As we look to the beginning of another academic year, I am pleased to share with you an update on NAAB’s efforts in delivering quality assurance services for architecture education. With immense gratitude to our volunteers who bring subject matter expertise to the evaluation process of site visits, NAAB successfully completed its largest cycle since the new Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation were announced at the beginning of 2020. Our knowledgeable and helpful staff was there every step of the way, supporting teams, programs, and the board of directors in the accreditation process. We are receiving positive feedback from NAAB programs who have embraced the 2020 Conditions and Procedures. To all of our communities, we thank you for your support of NAAB accreditation!
In the most recent cycle of spring 2023 visits, NAAB conducted a total of 33 virtual accreditation and International Certification visits to programs across the US and internationally. As NAAB embarked on its largest cycle of 31 accreditation visits, we continued to develop new trainings for NAAB volunteers and programs; seek feedback from our communities of stakeholders; and collect and analyze data to inform process improvements. Our services for volunteers and programs have been expanded with the addition of a new learning management software for delivering trainings; and an accreditation management system to streamline program reporting and compliance review. As part of our commitment to quality assurance for architecture education, NAAB has focused on sustainability and capacity building with greater access to staff who are subject matter experts in accreditation.
As we progress through the year, our volunteers and staff continue to navigate a complex set of circumstances in the singular effort to maintain continuity and confidence in the accreditation of professional architecture programs, both domestically and internationally.
NAAB Services Expanded
The number of accredited programs continues to grow, resulting in more students graduating from programs that have met the quality assurance standards established by the field of architecture. In the first part of this year, NAAB granted initial accreditation to three new programs, bringing the total number of accredited programs to 175. Click here for more information.
NAAB plays a significant role in the international quality assurance community through the International Certification (ICert) Program, participation in the Canberra Accord and interactions with our international affiliate organizations. Our ICert Program has grown to 20 programs across 18 institutions of higher education. Click here for more information.
NAAB’s active relationship with the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) continues to be strengthened through mutual visits to key organizational meetings. This long-standing exchange of information and ideas has been a very productive and useful tradition toward facilitating common accreditation and quality assurance interests.
NAAB participates in accreditation industry activities that address current industry successes and best practices. Earlier this year, NAAB leadership virtually attended the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) annual meeting which provided a broad perspective and current overview of the accreditation industry and its practices. Over two days of presentations it was encouraging to find that NAAB operates in ways similar to its peer organizations and identify areas where further alignment would support NAAB-accredited programs in their accreditation efforts.
In 2024, NAAB will return to in-person visits after four years of solely virtual reviews. During feedback sessions and monthly Office Hours, program directors and site visitors expressed enthusiasm about returning to in-person interactions. Next year will mark the first time an in-person visit will be conducted under the new 2020 Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation. Digital submissions and virtual pre-visit meetings will continue to be a part of the site visit process, reducing the burden on programs and teams during the on-site review. Preparations by staff and board members are underway to ensure a smooth transition and support for on-site teams and hosting programs.
As a member of the Architectural Alliance that includes ACSA, AIA, AIAS, NAAB, NCARB, and NOMA, NAAB attended the March meeting, focusing on updates and coordination between each organizations’ agendas.
Additionally, with the financial assistance of our collateral partners, NAAB representatives have been able to attend and participate in several of our collateral’s seminars and meetings. NAAB has:
- Provided an update on NAAB’s accreditation and international activities as well as an update on the 2020 Conditions to the NCARB Region 2 Educator – Practitioner Symposium.
- Presented on the implications of the decreasing numbers of licensed faculty to NCARB Region 4’s Member Board Member/Educator Symposium.
- Participated in ACSA Administrator’s Conference and presented a full day Accreditation Workshop afterward on NAAB 2020 Conditions and Procedures.
- Participated virtually in an ACSA webinar on Expanding Access to Architectural Education, which explored issues relating to student transfers into professional programs from non-professional architectural programs and community colleges.
- Presented with NCARB at AIA Atlanta’s Chris Kelly Leadership Seminar with emphasis on 2020 Condition requirements affecting student wellbeing and mental health.
- Participated in ACSA’s Annual Meeting and attended their Board of Directors Meeting with focus on transfers into professional programs and specific impacts of the 2020 Conditions.
- Attended and participated in the NCARB Annual Business Meeting, providing general updates on NAAB and maintaining the unique relationship between our two organizations.
- Attended the AIAS Grassroots conference and addressed the 250+ attendees at the AIAS Grassroots Conference, discussing the role accreditation plays for students and how students can engage with NAAB.
Thank you again for your continued support of NAAB accreditation!
David L. Hoffman, FAIA, NCARB, NAAB, Hon. FCARM, CDX, CRRP
2022–2023 NAAB President