ISU College of Design: Accreditation shortcomings can be 'readily addressed'

Two programs failed to meet four of 55 conditions

Vanessa Miller
Published: February 26 2014 | 4:08 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 4:12 am in
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To keep their accreditation status, two programs in Iowa State University’s College of Design must submit annual statistical reports and occasional progress reports following an accreditation review that turned up several shortcomings.

ISU’s Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture programs were accredited for the maximum eight-year period, through 2021, following a self-study and on-site visit by peer evaluators last year. But, according to an accreditation report that an Iowa Board of Regents committee reviewed Wednesday, the programs failed to meet four of 55 conditions, and continuing accreditation hinges on two requirements.

The programs must submit annual statistical reports and interim progress reports in 2015 and 2018, according to the report.

Accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board means a program is recognized by its peers as having met state and national standards and adequately prepares students for entry into the profession. Many employers, graduate schools, license, certification and registration boards require graduation from an accredited program.

Unmet criteria identified in the accreditation review relate to course requirements and offerings. For example, accredited programs must teach students how to “apply the basic principles of life-safety systems with an emphasis on egress,” and analysts reported “no evidence of this student performance criterion was found in the course work.”

Other concerns listed in the accreditation report include lacking physical resources. According to the report, “physical resources have been identified as a concern to both faculty and students.”

“Currently, the physical resources of the architecture department seem barely adequate for students’ educational needs,” the report states. “Support spaces such as the woodshop, lab, and other resources do not fully address the needs of the entire student body.”

The report did identify some “conditions met with distinction,” including that students “showed admirable skills in the design and construction of physical scale models” and valued collaboration as “integral to the learning culture of the school for both student and faculty.”

ISU officials were not immediately available to comment on the issue. But, according to the accreditation report, college leadership said the concerns can be “readily addressed,” and they will develop plans and implement changes this spring.

The Board of Regents committee on Wednesday reviewed four additional ISU accreditation reports – including those for engineering, design and dietetic programs. Few deficiencies were identified in those reports.

 

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