About Us

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).

PAB Fact Sheet

Message From the Chair

Happy New Year! I am honored to be the incoming chairman for the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). I initially served on the PAB as a site visitor starting in 2004, serving on seven site visits. Since December 1, 2017, I have served as a PAB Board Member, now serving the beginning of my second 3-year term and as chairman for the next two years.

During these unprecedented times, it has still been the mission of PAB to promote excellence among planning programs and ensure high-quality education for future urban planners. Since the pandemic, a total of nine virtual site visits were conducted, with another nine virtual visits scheduled for Spring 2021. While the virtual processes are temporary, PAB will review the feedback received from Programs and Site Visitors to determine what the future of PAB visits may look like.

As we begin a new year with renewed hope and direction, PAB will continue to advance it mission and core values: Stewardship, Collaboration, Communication, Integrity, and Leadership. Major initiatives over the year include: complete the redesign of the PAB website; configuration of an accreditation management system to maximize operational efficiencies and provide added value to our stakeholders; and the standards review and revision.

Every 5 years or earlier, PAB reviews its accreditation standards to ensure they are reflective of the profession and the academy. This process for standard review and revision does not occur in a vacuum. As with past standards revisions, PAB is committed to obtaining feedback from all its stakeholders – planning educators, planning practitioners, students, higher administrators, our sponsoring organizations, and the public. The review and revision of the standards is led by the Accreditation Standards Review Task Force, composed of representatives from APA/AICP, ACSP and PAB. The task force has been busy gathering public input via six zoom forums and an online survey. Once draft accreditation standards are developed, PAB and the task force will solicit comments via two 30-day public comment periods. The standards are not only PAB’s, but they are the standards of the profession and the academy.

Have a safe year and be sure to social distance, wear your mask and wash and sanitize your hands!

Bristol S. Ellington, AICP
PAB Chair
Assistant City Manager
City of Henderson
AICP Professional Planning appointee 2017 – 2023

January 21, 2021

PAB Spring 2020 Report to Sponsoring Organizations

Board Members 2020 - 2021

Need More Information?

Contact PAB

Planning Accreditation Board
2334 W. Lawrence Avenue – Suite 209
Chicago, IL 60625

Ms. Jesmarie Soto Johnson, CAE
Executive Director
Telephone: 773.334.7200
Email: jjohnson@planningaccreditationboard.org

Ms. Jaclyn Hade
Associate Director
Telephone: 773.334.7210
Email: jhade@planningaccreditationboard.org

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“Diversity is an inclusive concept which encompasses, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexuality, ability, educational attainment, first-generation status, spiritual beliefs, creed, culture, tribal affiliation, nationality, immigration status, political beliefs, and veteran status”. PAB embraces the belief that by achieving diversity and inclusion, accredited university planning programs will promote an ethos of equity by educating and preparing students to advance the practice of planning through cultural competency and a greater understanding of the systems, practices and policies that perpetuate racism and discrimination. Realizing these goals and objectives in the accreditation process is an ongoing process that requires commitment and accountability for meaningful progress to occur.