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LAAB Publishes Revised Accreditation Standards

ASLA 2020 Student Collaboration Award of Excellence. Designing a Green New Deal. Leila Bahrami; Chelsea Beroza; Allison Carr; Yvette Chen; Zachery Hammaker, ASLA; Sara Harmon; Tiffany Hudson; Katie Lample; John Michael LaSalle; Rob Levinthal; Katherine Pitstick, ASLA; Joshua Reaves; Will Smith; Jesse Weiss; Rosa Zedek, Student ASLA. University of Pennsylvania. Faculty Advisors: Billy Fleming, ASLA

At its July 29-30, 2021 meeting, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) approved and is proud to publish revised Accreditation Standards after an extended review process.

LAAB Accreditation Standards (September 2021)

All accredited programs should review the revised Standards and start to implement any necessary changes immediately. Programs with accreditation reviews scheduled Spring 2022 or Fall 2022 are expected to demonstrate compliance with the January 2021 Accreditation Standards.

Programs with accreditation reviews scheduled Spring 2023 or later are expected to demonstrate compliance with the September 2021 Accreditation Standards. LAAB will be providing guidance and training to all program administrators and Roster of Visiting Evaluators (ROVE) members in the coming months regarding the revised Standards.

"It was a bold move to re-open the standards revision process last summer just as we were completing the earlier revisions. Our board response was in-line with, or leading, our profession’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for landscape architecture, and in articulating our values. And the results, I believe, have moved LAAB forward in many positive directions. Thanks to all involved for making this happen!,” said LAAB Chair Jack Ahern, Ph.D., FASLA, FCELA.

“I believe the next steps will become clearer as we publish the Standards and continue to collaborate with the accredited programs, the President’s Council, and our most important constituency -- the students of landscape architecture (past, current, and future). LAAB may decide to form ad-hoc committees, including non-board members, to keep the communication flowing and productive."

LAAB recently published revised Accreditation Standards in January 2021 as part of its ongoing and comprehensive review of its Standards. However, in light of recent and continuing developments around racial and social equity, as well as LAAB's effort to develop defensible tools and methods to assess curriculum in a more inclusive manner without being prescriptive, LAAB believed it was imperative to continue considering additional changes to the Standards. 

LAAB continued discussion on DEI through five Town Hall meetings which took place during fall 2020 with the following groups: Students, Program Chairs, BlackLAN Members / ASLA Diversity Summit Community, Faculty At-Large, and ASLA 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 subcommittees, LAAB continued to refine the standards revisions regarding DEI. Once proposed revisions were complete, an additional public comment period was held during May 2021. 

About the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board 

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:

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