The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) is a voluntary private body that manages the system to regularly review, mentor, accredit, and report on both undergraduate and graduate planning programs. By doing so, PAB helps to maintain the standards for the profession of planning. The PAB is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
PAB accreditation of planning schools is important because it ensures that, at a minimum, graduates of accredited programs have demonstrated knowledge of:
- Structure and Functions of Urban Settlements
- History and Theory of Planning Processes and Practices
- Administrative, Legal, and Political Aspects of Plan-making and Policy Implementation
- Knowledge of a Particular Specialization or Planning Issue
To complete a degree in planning, students must be skilled in:
- Problem Formulation, Research Skills, and Data Gathering
- Quantitative Analysis and Computers
- Written, Oral, and Graphic Communications
- Collaborative Problem Solving, Plan-making, and Program Design
- Synthesis and Application of Knowledge to Practice
Thus, the PAB encourages all people considering a career in planning to attend a PAB-certified school. Graduation from an accredited school may also facilitate with job searches and licensure since PAB accreditation “speaks to a sense of public trust, as well as professional quality”. The site visits and review process for each accredited school are available for public review from the PAB website. As of January 2013, PAB accredits 72 master’s and 15 bachelor’s programs at 76 North American Universities.
- Why is Accreditation Important?
- Listing of accredited planning schools: For a complete list of accredited schools, click here.
- To view the complete list of non-accredited schools, visit http://www.acsp.org/education_guide/schools.
- Accreditation standards and manual
- Annual demographic Student and Faculty Data from accredited programs
- Outcomes Assessment: Accredited programs submit reliable information to the public on their performance, including student learning and achievement.
- History of Accreditation Decisions and Site Team Assessments: A summary of accreditation terms granted by PAB and the distribution of less than fully-met compliance with accreditation standards as assessed by Site Visit Teams.