Updates from ASLA

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ASLA Urges LAAB to Increase Climate Offerings

Every five years, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) conducts long-term reviews to determine if its current accreditation standards, when viewed as a whole and individually, are adequate to assess the quality of landscape architecture education programs and pertinent to the education and training needs of students. LAAB last approved revisions to the standards in 2016 as part of its periodic review. To initiate the next round of revisions, LAAB held a public comment period for the 2016 LAAB Accreditation Standards from November 1 through December 15.

In order to respond to the call for comment, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) held a preliminary webinar to solicit input from interested members, including members of the Committee on Education and Education and Practice PPN. Additionally, ASLA collected feedback from a recent Student Climate Crisis Forum held during last month’s ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego. ASLA also heard from executives from some of the nation’s largest landscape architecture firms about their specific concerns and recommendations.

The timing of these revisions comes as members of ASLA are calling for the Society and the profession to take the lead in the ongoing climate crisis. As such, ASLA urges LAAB to call for landscape architecture curricula that increase dedicated coursework on climate change and that ensure more aggressive results to halt this global crisis. Additionally, mitigating climate effects and adapting to the climate crisis requires interdisciplinary collaboration. For that reason, ASLA believes that educational curricula need to allow for and encourage more interdisciplinary learning and networking. Interested members can read ASLA’s letter to see the full list of recommended revisions.

Now that the comment period is closed, LAAB will draft revised standards during the beginning of 2020. The expectation is that a draft of the proposed revisions will be publicly available in March with an additional comment period to immediately follow in April. ASLA will continue to engage with LAAB in this year-long revision process to ensure its members’ voices are heard and represented.

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