The National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) recently returned to the Academy of Art University to assess the School of Architecture’s B. Arch program for continuing accreditation.
This is an important procedure for American architecture schools participating in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards licensure process.
NAAB representatives spent four days examining curriculum and student work from the five-year B. Arch degree program. NAAB will officially announce the final status of the Academy’s architecture accreditation at the end of this summer, but the initial verbal progress report concluded that the recent visit was overwhelmingly positive.
Of the 26 accreditation categories, four were met with distinction (Pre-Design, Environmental Systems, Structural Systems, Integrated Design), which is the highest mark a program can receive for any category.
If formally approved in August by the NAAB Board, the B. Arch program, which was initially granted accreditation in 2015, would receive continuing accreditation status for eight more years, the maximum accreditation period granted by NAAB.
School of Architecture Undergraduate Director Jennifer Asselstine has been overseeing the accreditation process since NAAB’s initial acccreditation visit three years ago.
Studio work from the entire student body must be assembled alongside class curricula from the entry-level architectural thinking projects. NAAB inspects curricula in everything from the technical (lighting, air-conditioning, etc.) to the paramount (structural integrity, environmental responsiveness, architectural material selection, etc.), and all must be accounted for.
As part of the NAAB process for the School of Architecture accreditation, the board representatives met with students to assess their opinions on the performance of the program.
Of the assessment criteria, the department is especially pleased with the high marks the program received in both Pre-Design and Environmental Systems.
While the formal accreditation process has not yet concluded, with four categories met with distinction ahead of the August announcement, the prospects for continued accreditation are looking strong as the program develops.
The NAAB is responsible for the task of ensuring that future industry members are held to the highest of professional standards starting from the courses they take.
Accredited architecture schools, like the School of Architecture at the Academy, must maintain their status through periodic assessment and review by the board.