The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) accredits university programs in North America leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in planning. The accreditation process is based on standards approved by the PAB with input from the public and our sponsoring organizations: the American Planning Association (APA); the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) (the professional planners’ institute within the American Planning Association); and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP).
Message From the Chair
It is with great excitement that I step into the role of PAB Chair. As a practicing planner with nearly 40 years of experience and over 10 years as an adjunct lecturer,working at the nexus of planning education and practice is of great interest to me. I must start however by thanking the outgoing Chair of PAB, Barry Nocks, FAICP for his many years of service and acknowledging the big shoes I am filling in following him. Barry’s dedication to the mission of PAB along with his unique sense of humor definitely makes him one of a kind!
PAB has been very busy in the last year, and has big plans for the coming year. At our Fall Board meeting in Portland the Board completed 7 accreditation reviews and 3 candidacy reviews. We also: met with the incoming Presidents of APA and AICP to discuss opportunities for increased coordination and collaboration; made revisions to the Site Visit schedule to improve efficiency; and approved a new rubric to ensure consistency in our decision making. The Board also reviewed the status of its existing strategic plan, and discussed scheduling a strategic planning workshop to renew it with the hope to undertake this effort at our Spring Board meeting in New York City along with the Presidents of APA, AICP and ACSP.
Another significant initiative for PAB has been the effort to amend our current standards. The first draft of the amendment was released in the fall of 2015; many comments were submitted in first of two 30-day comment periods. PAB’s Standards Committee and Board worked hard to address those comments in a new draft of the amendment, and retained an attorney specializing in higher education to review the revised draft. Draft 2 of the amendment was released in the fall of 2016, with the 30-day comment period coming to a conclusion on December 18. PAB’s Standards Committee will be working to address those comments in January 2017, with the full Board discussing further possible revisions in February. It is anticipated that the 2017 standards will be released in March or April with implementation in 2018.
PAB’s Site Visitor Committee has been hard at work reviewing past Site Visit and Self-Study Reports to identify “noteworthy practices” others have undertaken toward meeting PAB accreditation standards. This information is now available on the PAB website under the Data Library link. It is noted that while actions mentioned in the report were indeed part of the programs’ successful efforts to meet respective criteria and were assessed as noteworthy by reviewers, any action alone will not necessarily constitute fulfillment of a specific criterion and each program is assessed in context by the Site Visit Team. PAB’s Site Visitor Committee also reviewed 15 ACSP nominees to our Site Visit pool, including 5 educators from institutions with no prior representation in the Site Visit pool, and 10 from institutions under-represented in pool.
PAB has also been working on developing new training opportunities for our Site Visitors. Cheryl Contant has been hired to develop web-based training modules, as well as deliver in-person training over the next three years. The first web-based module – Accreditation Purpose and Process – has been beta tested and is scheduled to be recorded and posted to PAB’s website in January.
Two years ago PAB created a special purpose Diversity Task Force with representatives of ACSP, APA and AICP to identify exemplary practices by programs with regard to achieving student and faculty diversity. That group is nearing the conclusion of its work and plans to present its findings at the ACSP Administrators’ Conference this spring.
Finally, we welcome Professor Edward Goetz from the University of Minnesota as a new ACSP- appointed Board member and look forward to another productive year. If you are seeking information about PAB, the accreditation process or accredited programs, I encourage you to visit our website.
Bruce A. Knight, FAICP
City Of Champaign
AICP Planning Practitioner appointee 2014 – 2019
December 1, 2016PAB Fall 2015 Report to Sponsoring Organizations
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Planning Accreditation Board
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Ms. Shonagh Merits
Ms. Jesmarie Soto Johnson