The NAAB has released “draft 1” versions of the 2020 Conditions for Accreditation and the 2020 Procedures for Accreditation for a 75-day public comment and review period. In addition, the NAAB has released a supporting document of three diagrams to further explain the thinking of the 2020 Conditions for Accreditation.
The NAAB Conditions for Accreditation and Procedures for Accreditation outline, respectively, the requirements that an accredited degree program must meet and the procedures that it and the visiting teams must follow to demonstrate the achievement of minimum standards and a uniform accrediting process. These documents govern accreditation actions. The Procedures document is a companion to the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation. Each should be read in the context of the other.
The Conditions are reviewed through a comprehensive accreditation review process of assessment, research, and analysis by the NAAB Board of Directors, and consultation with representatives of the collateral organizations in architecture. The Procedures are reviewed and updated, as needed, at least every two years to reflect changes in operating policy or procedures that may have been undertaken since the last full accreditation process review. Historically, the two have been updated with staggered release dates, with major changes to the Procedures following the update to the Conditions.
In a radical, yet responsive, departure from previous review conferences, the NAAB has overhauled the comprehensive accreditation review process, now called the Accreditation Review Forum 2019 (ARForum19), to release the 2020 Conditions for Accreditation and the 2020 Procedures for Accreditation at the same time. This will be possible by engaging all five collateral organizations to collaborate on the new documents from the outset. Traditionally, each collateral has worked in isolation to submit a white paper to the ARC that stated its position on revisions. By engaging all five collaterals initially, the ARForum19 will ensure that they are on the same page, working toward a common goal. This will be accomplished by the ARForum19 Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee represents the five collaterals—American Institute of Architects (practitioners), American Institute of Architecture Students (students), Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (school administrators and faculty), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (regulators), and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (accreditors). Working alongside the Steering Committee is the NAAB’s internal ARForum19 Task Force, whose focus is mainly the Procedures.
The work of the steering committee and task force culminated in a three-day Accreditation Review Forum 2019, hosted by the NAAB on July 25-27 in Chicago. Present at the Forum were the full boards of directors of each collateral organization and leaders from related professional organizations to formulate the framework for the 2020 Conditions. Between September 2019 and November 2019 the Conditions and Procedures will be circulated for comment by the collateral organizations before being adopted by the NAAB Board of Directors.
“Draft 1” – 2020 Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation
Founded in 1912 by 10 charter members, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association of over 200 member schools in several categories. These include full membership for all accredited programs in the United States and government-sanctioned schools in Canada, candidate membership for schools seeking accreditation, and affiliate membership for schools for two-year and international programs. Through these schools, over 5,000 architecture faculty are represented. In addition, over 300 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support of ACSA goals.
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