The National Association of Schools of Art and Design voted to grant Associate Membership to Central Michigan University at its October 2012 meeting. As a member of NASAD, the institution is responsible for participating in all revisions and additions to the standards as well as maintaining its curricular programs in the visual arts and design current with NASAD standards as these are developed.

NASAD is the national accrediting agency for art and design and art and design-related disciplines. It was established in 1944 to improve educational practices and maintain high professional standards in art and design education. Among its goals are establishing a national forum, establishing reasonable standards, fostering the development of instruction of the highest quality, to evaluate through accreditation schools of art and design and programs of studio art and design, to counsel and assist schools, help in the formulation of appropriate curricula and standards, and establish a national voice.​

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