Schools must use the following headings as their table of contents for the Architecture
Program Report (APR). Each part serves to describe how the program’s unique qualities
and its students’ achievements satisfy the 13 conditions that all accredited programs must
1. Introduction to the Program
The APR must include the sections described below.
1.1 History and Description of the Institution
This section should include a brief history and description of the institution.
1.2 Institutional Mission
This section should include the institution’s mission statement and the date of its adoption or last revision.
1.3 Program History
This section should contain a brief history of the existing accredited degree program or, in the case of a candidacy visit, a history of the planning for the proposed program.
1.4 Program Mission
This section should include the accredited degree program’s mission statement, the date of its adoption or revision, and the date of its endorsement by the institution.
1.5 Program Self-Assessment
This section should briefly outline the program’s strengths and challenges and include a plan to address those challenges. Candor in conducting and reporting the selfassessment increases its value to the accredited degree program and to the NAAB and, if well done, will largely anticipate the VTR.
2. Progress Since the Previous Site Visit
Continuing accreditation is contingent on the Board’s determination that deficiencies are being systematically addressed.
The following two subsections explain what the APR must include.
2.1 Summary of Responses to the Team Findings
This section must include the school’s response to the previous Visiting Team Report (VTR) for conditions “not met” and to the “causes of concern.”
2.2 Summary of Responses to Changes in the NAAB Conditions
If applicable, summarize the school’s response to changes in the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation adopted since the previous visit.
3. The Thirteen Conditions of Accreditation
3.1 Program Response to the NAAB Perspectives
Schools must respond to the interests of the collateral organizations that make up the NAAB as set forth by this edition of the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation. Each school is expected to address these interests consistent with its scholastic identity and mission.
The following subsections address what the APR must include.
3.1.1 Architectural Education and the Academic Context
The accredited degree program must demonstrate that it benefits from and contributes to its institution. In the APR, the accredited degree program may explain its academic and professional standards for faculty and students; its interaction with other programs in the institution; the contribution of the students, faculty, and administrators to the governance and the intellectual and social lives of the institution; and the contribution of the institution to the accredited degree program in terms of intellectual resources and personnel.
3.1.2 Architectural Education and the Students
The accredited degree program must demonstrate that it provides support and encouragement for students to assume leadership roles in school and later in the profession and that it provides an environment that embraces cultural differences. Given the program’s mission, the APR may explain how students participate in setting their individual and collective learning agendas; how they are encouraged to cooperate with, assist, share decision making with, and respect students who may be different from themselves; their access to the information needed to shape their future; their exposure to the national and international context of practice and the work of the allied design disciplines; and how students’ diversity, distinctiveness, self-worth, and dignity are nurtured.
3.1.3 Architectural Education and Registration
The accredited degree program must demonstrate that it provides students with a sound preparation for the transition to internship and licensure. The school may choose to explain in the APR the accredited degree program’s relationship with the state registration boards, the exposure of students to internship requirements including knowledge of the national Intern Development Program (IDP) and continuing education beyond graduation, the students’ understanding of their responsibility for professional conduct, and the proportion of graduates who have sought and achieved licensure since the previous visit.
3.1.4 Architectural Education and the Profession
The accredited degree program must demonstrate how it prepares students to practice and assume new roles and responsibilities in a context of increasing cultural diversity, changing client and regulatory demands, and an expanding knowledge base. Given the program’s particular mission, the APR may include an explanation of how the accredited degree program is engaged with the professional community in the life of the school; how students gain an awareness of the need to advance their knowledge of architecture through a lifetime of practice and research; how they develop an appreciation of the diverse and collaborative roles assumed by architects in practice; how they develop an understanding of and respect for the roles and responsibilities of the associated disciplines; how they learn to reconcile the conflicts between architects’ obligations to their clients and the public and the demands of the creative enterprise; and how students acquire the ethics for upholding the integrity of the profession.
3.1.5 Architectural Education and Society
The program must demonstrate that it equips students with an informed understanding of social and environmental problems and develops their capacity to address these problems with sound architecture and urban design decisions. In the APR, the accredited degree program may cover such issues as how students gain an understanding of architecture as a social art, including the complex processes carried out by the multiple stakeholders who shape built environments; the emphasis given to generating the knowledge that can mitigate social and environmental problems; how students gain an understanding of the ethical implications of decisions involving the built environment; and how a climate of civic engagement is nurtured, including a commitment to professional and public services.
