Janet Kempf, MA, ATR-BC, Vice-Chair, ACATE | June 7, 2018

After years of discussion and planning, the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) is happy to report the accreditation application process for art therapy master’s programs is now active. By way of review, programs currently approved by the Educational Programs Approval Board (EPAB) are phasing into an accreditation process with ACATE.

The transition is a way to ensure students continue to receive quality training from programs and will be successful entry level art therapy professionals. As stated on the American Art Therapy Association’s web site (2017), “Regular and rigorous review of approved and accredited programs ensures the ability of the program to prepare their students for entry level skills and post-graduate certification as an art therapist.”

ACATE has been working with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which approved the new educational Standard and Guidelines in November 2016. CAAHEP and ACATE, under sponsorship of the American Art Therapy Association, have been working over the past three years to create a variety of templates, handbooks and trainings for programs to use as they work their way through the program accreditation process. Site visits to art therapy programs are a new part of these processes and will help ACATE clarify and verify the programs’ reports.

It has been wonderful to see several programs that have not previously been EPAB approved now seeking accreditation and ACATE is working with those programs as well. It is important to recognize the hard work of the entire council who continue to see that this process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information about ACATE and to review the documents, please visit https://www.caahep.org/ACATE.