recommendation: Continue the agency's recognition as a nationally recognized accrediting agency at this time, and require the agency to come into compliance within 12 months with the criterion listed below and submit a compliance report due 30 days thereafter that demonstrates the agency's compliance.
  7. Issues or Problems: It does not appear that the agency meets the following sections of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition. These issues are summarized below and discussed in detail under the Summary of Findings section.

    -- The agency must amend its continuous deferral policy to clarify that probation is not a possible action after an institution has been deferred past the timelines described in this criterion for non-compliance with its standards. Additionally, the agency must clarify its Appendix III.G. to state that the agency cannot exceed the timelines found in Appendix III.G. for an institution that continues to be non-compliant with any standard unless a good cause extension has been granted. [§602.20(a)]

Executive Summary


The National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) Commission on Accreditation accredits freestanding institutions of theatre and theatre-related programs (both degree and non-degree granting), including those offered via distance education. The Secretary's recognition of the agency's accreditation of freestanding institutions that offer theatre and theatre-related programs enables those institutions to establish eligibility to receive Federal student assistance funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (Title IV).

Recognition History

The NAST Commission on Accreditation was granted intitial recognition in 1982 and has been periodically reviewed for renewal of recognition since that time. The agency's most recent petition for recognition was received in 2014 and recognition was renewed until 2019. The agency submitted a petition for renewal of recognition for the July, 2019 NACIQI meeting, and that petition is the subject of this analysis.


The agency meets the requirements of the Secretary's Criteria for Recognition.


The Department did not receive any written third - party comments regarding this agency.