Assistant Director for Accreditation and External Affairs

The National Association of Schools of Music, a not-for-profit specialized accrediting association founded in 1924, headquartered in Reston, VA, is seeking a full-time (9-5, M-F) staff member. This employee will hold consistent responsibilities and duties with and among all organizations and operating entities managed by the National Office for Arts Accreditation, including the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS).

The Association employs fourteen staff members in a non-smoking, studious, quiet, and busy office. Attire is business professional. The National Office is within walking distance of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, the current terminus of the Silver Line.

Fundamental Responsibilities

The Assistant Director for Accreditation and External Affairs must hold advanced proficiency with regard to:

  • Analysis and research of institutional documentation, and information pertinent to the disciplines, related fields, and higher education;
  • Synthesis of information and concepts;
  • Conceiving and creating written information;
  • Communication in both oral and written form with multiple constituencies for various purposes.

The Assistant Director for Accreditation and External Affairs must:

  • Respect the confidentialities required by Association policies;
  • Possess time-management skills, including but not limited to, ensuring timely responses to constituency needs and requests, meeting schedule requirements, and coordinating work with other operations in the National Office;
  • Exemplify professionalism in knowledge, approach, and presentation when representing the Associations.

The Assistant Director for Accreditation and External Affairs shall, working under the auspices of the Executive Director:

  • Assume daily responsibilities that include: (a) analytical consideration of documents associated with specific accreditation applications, (b) counseling institutions and volunteers engaged in various phases or types of accreditation review, (c) review and study of issues and events that relate to the work of the Associations, (d) communication with constituencies and the public, (e) creation of written material associated with and pertinent to the work of the Associations;
  • Assume periodic responsibilities that may include development of procedures, standards, accreditation-related documents, and other documents pertinent to the work of the Associations;
  • Interact with the statistics and policy analysis functions of the Associations;
  • Interact, consult, coordinate, and communicate cordially with staff, constituencies, and the public;
  • Support, and participate in, the meetings of the Associations.

Required Qualifications

  • Professional and personal orientation and commitment to daily work that requires constant study, development of case-specific understanding, and service to others;
  • Ability to assimilate and work efficiently, creatively, and effectively with large bodies of detailed information;
  • Advanced skills in analysis, including abilities to understand multiple positions and perspectives, identify problems and propose solutions, work conceptually with complexity, and develop effective approaches to specific complex situations;
  • Advanced expository and analytical writing and speaking skills. The ability to distill complicated information into succinct and understandable language is essential;
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with other staff members;
  • Fundamental knowledge of arts accreditation standards and procedures;
  • Academic credentials and/or documented study in one or more of the arts or design disciplines;
  • At least four years of professional experience beyond formal education is required;
  • Ability to use and apply technology and to learn new systems quickly;
  • Evidence of strong potential for: (a) advanced problem solving in various aspects of accreditation; (b) understanding and eventual fluency with accreditation policy; (c) ability to work at a systems level with ideas, conceptual plans, review of structures, and specific proposals; (d) and advanced ramifications analysis at various operational scales.

Position Information

The Assistant Director for Accreditation and External Affairs position requires attention to government issues, proposals, and policies associated with accreditation and higher education; however, it is not a position in government relations, lobbying, advocacy, or political activity.

In addition to salary, competitive for non-profit arts organizations, the compensation package includes access to and employer contributions into a retirement plan, paid vacation and sick leave, and may include, upon successful application by the candidate, medical/dental/health care and disability coverage, and access to and employer contributions into an HSA plan. Travel within the U.S. is required.

Application Information

Review of written applications will begin upon receipt and continue until the position is filled. Interested parties are encouraged to submit applications in a timely fashion.

Applications and inquiries will be held in confidence. However, candidates successful in reaching the final consideration phase will be asked to provide references with contact information.

All correspondence regarding this position must be submitted to Information sent through any other means will not be reviewed.

Each application must include:

  • A letter of intent explaining qualifications in terms of position requirements noted above and with regard to the work of the Associations as described in the Associations’ website (, and interest in the position;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • At least two and no more than four article-length papers of which the candidate is the sole author. The papers may or may not have been published. The papers must address one or more of the arts and/or design disciplines, and should deal with policy issues in the arts, education, or accreditation. One of the papers may be written concerning information found on the arts-accredit website. The set of papers provided must demonstrate both expository and analytical writing skills.

For candidates reaching more advanced stages of consideration, the selection procedure will involve experiences and expectations such as extensive interviews, problem solving, analytical document writing, and opportunities to demonstrate knowledge of and skill in working conceptually with arts accreditation standards and procedures.

Please Note

This announcement provides information regarding the position of Assistant Director for Accreditation and External Affairs. However, it is not an official position description.

More Information

For more information about NASAD, NASD, NASM, and NAST, and the National Office for Arts Accreditation, please visit This announcement may be found on the home page of any of the four Associations.