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).

Message From the Chair

As we enter our fourth month of varying stages of COVID-19 stay home orders, we are faced with the justifiable outrage that has erupted in more than 150 cities across the country following the tragic killing of George Floyd and so many others before him. It is sad beyond words that we find ourselves still in this place of violent racism and injustice.

PAB believes diversity, equity and inclusion are central values of planning. As an organization, we will continue to promote and encourage a systemic approach to diversity and multi-cultural understanding within accredited planning programs. Accredited programs are responsible for educating ethically and culturally competent planners and establishing access points for educational opportunities to learn and interact with people of varying backgrounds and perspectives. We share the grief and sense of responsibility expressed by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and American Planning Association. We look forward to continuing dialogue and collaboration to educate and support current and future culturally competent planners in their efforts to create safe spaces and places for all, but especially Black, Indigenous and people of color.

During these past few months, PAB has been deliberating and carefully considering its options in fulfilling our responsibility as an accreditation organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. The eight Board members and two staff have experienced many of the same challenges and disruptions as you – children at home, endless Zoom meetings, additional contingency planning and policymaking for an uncertain fall term and beyond. As a national organization, the widely different geographies and realities of our member schools, organizations, and volunteers create an additional layer of complexity.

Our decisions are based on the recognition that our primary responsibility is to ensure quality education in planning while being attentive to the differing realities, resource needs and capabilities of programs. We also have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our volunteer Site Visitors. After thoughtful consideration in light of these parameters:

  • PAB will continue forward with the existing accreditation review schedule
  • All fall and spring Site Visits will be conducted virtually (unless exceptional conditions prevail or a dramatic change in the COVID-19 situation occurs). Many institutional and programmatic accreditors shifted to virtual visits for spring 2020 and will continue into the fall
  • Through virtual Site Visits, we can better manage the health risks to our Site Visitors and Programs. Site Visit Teams will be organized in the summer and fall. Willingness to conduct online meetings will be a critical criterion for participation. All Site Visit Teams and Programs will be trained on the new procedures and protocols
  • As always, exceptional situations will be considered and adjustments will be made as appropriate

We recognize these are challenging times and the financial implications related to COVID-19 will be vast; therefore, PAB has waived the 2% Annual Fee increase for accredited programs for Fiscal Year 2021.

A final note, the COVID-19 situation and the peaceful protests calling for racial justice and equity have forced us as academics and practitioners to reflect on – the strengths and weaknesses of new technologies in our work; the challenges of participatory processes, both in teaching and implementation; and how we can do better to create diverse, equitable and inclusive safe spaces and places. In fall 2020, PAB will embark on its regular review of its accreditation standards and criteria. Details on the process and timeline will be shared in the fall. We look forward to hearing ideas of how the standards and criteria might be modified to reflect current technological innovations and changing opportunities.

Wishing you all a safe and healthy summer.

Connie Ozawa, Ph.D.
PAB Chair
Portland State University
ACSP Planning Educator appointee 2014 – 2020

June 17, 2020

Message from the Chair, April 29, 2020
Message from the Chair, March 27, 2020

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