Candidacy Information

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.

Questions

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 (773) 334-7200 or smerits@planningaccreditationboard.org.

Useful Documents

Seeking Nominations for 2014 Outstanding Site Visitor Award. Click here for details.

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 or by clicking here

Accredited Planning Programs

The current list of PAB-accredited planning programs.

Summary of Actions, April 2014

History of Accredited Programs

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

Accreditation Standards

(File Download: 184kB)

Revised standards approved April 14, 2012. The following documents are 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) Roadmap reconciling the 2006 and 2012 Standards

The Accreditation Document

(File Download: 299kB)

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

PAB Policies Manual

(File Download: 181kB)

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.