3.2 Program Self-Assessment Procedures
The accredited degree program must show how it is making progress in achieving the NAAB Perspectives and how it assesses the extent to which it is fulfilling its mission. The assessment procedures must include solicitation of the faculty’s, students’, and graduates’ views on the program’s curriculum and learning. Individual course evaluations are not sufficient to provide insight into the program’s focus and pedagogy.
The APR must include the following:
A description of the school’s self-assessment process, specifically with regard to ongoing evaluation of the program’s mission statement and how it relates to the NAAB Perspectives
Faculty, students’, and graduates’ assessments of the accredited degree program’s curriculum and learning context as outlined in the NAAB Perspectives
A description, if applicable, of institutional requirements for self-assessment
Any other pertinent information.
3.3 Public Information
To ensure an understanding of the accredited professional degree by the public, all schools offering an accredited degree program or any candidacy program must include in their catalogs and promotional media the exact language found in the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, Appendix A. To ensure an understanding of the body of knowledge and skills that constitute a professional education in architecture, the school must inform faculty and incoming students of how to access the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation.
The APR must include both of the following:
A description of the degree program as it appears in university catalogs and other institutionally authorized material
Evidence that faculty members and incoming students have been informed of how to access the NAAB Conditions for Accreditation (including the Student Performance Criteria) on the NAAB Web site.
3.4 Social Equity
The accredited degree program must provide faculty, students, and staff—irrespective of race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation—with an educational environment in which each person is equitably able to learn, teach, and work. The school must have a clear policy on diversity that is communicated to current and prospective faculty, students, and staff and that is reflected in the distribution of the program’s human, physical, and financial resources. Faculty, staff, and students must also have equitable opportunities to participate in program governance.
The APR must include the following:
The criteria and procedures used to achieve equity and diversity in faculty appointments, reappointments, compensation, and promotions
The criteria and procedures used to achieve equity and diversity in student admissions, advancement, retention, and graduation
A description of the means by which faculty, students, and staff are given access to the formulation of policies and procedures, including curriculum review and program development
Identification of any significant problem, with recommendations for improvement.
3.5 Studio Culture
The school is expected to demonstrate a positive and respectful learning environment through the encouragement of the fundamental values of optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation between and among the members of its faculty, student body, administration, and staff. The school should encourage students and faculty to appreciate these values as guiding principles of professional conduct throughout their careers.
The APR must demonstrate that the school has adopted a written studio culture policy with a plan for its implementation and maintenance and provide evidence of abiding by that policy. The plan should specifically address issues of time management on the part of both the faculty and students. The document on studio culture policy should be incorporated in the APR as Section 4.2.
3.6 Human Resources
The accredited degree program must demonstrate that it provides adequate human resources for a professional degree program in architecture, including a sufficient faculty complement, an administrative head with enough time for effective administration, and adequate administrative, technical, and faculty support staff. Student enrollment in and scheduling of design studios must ensure adequate time for an effective tutorial exchange between the teacher and the student. The total teaching load should allow faculty members adequate time to pursue research, scholarship, and practice to enhance their professional development.
The APR must include these major elements:
Description of the students’ educational backgrounds and the degree program’s selectivity, retention, and time-to-graduation rates since the last accreditation sequence
Description of the distribution of effort between teaching and other responsibilities of each faculty member and evidence that students evaluate individual courses for both teaching effectiveness and course content
Faculty-student teacher ratios for studios for all design levels
For each administrative position, a description of the distribution of effort between administrative and other responsibilities
For each staff position, a description of the distribution of effort between administration and other responsibilities
Identification of any significant problem, with recommendations for improvement.
3.7 Human Resource Development
Schools must have a clear policy outlining both individual and collective opportunities for faculty and student growth inside and outside the program.
The APR must include the following major points:
The school’s policy regarding human resource development opportunities
A list of visiting lecturers and critics brought to the school since the previous site visit
A list of public exhibitions brought to the school since the previous site visit
A description of student support services, including academic and personal advising, career guidance, and internship placement where applicable
Evidence of the school’s facilitation of student opportunities to participate in field trips and other off-campus activities
Evidence of opportunities for students to participate in professional societies and organizations, honor societies, and other campus-wide activities
A description of the policies, procedures, and criteria for faculty appointment, promotion, and tenure and access to faculty development opportunities
Evidence of the school’s facilitation of faculty research, scholarship, and creative activities since the previous site visit, including the granting of sabbatical leaves and unpaid leaves of absence, opportunities for the acquisition of new skills and knowledge, and support of attendance at professional meetings
Evidence of how faculty members remain current in their knowledge of the changing demands of practice and licensure.
3.8 Physical Resources
The accredited degree program must provide the physical resources appropriate for a professional degree program in architecture, including design studio space for the exclusive use of each student in a studio class; lecture and seminar space to accommodate both didactic and interactive learning; office space for the exclusive use of each full-time faculty member; and related instructional support space. The facilities must also be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and applicable building codes.
The APR must include the following information:
A general description, together with labeled 8-1/2" x 11" plans of the physical plant, including seminar rooms, lecture halls, studios, offices, project review and exhibition areas, libraries, computer facilities, workshops, and research areas, with accessibility clearly indicated.
A description of any changes to the physical facilities either under construction or proposed.
A description of the hardware, software, networks, and other computer resources available to students and faculty.
3.9 Information Resources
Readily accessible library and visual resource collections are essential for architectural study, teaching, and research. Library collections must include at least 5,000 different cataloged titles, with an appropriate mix of Library of Congress NA, Dewey 720–29, and other related call numbers to serve the needs of individual programs. There must be adequate visual resources as well. Access to other architectural collections may supplement, but not substitute for, adequate resources at the home institution. In addition to developing and managing collections, architectural librarians and visual resources professionals should provide information services that promote the research skills and critical thinking necessary for professional practice and lifelong learning.
The architectural librarian and, if appropriate, the professional in charge of visual resources collections, must include in the APR the following:
A description of the institutional context and administrative structure of the library and visual resourcee
An assessment of the library and visual resource collections, services, staff, facilities, and equipment that does the following:
Evaluates the degree to which information resources support the program’s mission, planning, curriculum, and research specialties
Assesses the quality, currency, suitability, range, and quantity of resources in all formats, (traditional and electronic)
Demonstrates sufficient funding to enable continuous collection growth
Identifies any significant problem that affects the operation or services and recommends improvement
An assessment of the budget and administration of the library and visual resource operations (see Appendix B)
A statistics report (see Appendix C).
3.10 Financial Resources
An accredited degree program must have access to sufficient institutional support and financial resources to meet its needs and be comparable in scope to those available to meet the needs of other professional programs within the institution.
The APR must provide the following:
Comparative annual budgets and expenditures for each year since the last accreditation visit, including endowments, scholarships, one-time capital expenditures, and development activities.
Data on annual expenditures and total capital investment per student, both undergraduate and graduate correlated to the expenditures and investments by other professional degree programs in the institution.
3.11 Administrative Structure
The accredited degree program must be, or be part of, an institution accredited by one of the following 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). The accredited degree program must have a measure of autonomy that is both comparable to that afforded other professional degree programs in the institution and sufficient to ensure conformance with the conditions for accreditation.
The APR must include the following information:
A statement verifying the institution’s accreditation from the regional institutional accrediting agency for higher education
A description of the school’s administrative structure and a comparison of this structure with those of the other professional programs in the institution
A list of other degree programs, if any, offered in the same administrative unit as the accredited architecture degree program.
3.12 Professional Degrees and Curriculum
The NAAB accredits the following professional degree programs: the Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.), the Master of Architecture (M. Arch.), and the Doctor of Architecture (D. Arch.). The curricular requirements for awarding these degrees must include professional studies, general studies, and electives. Schools offering the degrees B. Arch., M. Arch., and/or D. Arch. are strongly encouraged to use these degree titles exclusively with NAAB-accredited professional degree programs.
The number of credit hours for each degree is specified in the following paragraphs:
Doctor of Architecture. Accredited degree programs awarding the D. Arch. degree must require either an undergraduate baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 120 undergraduate semester credit hours, or the undergraduate-level quarterhour equivalent, and a minimum of 90 graduate-level semester credit hours, or the graduate-level quarter-hour equivalent, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.
Master of Architecture. Accredited degree programs awarding the M. Arch. degree must require a minimum of 168 semester credit hours, or the quarter-hour 10 equivalent, of which 30 semester credit hours, or the quarter-hour equivalent, must be at the graduate level, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.
Bachelor of Architecture. Accredited degree programs awarding the B. Arch. degree must require a minimum of 150 semester credit hours, or the quarter-hour equivalent, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.
Every existing accredited program must conform to the above minimum credit hour requirements by 1 January 2015.
