Between the Disciplines: Accreditation Considerations for Stand-Alone Nonprofit Education Programs


  • Robert F. Ashcraft Arizona State University



nonprofit education programs, nonprofit leadership and management, philanthropy studies, accreditation, curricular standards, winemaking


Stand-alone nonprofit education programs are a relatively small yet growing and increasingly influential part of the higher education landscape. By their nature, they almost always represent a nonprofit and philanthropy–first orientation, attracting students who seek full degrees within their chosen field rather than within other disciplines. In this essay, I argue for an accreditation framework advanced by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), that is informed by the 2016 NACC Accreditation Summit and by a story of winemaking that has remarkable similarities to NACC’s foray into accreditation, each with a goal of acknowledging quality and legitimacy without regard for academic or geographic location, thus respecting insights from those who lead stand-alone programs.

Author Biography

Robert F. Ashcraft, Arizona State University

Executive Director and Associate Professor

Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation

School of Community Resources and Development

Arizona State University





Is Accreditation Good for the Field?