What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a system for recognizing educational institutions and professional programs for performance, integrity and quality. This recognition is extended primarily through nongovernmental, voluntary associations. These accreditors establish criteria for accreditation, arrange site visits, evaluate institutions and professional programs, and confer accreditation.

Although accreditation is basically a private, voluntary process, it is often a consideration in decision making by governmental funding agencies, scholarship commissions, foundations, employers, and potential students.

Mission of the Planning Accreditation Board

Mission

The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) ensures high quality education for future urban planners.

Core Values

The PAB embraces the following five core values:

  • Stewardship: preserving and enhancing the knowledge base of the urban planning profession with which the Board has been entrusted.
  • Collaboration: building and sustaining a bridge between the academic and practitioner comĀ­munities.
  • Communication: fostering awareness of urban planning education and its environment.
  • Integrity: maintaining a commitment to fairness, transparency, and consistency.
  • Leadership: maintaining currency with regard to state-of-the-art accreditation practice and instructional innovation.

Functions

In order to accomplish its mission, the PAB:

  • Accredits graduate and undergraduate planning programs in North America.
  • Mentors programs to further academic excellence in professional education.
  • Collects and provides data on the state of planning education (student profiles, performance, placement, effectiveness, etc.).
  • Strengthens professional education in partnership with its sponsors: the ACSP (Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning), the AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners), and APA (the American Planning Association).

ASPA Membership and CHEA Recognition

PAB is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and adheres to the ASPA Code of Good Practice.

PAB is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), adheres to the CHEA Recognition Policy, and undergoes periodic review. The CHEA website provides detailed information, including an important item that discusses degree mills and accreditation mills.

Useful Documents

Revised PAB Policy/Process

As part of its strategic planning process, PAB recently completed a review of its policies and procedures, including an analysis of peer accreditor policies and best practices. As a result, PAB revised its accreditation decision categories and its appeal process, effective April 4, 2014. The policies and processes are available in The Accreditation Document (revised April 2014) or by clicking here

Accredited Planning Programs

The current list of PAB-accredited planning programs.

History of Accredited Programs

This list includes all degree programs currently and previously accredited by the PAB.

New Accreditation Standards

(File Download: 184kB)

Revised standards approved April 14, 2012. The following documents are now available to download: 1) The Self-Study Report Manual and Template. 2) The new Abbrievated Faculty CV Template. note: all faculty CVs must follow this template. 3) SSR Format, Deadlines, and Distribution. 4) Roadmap reconciling the 2006 and 2012 Standards

The Accreditation Document

(File Download: 296kB)

The Accreditation Document was revised April 10, 2014 to reflect changes to the accreditation decision categories and appeal process.

PAB Policies Manual

(File Download: 186kB)

Detailed information on policies established for PAB Board, Staff, Site Visitors, and Programs/Program Administrators.

Candidacy Information

Instructions for becoming an accredited planning program.

The Value of Accreditation

(File Download: 268kB)

How it works and how it benefits students and the public; a brief document developed by regional, national and programmatic accrediting organizations, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

CHEA YouTube Video: Accreditation and Its Value To You

Accreditation Toolkit

(File Download: 1MB)

A publication by CHEA designed to provide information on accreditation to students, faculty, presidents, chancellors, and governing boards of higher education institutions.