Curricular requirements are defined as follows:
General Studies. A professional degree program must include general studies in the arts, humanities, and sciences, either as an admission requirement or as part of the curriculum. It must ensure that students have the prerequisite general studies to undertake professional studies. The curriculum leading to the architecture degree must include at least 45 credit hours, or the quarter-hour equivalent, that must be outside architectural studies either as general studies or as electives with other than architectural content. For the M. Arch. and D. Arch., this calculation may include coursework taken at the undergraduate level.
Professional Studies. The core of a professional degree program consists of the required courses that satisfy the NAAB Student Performance Criteria. The accredited degree program has the liberty to require additional courses including electives to address its mission or institutional context.
Electives. A professional degree program must allow students to pursue their special interests. The curriculum must be flexible enough to allow students to complete minors or develop areas of concentration, inside or outside the program.
Table 3-1, Minimum Credit Distribution, presents a summary of the preceding three paragraphs.
Minimum Credit Distribution
General (nonarchitecture) Studies
45 Semester-Credit-Hour Minimum*
The APR must include the following:
Title(s) of the degree(s) offered
An outline, for each accredited degree program offered, of the curriculum showing the distribution of general studies, required professional courses (including prerequisites), required courses, professional electives, and other electives
Examples, for each accredited degree offered, of the minors or concentrations students may elect to pursue
A list of the minimum number of semester credit hours or the equivalent number of quarter credit hours required for each semester or quarter, respectively
A list identifying the courses and their credit hours required for professional content and the courses and their credit hours required for general education for each accredited degree program offered.
A list of off-campus programs, description of facilities and resources, course requirements, and length of stay.
3.13 Student Performance Criteria
The accredited degree program must ensure that each graduate possesses the knowledge and skills defined by the criteria set out below. The knowledge and skills are the minimum for meeting the demands of an internship leading to registration for practice.
The school must provide evidence that its graduates have satisfied each criterion through required coursework. If credits are granted for courses taken at other institutions, evidence must be provided that the courses are comparable to those offered in the accredited degree program.
The criteria encompass two levels of accomplishment:
Understanding—means the assimilation and comprehension of information without necessarily being able to see its full implication.
Ability—means the skill in using specific information to accomplish a task, in correctly selecting the appropriate information, and in applying it to the solution of a specific problem.
The NAAB establishes performance criteria to help accredited degree programs prepare students for the profession while encouraging educational practices suited to the individual degree program. In addition to assessing whether student performance meets the professional criteria, the visiting team will assess performance in relation to the school’s stated curricular goals and content. While the NAAB stipulates the student performance criteria that must be met, it specifies neither the educational format nor the form of student work that may serve as evidence of having met these criteria. Programs are encouraged to develop unique learning and teaching strategies, methods, and materials to satisfy these criteria. The NAAB will consider innovative methods for satisfying the criteria, provided the school has a formal evaluation process for assessing student achievement of these criteria and documents the results.
The APR must include the following information:
An overview of the school’s curricular goals and content.
A matrix cross-referencing each required course with the performance criteria it fulfills. For each criterion, the school must highlight the cell on the matrix that points to the greatest evidence of achievement.
For the purpose of accreditation, graduating students must demonstrate understanding or ability in the following areas:
1. Speaking and Writing Skills
Ability to read, write, listen, and speak effectively
2. Critical Thinking Skills
Ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions, and test them against relevant criteria and standards
3. Graphics Skills
Ability to use appropriate representational media, including freehand drawing and computer technology, to convey essential formal elements at each stage of the programming and design process
4. Research Skills
Ability to gather, assess, record, and apply relevant information in architectural coursework.
