Following a visit in March by the visiting team of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa School of Architecture was formally granted a six-year term of accreditation for its professional architecture programs: the five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, the variable length Master of Architecture degree, and the seven-year program that currently awards an NAAB-accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree as well as an Architecture Doctorate degree.
Strengths cited in the visiting team report included:
· The location of the school between the mainland U.S. and the Pacific Rim that provides access to specific and diverse cultures and environments;
· The diversity among students, faculty, practice orientations, and input from outside professionals with international experience;
· The new seven-year program that prepares future leaders in international practice with international experience including a practicum and a doctoral project;
· Practicum experience that involves students working with principals of some of the most prominent large firms in the nation and in other countries;
· Collaboration within the program, between education and practice, among students, student to faculty, and among countries and cultures;
· Administrative and faculty leadership in the School;
· The physical facilities of the architecture building that engages the students, faculty and staff in the creative process; and
· The School‘s three research centers — the Heritage Center, the Environmental Control Systems Lab and the Construction Process Innovation Lab.
The NAAB is the sole agency authorized to accredit US professional degree programs in architecture. Since most state registration boards in the United States require any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture. The NAAB requires an accredited program to produce graduates who: are competent in a range of intellectual, spatial, technical, and interpersonal skills; understand the historical, sociocultural, and environmental context of architecture; are able to solve architectural design problems, including the integration of technical systems and health and safety requirements; and comprehend architects‘ roles and responsibilities in society.
According to the NAAB team, the School met 36 of the 37 performance criteria — a strong affirmation of the excellent quality of the programs offered by the School of Architecture.
The School strives to be the center for the study of Asia-Pacific architecture, committed to the aggressive pursuit and establishment of the knowledge base for this regional architecture, and to effectively disseminate the accumulated knowledge to the students, the professional community, and the public at large. The School has the distinction of producing graduates who are competent practitioners, especially equipped to meet the architectural challenges of Hawaiʻi, Asia and the Pacific region.