Santa Clara University de Saisset Museum Receives Accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM

Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded to the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The de Saisset was initially accredited in 1979. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes as long as three years.

“The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is proud to be one of three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. I wish to thank the museum staff and board, university administration, and all our volunteers for their commitment to public service and institutional excellence,” says Rebecca M. Schapp, director of the de Saisset Museum.

“This is a tribute to the quality of the de Saisset Museum and to the contribution it makes to both the Santa Clara University campus and the community. We are proud to receive this recognition from the American Association of Museums,” said Don Dodson, Senior Vice Provost of Santa Clara University.

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited. The de Saisset is one of 60 museums accredited in California.

AAM Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable ─ all in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

“Accreditation is emblematic of an institution’s commitment to public service and to overall excellence,” says Ford W. Bell, AAM president. “Attaining accreditation involves taking a hard look at yourself, allowing your peers in the field to do the same, and being judged to be superior in all areas. The Santa Clara community can take great pride in the fact that their local institution is one of America’s premier museums.”

About the de Saisset Museum

The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications. For more information, see

Image: The de Saisset Museum

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,600 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

About AAM

The American Association of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 15,000 individual, 3,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, AAM is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit