Art Therapy

Contact Us

Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education
Ron Hunt, DDS, MS, Chair

For questions, contact:
Dana Elmendorf, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, Coordinator
4875 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 240
Alexandria, VA 22304
Phone: 724-830-1140


The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) cooperate with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) to establish, maintain and promote appropriate standards of quality for educational programs that meet or exceed the minimum standards.

COVID-19 Response

Important Information

The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) invites public comments on the Proposed CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines of Accreditation of Educational Programs in Art Therapy - 2023. As part of the CAAHEP Standards development process, ACATE recognizes the importance of securing comments from the various stakeholders in the art therapy profession.

Review the proposed CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines of Accreditation of Educational Programs in Art Therapy - 2023 here.

To provide comments on the proposed Standards, please follow the instructions in the survey tool being used to collect comments.

Please share this survey link with your colleagues in the art therapy community. Their input is sought, too. ACATE will collect comments until March 31, 2023, at 5:00 PM Eastern. ACATE will carefully consider comments provided. Further proposed revisions are expected prior to submission for CAAHEP review. Thank you for your input into the CAAHEP Standards review process.

CURRENT ART THERAPY PROGRAM STUDENTS: Have you been hearing about the transition of Art Therapy program from being approved to being accredited and have questions? Review this PAMPHLET on these import changes occurring to understand this time of transition.

Benefits of Accreditation

CAAHEP accreditation attests to the quality of an educational program that prepares for entry into the art therapy profession.

  • For the public, accreditation promotes the health, safety and welfare of the public by assuring competent mental health professionals
  • For prospective students, accreditation serves a consumer protection purpose.  It provides assurance the program has been evaluated and has met accepted standards established by and with the art therapy profession.
  • For prospective employers, it provides assurance that the curriculum covers essential skills, knowledge and attitudes needed for today's job market in mental health care.
  • For graduates, it offers assurance to employers of competency in the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for entry level art therapy practice.
  • For art therapists, it involves practitioners in the establishment of standards and assures that educational requirements reflect the current training needs of the profession.
  • For the profession, it advances the field by promoting standards of practice and advocating rigorous preparation.
  • For public and private finding sources, it represents a highly desirable indicator of a program's quality and viability.
  • For the faculty and administrators, it promotes ongoing self-evaluation and continuous improvement and provides an effective system for accountability.
  • For the school or program, accreditation represents peer recognition.

Board Members

Council Member Roster (PDF)

ACATE is looking to fill two positions on the Council. Please see: ACATE Council Position Openings - accepting applications

Accreditation Documents

How do I get started?

Art Therapy programs interested in achieving CAAHEP accreditation must review the following documents to understand what is required before beginning the process:

1) Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Art Therapy

2) Initial Self-Study Report Handbook  

3) Initial Self-Study Report Template*

* To be eligible to submit a full Initial Self-Study Report (ISSR) for accreditation review, programs must have at least one graduating class and  have provided graduate-level instruction in art therapy on a continuous basis for at least three academic years.  Programs may, however, submit a preliminary Request for Accreditation Services (RAS) at the end of the second academic year of instruction as long as they have achieved one graduating class by that time.

Once these materials are reviewed, to begin the accreditation process complete the Request for Accreditation Services Form (RAS) at the link below:

Request for Accreditation Services Form

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Council Meetings : December 12, 2022.  January 12, February 21, March 20, April 20, 2023.


Survey Templates Referenced in Self Study and Annual Report process:

Additional Resources