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Strengths highlighted in department of landscape architecture accreditation

March 19, 2015 — 

Like many professional programs, the Faculty of Architecture undergoes a rigorous review from an accreditation body. Earlier this year the faculty’s architecture program received a positive summary on its upcoming accreditation.

The results for a similar accreditation, this time for the faculty’s department of landscape architecture, were made public on March 18 at a public event in the John A. Russell Building.

The review is part of the accreditation process that the department undertakes every five years.  The summary statement was delivered to about 50 people, including students, faculty, staff and university administrators with an official accreditation report to be submitted in the coming weeks.

The accreditation team from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects were impressed with the Masters-level program and its facilities. They stated that the department significantly contributed to the education of students in landscape architecture in a way that students are provided a well-rounded education for both professional and personal development.

One of the strengths highlighted in the summary was that the department of landscape architecture was clearly aware of its local prairie context and because of this, was able to contribute to solutions in this environment. The presentation also noted that research from faculty members on the prairie environment and local climate is valuable to students in the department. Additionally, the inclusion of practising professionals in the curriculum is an asset to the program.

Alissa North, the director of the Masters of architecture program at the University of Toronto, who served on the accreditation team, also noted that faculty in the department are clearly committed to the students and the program, providing a rich territory for learning. The department of landscape architecture is perceived as well-run by both internal and external audiences.

Another strength noted in the summary is that the department has great facilities. Workspaces, labs and software used by the students are viewed as some of the best in Canada.

The review body also outlined a few areas of concern. One was that there is a perceived burden of red tape in areas of university policies on ethical research. The program could also more directly benefit by expanding the existing mandate to admit Indigenous students.

Overall, the accreditation team is pleased to support the Faculty and the department of landscape architecture on its endeavours.

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