Applying to Become an Accredited Planning Program
There are two separate application stages for seeking accreditation by the Planning Accreditation Board (“PAB”). Planning programs must first apply to become a Candidate for accreditation. Only after a program has been granted candidacy status, can it then apply for accreditation itself. The entire process, including both stages of application, may take three years. A detailed Accreditation Application Timeline is available.
Applying for Candidacy
Applying for Candidacy is a multi-stage process. The first step is to ensure the program meets the five preconditions for accreditation as outlined in the Letter of Application for Candidacy Status. Once the PAB confirms the preconditions have been met, the program will be asked to produce a Self- Study Report, wherein it documents compliance with PAB’s standards and criteria. The Self-Study Report Manual provides instructions on how to prepare and submit the Self-Study Report, and includes the template to be used. Along with the Self-Study Report, the program will also submit a candidacy application fee. The PAB Board will review the Self-Study Report and meet with the program administrator to discuss the program. If Candidacy is awarded, the PAB will assign the program a season (fall or spring) for the program’s Site Visit, and the program will move on to the second stage of the accreditation process: applying for initial accreditation.
Applying for Initial Accreditation
Once a program becomes a candidate for accreditation, the PAB will send a three-member Site Visit Team, comprised of two planning professors and a planning practitioner, to perform a three-day, on-sight evaluation of the program. The program is responsible for all of the costs and logistical aspects of the visit, including arranging for the team to meet with the program’s faculty, students and alumni, the institution’s administration and members of the local professional planning community. The Site Visit Manual contains detailed information on the required and recommended elements of the Site Visit schedule. After the visit, the Site Visit Team will produce a report evaluating the program according to various objective and subjective criteria as listed in the Accreditation Document. The program will have an opportunity to comment on the Site Visit Team’s report. The program administrator will appear before the PAB Board to respond to questions derived from the report. The PAB Board then makes a decision regarding accreditation.
If you have questions about these application processes or any of the materials included here, please do not hesitate to contact Shonagh Merits, Executive Director of the PAB, at 312.662.1440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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