Institutional Research and Effectiveness at CalArts coordinates evaluation and planning throughout the Institute by facilitating research design, as well as data collection, analysis and interpretation for academic, co-curricular, and administrative units across campus. Specific areas of activity include: assessment, accreditation and program review, institutional research, and strategic planning.


Program Assessment

The purpose of academic assessment at CalArts is to continuously enhance the educational experience of our students. This is achieved through faculty-driven methods predicated on institute values that aim to produce relevant and functional information. Information gathered is used to align pedagogical approaches, curricular development, and administrative policies with the needs of our students in the following ways:

  1. by examining the relevance of the scope, depth and rigor of the curriculum;
  2. by evaluating the effectiveness of teaching methods, delivery modes, and course content; and
  3. by integrating discussions about student learning into planning and resource-allocation decisions.


Accreditation and Program Review

CalArts voluntarily participates in both national and regional accreditation as a public acknowledgement of the Institute's commitment to ongoing improvement.

The institute has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) since its founding. Its most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was in 2012, with its next review scheduled for 2021. CalArts' current regional accreditation status and recent reports can be found in the WSCUC Membership Directory.

CalArts is an accredited institution member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). 


Institutional Research

Institutional research serves a vital function for the Institute by collecting, analyzing, and reporting information essential for making institutional decisions. The research conducted describes the Institute's characteristics over time in order to project for the future, and contextualizes the Institute within the global landscape in order to find how it relates to peers. Relevant information is also reported publicly to assist prospective students, employees, and other interested parties in better understanding the value of the Institute. CalArts institutional research is guided by the four core principles:

Quality Reporting: accurate, concise, and relevant reports that objectively simplify complex data and present essential information for easy review;

Collaborative Processes: open and flexible consultation in order to customize reports to fit the purpose and scope of each activity;

Ethical Standards: confidential data collection and reporting, and management of archives in a manner to prevent unauthorized access;

Best Practices: use of current institutional research methodologies, techniques, tools, and technology, while contribution to the global conversation about the arts in higher education.