Frequently Asked Questions

Annual Report FAQ

Q: When is the Annual Report due?
The Annual Report is due January 31 every year. PAB will notify programs on
December 1 of the prior year. If the report is submitted after January 31, a late fee will be assessed.

Q:I am going through the accreditation process and recently submitted my Self-Study Report (SSR) which contains all this information. Do I still need to submit the Annual Report?
Yes. As a condition of accreditation, all accredited programs must complete the Annual Report. The Annual Report is the principal vehicle by which programs report Substantive Changes, and PAB collects demographic data on students and faculty.

Q: What is the Reporting period for the Annual Report? Is it Calendar Year or Academic Year?
The Annual Report is based on the Academic Year which is defined as the fall session prior to the Annual Report due date, and ends with the Spring/Summer session in the year the report is due. Please note: the student composition data should be reported as of December 31 of the report year. Example: The 2013 Annual Report pertains to data from academic year fall 2013 – spring 2014. However, student data is reported as of December 31, 2013.

Q: I forgot my username and password. How do I get a new one?
Please contact to reset your username and/or password.

Q: Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties with the website?
Please contact, Jesmarie Johnson, PAB’s Associate Director at or 773.334.7210.

Q: How do I calculate the teaching FTE?
Divide the faculty member’s credit hours of teaching in the accredited program by the institution’s defined full-time teaching load.

If there are two accredited programs at the Institution, divide each faculty member’s teaching FTE between the two accredited programs.

Example Calculation: The Institution’s full-time teaching load equals 16 credit hours per academic year.
Faculty who teach in two accredited planning programs:
If Faculty A teaches 4 credit hours in the accredited bachelor’s program and 12 credit hours in the accredited master’s programs, then Faculty A’s teaching FTE would be as follows:
Accredited Bachelor’s = 4 / 16 credit hours = 0.25
Accredited Master’s = 12 / 16 credit hours = 0.75

Faculty who teach cross-listed courses:
If Faculty B teaches 8 credit hours in the accredited master’s program and 4 cross-listed credit hours (accredited master’s and unaccredited Bachelors or PhD), then Faculty B’s teaching FTE would be as follows:
Accredited Master’s = 12 / 16 credit hours = 0.75 FTE

Q: We have two faculty tracks, tenure and clinical. Tenure track faculty teach 9 credits per year with research/grant expectations, while the clinical faculty teach up to 20 credits per year without any research expectations. The clinical track is designed for teaching only. If teaching is the sole criterion, a clinical faculty member would be over the 1 FTE based on our definition of full-time teaching load.
No individual faculty member can be more than1 full-time equivalent. If any faculty member teaches an overload of courses, they should be represented as a 1 FTE; supplement with footnotes to explain the situation.

Q: How does PAB define full-time (A), part-time (B) and adjunct faculty (C )?
(A) Full-time in Planning Unit are tenure track faculty with a primary appointment in the planning unit. Graduate teaching assistants are excluded.

(B) Part-time in Planning Unit are tenure track faculty from other academic departments in the University who teach: graduate core courses required for the planning degree; courses in other departments required for planning concentrations/specializations; and/or courses in other departments taken as an elective by a critical mass of planning students. Graduate teaching assistants are excluded.

(C ) Adjunct/Contract/Non-tenure track are non-tenure track faculty and faculty hired with multi-year and annual contracts.

Q: The student/faculty ratio in Part 4 is empty or displays “NaN”, why?
Please make sure that you have entered the correct total faculty teaching FTE in the appropriate box in Part 4.

The total teaching FTE can be found the Faculty FTE section of the database. However, you must make sure that the faculty records in this section are current and reflect this reporting period’s teaching FTE.

Q: Can I print a copy of the Annual Report?
Yes. Once the report has been submitted, you can simply click the “Print to PDF” button located on the top right corner. Additionally, the system will store all your Annual Reports beginning with the 2010 Annual Report, so you may access historical reports at your convenience.

Q: Is the report publicly available?
Only Student and Faculty composition data (Part 2-4) are available publicly, through the Annual Report Online Database, (AROD), available on the Data Library page of the PAB website.

Q: I noticed a new question on the Annual Report that requests I provide a link to document compliance with 7D, what is this?
The PAB standards, approved in April 14, 2012, contain a new criterion 7D, Public Information which states the following:

The program shall routinely provide reliable information to the public on its performance. Such information shall appear in easily accessible locations including program websites. Information shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Student achievement as determined by the program;
2. The cost (tuition and fees) for a full-time student for one academic year;
3. Student retention and graduation rates, including the number of degrees produced each year, the percentage of master’s students graduating within 4 years, and/or the percentage of bachelor’s students graduating within 6 years;
4. The percentage of master’s graduates who pass the AICP exam within 3 years after graduation and/or the percentage of bachelor’s graduates who pass the AICP exam within 5 years of graduation; and
5. The employment rate of fulltime graduates in a professional planning or planning-related job within 1 year of graduation.

In order for PAB to verify program compliance with this criterion annually, we have included a new question in Part I where programs must include the link with this information.

Q: What is a substantive change and why do I have to report it?
A Substantive change is any organizational and/or programmatic change that may affect the Program’s ability to comply with one or more of the pre-conditions to accreditation, and/or any of the PAB accreditation standards and criteria.

Substantive Changes include, but are not limited to:
• the withdrawal, or risk thereof, of institutional accreditation;
• a change or variation in the name of the Program and/or Degree title;
• a change or variation in the length of the Program (i.e. minimum of 2 and 4 years of full-time study for graduate and undergraduate degrees, respectively);
• a change or variation in the Program’s primary focus;
• a change in location or administrative unit for the Program;
• a significant change in curriculum requirements and/or credit hours;
• a significant change in the method of delivery of courses such that ≥25% of required credit hours are offered through distance, correspondence, or other alternate delivery;
• the appointment of a program administrator or interim administrator who does not have tenure, or who does not have an educational background or substantial experience in planning;
• an increase or decrease of 20% or more in the number of enrolled students;
• a decrease of 20% or more in the number of teaching faculty;
• a decrease of 50% or more of the number of minority or female faculty; and/or
• a change in resources affecting the ability to deliver the Program, including the addition of a new degree program.

If PAB determines that a program may no longer be in substantial compliance with any accreditation standard, it may initiate an interim review to re-consider the accreditation decision.

If, at any time, PAB discovers a program has undergone a substantive and unreported change, it will request additional information from the Program along with a comprehensive report of any substantive changes that have occurred since the last accreditation review.

If a program fails to submit the requested report, or submits an incomplete or unsatisfactory report, the Board may, at its discretion, put the Program on probationary accreditation or terminate its accreditation.

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Noteworthy Practices (PDF)

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Outcomes Assessment

History of Accreditation Decisions and Site Team Assessments

PAB Panel Presentations

Articles on Higher Education and Accreditation

Frequently Asked Questions

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