March 22, 2014
ACSA Seeks Final Member Input on 2014 NAAB Conditions
Top 3 Issues from the Conditions: ACSA identifies three key issues and asks faculty to consider them and respond online and in preparation for the 102nd Annual Meeting regional caucuses and Annual Business meeting.
ACSA opens member survey with full list of issues identified in the NAAB Conditions. Individual and formal program responses are requested.
Regional caucuses, Annual Business Meeting
Member survey closes
ACSA publishes draft positions on 2014 Conditions
Deadline for member comment on ACSA positions
ACSA submits its response to the 2014 Conditions
March 21, 2014
Top 3 Issues from the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation
To start the process of soliciting feedback from the membership on the Conditions, ACSA has identified three key issues from the new Conditions draft. We encourage discussion among the membership and through our regional LinkedIn pages, as we head toward the 102nd Annual Meeting and business meetings in Miami.
Issue #1: With the latest draft of the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation comes a complete rewrite of the so-called NAAB Perspectives.
I.1.4 Defining Perspectives: The program must describe how it is responsive to the following perspectives or forces that impact the education and development of professional architects. . Each program is expected to address these perspectives consistently and to further identify, as part of its long-range planning activities, how these perspectives will continue to be addressed in the future.
- Collaboration and Leadership. The program must describe its culture for successful individual and team dynamics, collaborative experiences and opportunities for leadership roles. Architects serve clients and the public, engage allied disciplines and professional colleagues, and rely on a spectrum of collaborative skills to work successfully across diverse groups and stakeholders.
- Design. The program must describe its approach for developing graduates with an understanding of design as a multi-dimensional protocol for both problem resolution and the discovery of new opportunities that will create value. Graduates should be prepared to engage in design activity as a multi-stage process aimed to address increasingly complex problems, engage a diverse constituency, and provide value and an improved future.
- Professional Opportunity. The program must describe its approach for educating students on the breadth of professional opportunity and career paths for architects in both traditional and non-traditional settings; in local and global communities.
- Stewardship of the Environment. The program must describe its approach for developing graduates who are prepared to both understand and take responsibility for stewardship of the environmental and the natural resources that are significantly compromised by the act of building and constructed human settlements.
- Community and Social Responsibility. The program must describe its approach to developing graduates who are prepared to be active, engaged citizens able to understand what it means to be a professional member of society and to act on that understanding. The social responsibility of architects lies in part in the belief that architects can create better places, and further that architectural design can create a civilized place by making communities more livable. A program’s response to social responsibility must include nurturing a calling to civic engagement to positively influence the development, conservation or changes to the built and natural environment
Are these Perspectives effective in capturing what NAAB describes as, "values and core principles held in common throughout the profession and the academy relative to practice and discipline of architecture?" How could they be more effective?
Issue #2: The latest draft of the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation develops Student Performance Criteria (SPC) related to Integrated Architectural Solutions, which was formerly Comprehensive Design. Most recent text:
Realm C: Integrated Architectural Solutions: Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must be able to synthesize a wide range of variables into an integrated design solution. This realm demonstrates the integrative thinking that shapes complex design and technical solutions.
Student learning aspirations in this realm include:
- Synthesizingvariablesfromdiverseandcomplexsystemsintoanintegrated architectural solution.
- Respond to environmental stewardship goals across multiple systems for an integrated solution.
- Evaluatingoptionsandreconcilingtheimplicationsofdesigndecisionsacross systems and scales.
C.1 Integrative Design: Ability to make design decisions within a complex architectural project while demonstrating broad integration and consideration of environmental stewardship, technical documentation, accessibility, site conditions, life safety, environmental systems, structural systems, and building envelope systems and assemblies.
C.2 Evaluation and Decision Making: Ability to demonstrate the skills associated with making integrated decisions across multiple systems and variables in the completion of a design project. This includes problem identification, setting evaluative criteria, analyzing solutions, and predicting the effectiveness of implementation.
Is this revision effective compared to the previous Comprehensive Design SPC? How much would the revision force changes (positive or negative) to your program?
Issue #3: The proposed NAAB Conditions for Accreditation would allow institutions located outside the U.S. and not accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency to seek full NAAB accreditation under certain conditions. Excerpt:
II.2.1 Institutional Accreditation:
In order for a professional degree program in architecture to be accredited by the NAAB, the institution must meet one of the following criteria:
- The institution offering the accredited degree program must be or be part of an institution accredited by one of the following U.S. regional institutional accrediting agencies for higher education: the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS); the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC); the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS); the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU); and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC);
- Institutions located outside the U.S. and not accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency, may request NAAB accreditation of a professional degree program in architecture only with explicit, written permission from all applicable national education authorities in that program’s country or region. Such agencies must have a system of institutional quality assurance and review. Any institution in this category that is interested in seeking NAAB accreditation of a professional degree program in architecture must contact the NAAB for additional information.
What would be the impact on U.S. architectural education if NAAB accredited foreign programs without the same regional accreditation requirements currently required for US programs?