The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) is a non-profit consortium of 39 leading art and design colleges in the United States and Canada. All AICAD member institutions have a curriculum with full liberal arts and sciences requirements complementing studio work, and all are accredited to grant the BFA and/or MFA degrees. To qualify for AICAD membership, an art school must satisfy four criteria: be a free-standing college (not a division of a larger college or university) specializing in art or design; be a non-profit institution; grant the BFA and/or MFA degree; and have accreditation from both the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the relevant academic accrediting organization in their region. AICAD was founded in 1991 by a group of art college presidents for the purpose of sharing information among similar institutions and acting collectively. Its mission is to strengthen and connect the member colleges, and to inform the public about these colleges and the value of studying art and design. More information about AICAD and its member colleges is available on the organization's website www.aicad.org AICAD distributes information about the organization and its members, and about art and design education and careers, to potential students, parents, teachers, and others. It conducts regular conferences and symposia on contemporary academic and administrative subjects, operates an independent studio and internship program in New York City (The New York Studio Residency Program), oversees student exchanges among the member schools, gathers and analyzes institutional data to assist in future planning efforts. It also provides members with information about current art and design education issues as well as information on relevant legislation and government policies.