July 11, 2019

Have you ever had an opinion about what you should be learning in school? Let’s talk about it!! The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) recently released Draft 00 of its 2020 Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation, which are now available online for public review and comments. 

Evaluated once every five years, the NAAB’s Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation provide the requirements and guidelines that tell schools what students should understand after earning an accredited degree. Since early 2018, committees from each collateral organization have had phone calls and in-person meetings to hash out what needs to change and what should be added to the latest edition of Conditions and Procedures. The AIAS’ Steering Committee, comprised of Stephanie Aranda, Amy Rojas, and Rafael Armendariz, questioned everything about what we’re taught and how, and advocated heavily to improve upon the enforcement of the rights of students and recent graduates. The combined discussion of every collateral’s team resulted in Draft 00 of the 2020 Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation. 

The AIAS encourages you to read the documents and share your thoughts, because these requirements essentially decide what we’ll be taught in school and how. Architectural education is infamous for often not being nimble enough to keep up with the world that future architects want to create, but we can change that by being innovative and forward-thinking when it comes to school accreditation criteria. Even if you don’t go to an accredited architecture school, it’s still incredibly important to share your opinions and perspective on the subject. Your point of view may lend us something we had not considered before, as it stems from a curriculum that is regulated differently. The AIAS represents all students, and these conditions affect all schools, regardless of who’s accredited or not.

Right after Grassroots, our Steering Committee and the entire 2019-2020 AIAS Board of Directors will be going to the Accreditation Review Forum in Chicago, IL, to discuss Draft 00. We’ve outlined what we’ll be bringing up, and what you should pay attention to, below; click here to see key areas in the documents that relate to each topic:

  • Access to an interdisciplinary education
  • Actionable attempts at cultivating diversity 
  • A healthy and enforceable Learning and Teaching Culture Policy (aka Studio Culture)
  • Fundamental environmental literacy

If you read through the Conditions and Procedures and see something we missed, email both NAAB (before July 18) and us (before July 23), and we’ll be sure to make note of it in Chicago. You can find more information about the ARForum and the schedule for the new Conditions and Procedures on NAAB’s website.

Student representatives on NAAB visiting teams must be AIAS members! If you’d like to serve on a visiting team next year, stay tuned for an application that will roll out in February or March 2020.