5. Formal Ordering Systems
Understanding of the fundamentals of visual perception and the principles and systems of order that inform two- and three-dimensional design, architectural composition, and urban design
6. Fundamental Design Skills
Ability to use basic architectural principles in the design of buildings, interior spaces, and sites
7. Collaborative Skills
Ability to recognize the varied talent found in interdisciplinary design project teams in professional practice and work in collaboration with other students as members of a design team
8. Western Traditions
Understanding of the Western architectural canons and traditions in architecture, landscape and urban design, as well as the climatic, technological, socioeconomic, and other cultural factors that have shaped and sustained them
9. Non-Western Traditions
Understanding of parallel and divergent canons and traditions of architecture and urban design in the non-Western world
10. National and Regional Traditions
Understanding of national traditions and the local regional heritage in architecture, landscape design and urban design, including the vernacular tradition
11. Use of Precedents
Ability to incorporate relevant precedents into architecture and urban design Projects
12. Human Behavior
Understanding of the theories and methods of inquiry that seek to clarify the relationship between human behavior and the physical environment
13. Human Diversity
Understanding of the diverse needs, values, behavioral norms, physical ability, and social and spatial patterns that characterize different cultures and individuals and the implication of this diversity for the societal roles and responsibilities of architects
Ability to design both site and building to accommodate individuals with varying physical abilities
15. Sustainable Design
Understanding of the principles of sustainability in making architecture and urban design decisions that conserve natural and built resources, including culturally important buildings and sites, and in the creation of healthful buildings and communities
16. Program Preparation
Ability to prepare a comprehensive program for an architectural project, including assessment of client and user needs, a critical review of appropriate precedents, an inventory of space and equipment requirements, an analysis of site conditions, a review of the relevant laws and standards and assessment of their implication for the project, and a definition of site selection and design assessment criteria
17. Site Conditions
Ability to respond to natural and built site characteristics in the development of a program and the design of a project
18. Structural Systems
Understanding of principles of structural behavior in withstanding gravity and lateral forces and the evolution, range, and appropriate application of contemporary structural systems
19. Environmental Systems
Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of environmental systems, including acoustical, lighting, and climate modification systems, and energy use, integrated with the building envelope
20. Life Safety
Understanding of the basic principles of life-safety systems with an emphasis on egress
21. Building Envelope Systems
Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of building envelope materials and assemblies
22. Building Service Systems
Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of plumbing, electrical, vertical transportation, communication, security, and fire protection systems
23. Building Systems Integration
Ability to assess, select, and conceptually integrate structural systems, building envelope systems, environmental systems, life-safety systems, and building service systems into building design
24. Building Materials and Assemblies
Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of construction materials, products, components, and assemblies, including their environmental impact and reuse
25. Construction Cost Control
Understanding of the fundamentals of building cost, life-cycle cost, and construction estimating
26. Technical Documentation
Ability to make technically precise drawings and write outline specifications for a proposed design
27. Client Role in Architecture
Understanding of the responsibility of the architect to elicit, understand, and resolve the needs of the client, owner, and user
28. Comprehensive Design
Ability to produce a comprehensive architectural project based on a building program and site that includes development of programmed spaces demonstrating an understanding of structural and environmental systems, building envelope systems, life-safety provisions, wall sections and building assemblies and the principles of sustainability
29. Architect’s Administrative Roles
Understanding of obtaining commissions and negotiating contracts, managing personnel and selecting consultants, recommending project delivery methods, and forms of service contracts
30. Architectural Practice
Understanding of the basic principles and legal aspects of practice organization, financial management, business planning, time and project management, risk mitigation, and mediation and arbitration as well as an understanding of trends that affect practice, such as globalization, outsourcing, project delivery, expanding practice settings, diversity, and others
31. Professional Development
Understanding of the role of internship in obtaining licensure and registration and the mutual rights and responsibilities of interns and employers
Understanding of the need for architects to provide leadership in the building design and construction process and on issues of growth, development, and aesthetics in their communities
33. Legal Responsibilities
Understanding of the architect’s responsibility as determined by registration law, building codes and regulations, professional service contracts, zoning and subdivision ordinances, environmental regulation, historic preservation laws, and accessibility laws
34. Ethics and Professional Judgment
Understanding of the ethical issues involved in the formation of professional judgment in architectural design and practice.
4. Supplemental Information
The following sections explain material that must be included at the end of each APR.
4.1 Student Progress Evaluation Procedures
Supplemental information to the APR must include the following:
A description of the procedures for evaluating student transfer credits and advanced placement
A description of the procedures for evaluating student progress, including the institutional and program policies and standards for evaluation, advancement, graduation, and remediation.
4.2 Studio Culture Policy
Supplemental information to the APR must include the school’s current studio culture policy.
4.3 Course Descriptions
Supplemental information to the APR must include for each required and elective 17 course in the accredited degree program a one-page description with an overview, learning objectives, course requirements, prerequisites, date(s) offered, and faculty member teaching it.
4.4 Faculty Résumés
Supplemental information to the APR must include a maximum two-page résumé for each faculty member teaching in the accredited degree program.
4.5 Visiting Team Report from the Previous Visit
Supplemental information to the APR must include a complete copy of the previous VTR.
4.6 Annual Reports
Supplemental information to the APR must include the following documentation:
4.7 School Catalog
Supplemental information to the APR must include a current school catalog.
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