UMD Urban Studies and Planning Program Receives Full-term Accreditation

By Maggie Haslam / May 15, 2020 / Updated May 19, 2020

Board praises program as an “ideal laboratory for learning”

URSP Developed Engagement Tools.

The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) has awarded the University of Maryland’s Master of Community Planning degree program a seven-year, full term of accreditation. The PAB’s report, which was delivered this week following a review process lasting over a year, highlighted the program’s academic, socially conscious and collaborative climate, with special commendation for hands-on, community-centered learning opportunities. The school’s program has been accredited consecutively since 1984.

“This is a tremendous achievement for the school and a testament to the many strengths of our planning program,” says Interim Dean Donald Linebaugh. “I commend the program faculty and staff for their ongoing commitment to the school’s mission of advancing excellence in education, scholarship and professional practice towards just and resilient communities.”

The visiting team noted several areas of strength in their assessment. In a letter to University President Wallace Loh, the accreditation board chair specifically noted that the abundant student opportunities for engaged learning, such as studio courses, research opportunities and internships, coupled with the program’s affiliation with the National Center for Smart Growth and its Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) program, created an “ideal laboratory for learning” for students.

“This was a real team effort and provided a valuable opportunity to revisit our past and examine our future as a program,” said Program Director Casey Dawkins. “The perspectives and feedback from the site visit report will help guide our efforts to provide new opportunities for students and faculty, and will help shape our continued mission to foster a more just and sustainable world through planning education.”

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