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.
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
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
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
Mission, Identity and Values
The mission of the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)
is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in
landscape architectural programs.
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
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).
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
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.
Gary Kesler, FASLA, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (Chair)
Ned Crankshaw, ASLA, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (Chair-Elect)
Jack Ahern, FASLA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Joy Lyndes, ASLA, Coastal Sage, Encinitas, CA
Ramon Murray, ASLA, Murray Design Group, Inc., Winter Park, FL
Rodney Swink, FASLA, Raleigh, NC
Linda Battram, Claremont, CA
Tom Jacobs, Kansas City, MO
Lucinda McDade, PhD, Claremont, CA
American Society of Landscape Architects - Leonard Hopper, FASLA, Nyack, NY
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 implemented new standards and procedures during Winter 2016.
2016 Accreditation Standards
2016 Accreditation Procedures
2013 Accreditation Standards & Procedures
2010 Self Evaluation Report Format
2010 Visiting Team Guidelines
Student Work for Accreditation Reviews
LAAB Annual Report Summaries
Programs accredited by LAAB are required to submit reports each year providing information about the program's students, graduates, budgets, and faculty among other items. This information allows LAAB to monitor significant changes and compliance with accreditation standards. Additionally, aggregate data from the reports is used to track trends in landscape architecture education and to communicate those trends with our communities of interest. Below are the Annual Report Summaries comprised by LAAB from the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Annual Reports. Also, a summary is provided to show the data trends over the three years.
LAAB 2015 Annual Report Summary
LAAB 2014 Annual Report Summary
LAAB 2013 Annual Report Summary
2013-2015 Summary Sheet
LAAB Publishes Revised ACCREDITATION STANDARDS and ACCREDITATION PROCEDURES Documents
As a recognized accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education
Accreditation, Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) is required to conduct a comprehensive review of its
standards on a periodic basis. LAAB conducts a formal, comprehensive review of
the accreditation standards every five (5) years (page 4, LAAB PROCEDURES). LAAB last approved revisions to the standards in 2010, which were
subsequently revised Spring 2013.
During the past
year, members of LAAB have
been working to revise and update the STANDARDS & PROCEDURES by which they
evaluate and accredit professional education programs in landscape
architecture. These efforts started in fall 2014, with a call for comment
and input among members of the “community of interest” (persons interested in
professional landscape architectural education). The Board received comments,
suggestions, and recommendations for improving the STANDARDS & PROCEDURES
from almost 60 persons. The Board reviewed those comments, explored trends in
professional accreditation policy, and its experiences with recent
reviews. Based on work sessions of the Board and the efforts of an editing
committee, the Board has developed and published the LAAB 2016 ACCREDITATION STANDARDS and LAAB 2016 ACCREDITATION PROCEDURES. The revised standards will be in effect starting with programs scheduled for accreditation reviews in fall 2017. The revised procedures are effective immediately.
LAAB Conducts Annual Report Webinar
LAAB Accreditation Manager, Kristopher Pritchard, conducted a webinar covering topics related to the LAAB Annual Report on Thursday, March 10, 2016. This webinar covered topics such as logging on to CiviCore, the online platform hosting the annual reports; clarification in faculty counts; clarification on updating Recommendations from previous reviews; and other best practices for programs submitting data. For those who were unable to attend the webinar, a recording of the LAAB 2016 Annual Report Webinar is available on LAAB's Website. Additionally, a recording of last year's LAAB 2015 Annual Report Webinar is still available.
LAAB Recruiting Volunteers for Roster of Visiting Evaluators
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.
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
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
Please read the complete qualifications and job description document. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and complete ROVE application form to Kristopher Pritchard, Accreditation and Education Programs Manager, LAAB, 636 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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)