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Accreditation and LAAB

About LAAB
Mission, Identity and Values

LAAB Documents
LAAB News
Resources

Accreditation is a non-governmental, voluntary system of self-regulation. Its core is the concept of self-evaluation. The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) accreditation process evaluates each program on the basis of its stated objectives and compliance to externally mandated minimum standards. The program conducts a self-study to evaluate how well it is meeting its educational goals. LAAB then provides an independent assessment, which determines if a program meets accreditation requirements. Programs leading to first professional degrees at the bachelor’s or master’s levels in the United States are eligible to apply for accreditation from LAAB. List of programs accredited by LAAB.

The Board of Trustees of the American Society of Landscape Architects recognizes the quality of educational programs leading to first professional degrees in landscape architecture at the bachelor’s and master’s level accredited by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Accreditation Council. It regards the criteria for accreditation and many of the individual program guidelines to be comparable to those employed by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board of ASLA. Here's a list of CSLAAC accredited programs.

About LAAB

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) develops and promulgates the accreditation standards, rules and procedures for conducting the accreditation process. LAAB is vested with its authority by the ASLA Board of Trustees (Bylaws, Section 814) enacted as follows:

There shall be a Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board. The Board shall be an autonomous committee with the responsibility to act in matters concerning accreditation of professional landscape architecture degree programs. The Board shall consist of 12 members, including one member appointed by the Society, one by the Council of Educators
in Landscape Architecture and one by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. The remaining members shall be appointed according to procedures established by the Board. The Board chair shall be a member of the Council on Education. Accreditation reports shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees at least annually via the Council on Education. The direct costs of accreditation visits and Board meetings shall be covered from fees collected by the Board. The Society shall provide overhead and staff support for the Board in an amount to be determined annually.

Scope

LAAB is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the official accrediting body for first professional programs in landscape architecture. LAAB is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). CHEA reviews LAAB accreditation standards and procedures to ensure that the policies and procedures meet proper standards.

The official scope of LAAB accreditation is "...first professional programs at the bachelor's or master's level." Others, such as pre professional and advanced professional programs, lie outside LAAB's scope. LAAB reviews eligible programs in the United States and its territories.

Mission, Identity and Values

Mission

The mission of the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in landscape architectural programs.

Identity

The LAAB is the accrediting organization for landscape architectural programs. As such, the LAAB develops standards to objectively evaluate landscape architectural programs and judges whether a school’s landscape architectural program is in compliance with the accreditation standards.

The LAAB is comprised of landscape architecture practitioners and academicians, representatives from landscape architecture collateral organizations and public representatives. The collateral organizations are the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) and Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).

Values

To achieve our mission, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board seeks to:

  • hold itself to high standards and ethical behavior.
  • uphold the standards it establishes in a non-punitive manner.
  • support diversity in all its many forms.
  • promote self-examination and self-analysis of programs and curriculum.
  • aspire to achieve educational excellence as a predicate to professional excellence.
  • encourage education that prepares students to succeed in a changing world.

Diploma and Accreditation Mills

What is a ''diploma mill?" Why should you avoid them? And how can you tell if a degree program has no value?

Diploma mills," also known as "degree mills," tend to have drastically lower requirements for academic coursework, with some even allowing their students to purchase credentials without any education.
Students may be required to purchase textbooks, submit homework, and take tests, but degrees are nonetheless conferred after little or no study.
Diploma mills are motivated by profit and often claim accreditation by non-recognized or unapproved accrediting bodies ("accreditation mills") set up for the purposes of providing an appearance of authenticity.

Avoiding Diploma and Accreditation Mills

Several national and international bodies publish lists of accreditors that are known to lack the necessary legal authority or recognition. Most legitimate accrediting organizations in the United States are recognized by either
the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.

LAAB Members

Educators:
Karen C. Hanna, FASLA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA (Chair)
Gary Kesler, FASLA, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
 
Practitioners:
Richard N. Ciardella, ASLA, Ciardella Associates, Menlo Park, CA
Karl Von Bieberstein, FASLA, Newman Jackson Bieberstein, Dallas, TX
Rodney Swink, FASLA, Raleigh, NC

Public Members:    
Linda M. Battram, Claremont, CA
Gennady Schwartz, Baltimore, MD

Representatives from:
American Society of Landscape Architects - David Walters, ASLA, Lake Oswego, OR
Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture - Ken Brooks, FASLA, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards - Tom Sherry, ASLA, Spokane, WA

LAAB documents

LAAB  implemented new standards and procedures during fall 2010.

2013 Accreditation Standards and Procedures
2010 Self Evaluation Report Format
2010 Visiting Team Guidelines
Student Work for Accreditation Reviews

LAAB News

LAAB Recruiting Volunteers for Roster of Visiting Evaluators 

LAAB is reinvigorating the Roster of Visiting Evaluators and is accepting applications from interested candidates in all three ROVE categories (see below). LAAB encourages landscape architecture faculty at LAAB accredited programs to nominate qulaified academic administrators at their schools for ROVE.

The number of people on ROVE will be limited (as there are only a limited number of visit opportunities each year.) ROVE members will be invited to training sessions conducted by LAAB. Any person interested in being on ROVE should complete a ROVE application form and letter of interest and submit them to LAAB for evaluation as soon as possible. The Roster of Visiting Evaluators should be diverse in experience, expertise, and demographics. LAAB will limit the number of ROVE members from a specific school or region.

Qualifications

Landscape Architecture Educators - must hold a first-professional degree in landscape architecture or be a licensed landscape architect, teach in a currently LAAB accredited landscape architecture program and hold the minimum rank of tenured associate professor.

Academic Administrators - must be current or former administrators at the rank of assistant or associate dean, including non-landscape architects and hold terminal degrees in their respective fields. Academic administrators must be affiliated with an institution that has at least one program currently accredited by LAAB.

Practitioners - must hold a first professional degree in landscape architecture or are licensed landscape architects and have at least five full years of practice experience. Practitioners may be from either public or private sectors.

Please read the complete qualifications and job description document. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and complete ROVE application form to Ron Leighton, Education Director, LAAB, 636 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 or email to rleighton@asla.org.

Meeting Reports


Resources


Landscape Architecture Body of Knowledge (LABOK) Study

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture) 
CLARB (Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards) 
CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) 
ASPA (Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors)



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