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
The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) ensures high quality education for future urban planners.
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 communities.
- 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.
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.
The current list of PAB-accredited planning programs.
This list includes all degree programs currently and previously accredited by the PAB.
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 November 2006 version of The Accreditation Document should be used for programs undergoing accreditation reviews in Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 only. The new Accreditation Document (2013) is available for programs with accreditation reviews in Fall 2013 and thereafter.
Detailed information on policies established for PAB Board, Staff, Site Visitors, and Programs/Program Administrators.
Instructions for becoming an accredited planning program.
Announcing - Change to The Accreditation Document
PAB recently received approval to amend the process by which changes are made to accreditation standards.
The amendment serves to make PAB the ultimate authorit with regard to changes to its accreditation standards. Not only is the new process parallel to that of other specialized and professional accreditors, it was made to specifically satisfy and demonstrate to the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) that PAB “operates independently of the sponsoring organizations, given the influence that the sponsoring organizations might have over PAB’s accreditation standards.”
PAB thanks everyone who contributed comments during the public comment period, and is grateful for the understanding and support as demonstrated by the elected leadership our sponsoring organizations: The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; the American Planning Association; and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
View additional detail here regarding PAB’s outstanding application for CHEA recognition.
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