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LAAB Publishes Revised Accreditation Standards and Procedures

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) is proud to publish revised Accreditation Standards and Accreditation Procedures after a year-long review process.

LAAB Accreditation Standards (Jan 2021)

LAAB Accreditation Procedures (Jan 2021)

LAAB is the accrediting organization for landscape architecture degree programs. LAAB not only develops Accreditation Standards (Standards) to evaluate landscape architecture degree programs objectively, it also judges whether a school’s landscape architecture degree program is in compliance with the Standards.

LAAB is composed of landscape architecture practitioners and educators, representatives from landscape architecture collateral organizations, and representatives of the public. The collateral organizations are the:

American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) 

Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA)

Pursuant to its Accreditation Procedures, LAAB is tasked with conducting ongoing and comprehensive reviews of its Standards to verify that they adequately evaluate educational quality and are relevant to the educational needs of landscape architecture students and the profession as a whole. 

At a minimum of every five years, LAAB conducts in-depth reviews to determine if the current Standards, when viewed as a whole and individually, are adequate to assess the quality of landscape architecture education programs pertinent to the education and training needs of students seeking to enter the profession. 

During the fall of 2019, LAAB hosted an initial public comment period for the 2016 LAAB Accreditation Standards. Based on that feedback, LAAB approved draft revisions at its 2020 winter board meeting. Then in the spring of 2020, LAAB offered a second and final public comment period to allow communities of interest to weigh in on the approved revisions. Based on that feedback, LAAB made further revisions to the Standards at its 2020 summer board meeting. Because several of the changes are time-sensitive, LAAB adopted the amended Standards at its board meeting in September.

However, in light of recent and continuing developments around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and racial and social equity, LAAB believes that it is imperative to continue considering additional changes to the Standards, specifically:

DEI: While the revised Standards now include DEI explicitly as a component of accreditation, LAAB continued discussion on DEI through five (5) Town Hall Meetings, and continues to work with landscape architecture programs, ASLA’s Committee on Education, ASLA’s Student Advisory Committee, and CELA. LAAB formed a Diversity subcommittee to work on continued Standards revisions pertaining to DEI.

Curriculum: LAAB seeks to develop defensible tools/methods to assess curriculum in a more inclusive manner without being prescriptive. A Curriculum Assessment subcommittee has been developed and is working in collaboration with: ASLA Committee on Education, CLARB, and CELA.

Town Hall Meetings took place during fall 2020 with the following groups:

Wednesday, September 9 — Program Chairs

Wednesday, September 16 — BlackLAN Members / ASLA Diversity Summit Community

Wednesday, September 23 — Student Members

Wednesday, September 30 — Faculty At-Large

Wednesday, October 7 — Professional Practice Committee / PPN Leadership  

At the Town Halls, LAAB provided an overview of the Standards revision process and then solicited additional DEI input regarding students, faculty/staff, culture and exposure, and curricula. Based on the feedback from the Town Halls and work completed through the subcommittees, LAAB will continue to refine the Standards revisions regarding DEI. Once proposed revisions are complete, an additional public comment period will be held sometime in spring 2021. LAAB expects to finalize and approve these additional revisions before the end of 2021.

If you’re interested in participating in a future public comment period regarding LAAB Accreditation Standards revisions, please contact Kristopher Pritchard at kpritchard@asla.org.

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