After a several year battle, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has been approved to maintain its accreditation as an institute of higher learning. The school’s status had earlier been threatened due to new laws by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that require universities, colleges and other institutions to be financially and administratively independent from "larger institutions with multi-faceted missions."
With the decision, the school will be able to continue to offer its 3-year Master of Architecture program, as well as its additional education programs such as its 8-week-long non-degree Immersion Program.
“This action is a result of a collaborative process between the Higher Learning Commission, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and the School,” commented Stuart Graff, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “We are pleased this decision results in the continuation of a legacy of education that Frank Lloyd Wright began in 1932 with his apprentices.”
The school’s initial application, submitted last year, was originally denied due to lack of evidence that they would be able to meet several key standards, such as maintaining a full long-term staff. After revision with help from the HLC, the application was resubmitted this past November, with new plans to found a K-12 program and an expansion of its STEM curriculum.
“Together, the Foundation and the School are now able to extend this approach throughout the education continuum,” continued Graff. “As the Foundation creates unique K-12 experiences that challenge students to think about the world in new ways, the School will continue to provide exceptional programs for advanced education.”
While the Foundation will continue to be a supportive partner, the school will now work toward transitioning to an independent entity by August 2017, while preserving the seamless educational experience for both existing and incoming students.
“Frank Lloyd Wright established his apprenticeship program to encourage innovative and creative thinking that furthers the School’s mission of learning how to create a more sustainable, open, and beautiful designed environment,” Aaron Betsky, Dean of the School. “We look forward to working with the Foundation and building on this legacy at his homes, Taliesin and Taliesin West.”
The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has reached another important milestone on its current path to becoming independent from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, having raised over $2 million in cash and pledges.