Accreditation is a non-governmental, voluntary system of
self-regulation. Its core is the concept of self-evaluation. The
Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) accreditation process
evaluates each program on the basis of its stated objectives and
compliance to externally mandated minimum standards. The program
conducts a self-study to evaluate how well it is meeting its educational
goals. LAAB then provides an independent assessment, which determines
if a program meets accreditation requirements. Programs leading to first
professional degrees at the bachelor’s or master’s levels in the United
States are eligible to apply for accreditation from LAAB.
The Board of Trustees of the American Society of Landscape Architects
recognizes the quality of educational programs leading to first
professional degrees in landscape architecture at the bachelor’s and
master’s level accredited by the Canadian Society of Landscape
Architects Accreditation Council. It regards the criteria for
accreditation and many of the individual program guidelines to be
comparable to those employed by the Landscape Architectural
Accreditation Board of ASLA. Here's a list of CSLAAC accredited programs.
The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) develops and
promulgates the accreditation standards, rules and procedures for
conducting the accreditation process. LAAB is vested with its authority
by the ASLA Board of Trustees (Bylaws, Section 814) enacted as follows:
There shall be a Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board. The Board shall be an autonomous
committee with the responsibility to act in matters concerning
accreditation of professional landscape architecture degree programs.
The Board shall consist of 12 members, including one member appointed by
the Society, one by the Council of Educators
Architecture and one by the Council of Landscape Architectural
Registration Boards. The remaining members shall be appointed according
to procedures established by the Board. The Board chair shall be a
member of the Council on Education. Accreditation reports shall be
submitted to the Board of Trustees at least annually via the Council on
Education. The direct costs of accreditation visits and Board meetings
shall be covered from fees collected by the Board. The Society shall
provide overhead and staff support for the Board in an amount to be
LAAB is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
(CHEA) as the official accrediting body for first professional programs
in landscape architecture. LAAB is a member of the Association of
Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). CHEA reviews LAAB
accreditation standards and procedures to ensure that the policies and
procedures meet proper standards.
The official scope of LAAB accreditation is "...first professional
programs at the bachelor's or master's level." Others, such as pre
professional and advanced professional programs, lie outside LAAB's
scope. LAAB reviews eligible programs in the United States and its
Mission, Identity and Values
The mission of the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)
is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in
landscape architectural programs.
The LAAB is the accrediting organization for landscape architectural
programs. As such, the LAAB develops standards to objectively evaluate
landscape architectural programs and judges whether a school’s landscape
architectural program is in compliance with the accreditation
The LAAB is comprised of landscape architecture practitioners and
academicians, representatives from landscape architecture collateral
organizations and public representatives. The collateral organizations
are the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Council of
Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) and Council of
Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).
To achieve our mission, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board seeks to:
- hold itself to high standards and ethical behavior.
- uphold the standards it establishes in a non-punitive manner.
- support diversity in all its many forms.
- promote self-examination and self-analysis of programs and curriculum.
- aspire to achieve educational excellence as a predicate to professional excellence.
- encourage education that prepares students to succeed in a changing world.
Diploma and Accreditation Mills
What is a ''diploma mill?" Why should you avoid them? And how can you tell if a degree program has no value?
Diploma mills," also known as "degree mills," tend to have
drastically lower requirements for academic coursework, with some even
allowing their students to purchase credentials without any education.
Students may be required to purchase textbooks, submit homework, and
take tests, but degrees are nonetheless conferred after little or no
Diploma mills are motivated by profit and often claim
accreditation by non-recognized or unapproved accrediting bodies
("accreditation mills") set up for the purposes of providing an
appearance of authenticity.
Avoiding Diploma and Accreditation Mills
Several national and international bodies publish lists of
accreditors that are known to lack the necessary legal authority or
recognition. Most legitimate accrediting organizations in the United
States are recognized by either
the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.
Karen C. Hanna, FASLA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
Gary Kesler, FASLA, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Richard N. Ciardella, ASLA, Ciardella Associates, Menlo Park, CA
Karl Von Bieberstein, FASLA, Newman Jackson Bieberstein, Dallas, TX
Larry Walling, FASLA, formerly with the National Park Service, Denver, CO
Linda M. Battram, Claremont, CA
Judith Ellis, Rockville, MD
Gennady Schwartz, Baltimore, MD
American Society of Landscape Architects - David Walters, ASLA, Lake Oswego, OR
Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture - Mary Myers, ASLA, Temple University, Ambler, PA (Chair)
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards - Ellis Antunez, FASLA, Reno, NV
LAAB implemented new standards and procedures during fall 2010.
2013 Accreditation Standards and Procedures
2010 Self Evaluation Report Format
2010 Visiting Team Guidelines
Student Work for Accreditation Reviews
LAAB Recruiting Volunteers for Roster of Visiting Evaluators
is reinvigorating the Roster of Visiting Evaluators and is accepting
applications from interested candidates in all three ROVE categories
(see below). LAAB encourages landscape architecture faculty at LAAB
accredited programs to nominate qulaified academic administrators at
their schools for ROVE.
The number of people on ROVE will be
limited (as there are only a limited number of visit opportunities each
year.) ROVE members will be invited to training sessions conducted by
LAAB. Any person interested in being on ROVE should complete a ROVE
application form and letter of interest and submit them to LAAB for
evaluation as soon as possible. The Roster of Visiting Evaluators should
be diverse in experience, expertise, and demographics. LAAB will limit
the number of ROVE members from a specific school or region.
Landscape Architecture Educators -
must hold a first-professional degree in landscape architecture or be a
licensed landscape architect, teach in a currently LAAB accredited
landscape architecture program and hold the minimum rank of tenured
Academic Administrators -
must be current or former administrators at the rank of assistant or
associate dean, including non-landscape architects and hold terminal
degrees in their respective fields. Academic administrators must be
affiliated with an institution that has at least one program currently
accredited by LAAB.
Practitioners - must
hold a first professional degree in landscape architecture or are
licensed landscape architects and have at least five full years of
practice experience. Practitioners may be from either public or private
Please read the complete qualifications and job description document. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and complete ROVE application form to Ron Leighton, Education Director, LAAB, 636 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landscape Architecture Body of Knowledge (LABOK) Study
CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)
CLARB (Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards)
CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation)
ASPA (Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors)