Western Washington University’s bachelor’s program in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development has been granted candidacy status for national accreditation.
Western would join only 15 other accredited undergraduate planning programs in the United States, and would be only the second accredited undergraduate planning program in the state of Washington.
“Most of the accredited planning programs are at the master’s level. Candidacy status places us in position to have one of the few accredited undergraduate programs in North America,” said Steve Hollenhorst, dean of Western’s Huxley College of the Environment.
Western has a long tradition in training students in the professional field of urban planning. Huxley College’s bachelor’s degree program in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, and its predecessor bachelor’s programs in environmental planning and urban and regional planning, have continuously operated at Western for over 40 years. Over the course of decades, the program has granted the bachelor’s degree in Planning to well over 500 Western students.
“Western has an impressive history of preparing undergraduate students for professional planning careers throughout the state of Washington as well as the nation. Accreditation of our program will further strengthen our students’ competitiveness, bolster their professional careers, and accelerate their path towards obtaining professional certification,” said Nicholas Zaferatos, associate professor, Urban Planning, in Huxley College.
This interdisciplinary program prepares students to enter professional fields concerned with the sustainability of the human and natural environment. As a professional degree major, graduates are prepared for careers in planning agencies, consulting firms, and nonprofit organizations at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as advanced graduate study.
The accreditation of undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States is granted by the Planning Accreditation Board in association with the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
The granting of candidacy for accreditation is the second step toward accreditation. The subsequent step toward accreditation involves a future site visit to further review Western’s program.