Assessment in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture

The Temple BSLA program was established in the fall of 1988. Eight graduates of the two-year landscape design program formed the first junior class. In May of 1990, the first four graduates in the program received their Bachelor of Science degrees in Landscape Architecture. Since that time the program has gone through three successful accreditations. “The Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture of Temple University is committed to excellence in ecologically based education geared towards training leaders in the art and science of horticulture and landscape architecture. Our programs provide students with knowledge and an understanding of the environment so that they can improve the quality of our urban, suburban and rural communities.” This mission was adopted in 2006. 

Academic Goals of the Program

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program’s academic goals are to prepare students with the knowledge and skills, methods of inquiry, and with the creative abilities and values necessary to complete their career preparation and program of study to become leaders in the field of landscape architecture. Five fundamental academic goals structure the BSLA program. Although these goals are independent, their composite provides students with an educational experience that will prepare them for landscape architecture professional practice. These five goals are the foundation for learning and provide education in theory, communications, design skills, professional experience, and a commitment to collaboration in promoting public awareness of landscape architecture.

Realm A: Theory and Knowledge

Through lectures, research, and presentation exercises students engage the traditions of landscape architecture. Students apply theory and knowledge to the inventory and analysis of environmental, cultural and experiential quality factors. These generate site opportunities and constraints that are the basis for artistic solutions to site planning and design challenges.

Students take a sequence of required courses in LA theory and design (6 courses plus 1 course in design/build, or 39 credits), engineering (4 courses, or 12 credits), professional practice (1 course, or 3 credits), the natural and built environment (1 course, or 3 credits), history (1 course, or 3 credits) and 6 courses in plant science and horticulture, which provide students with a strong ecologically based education. The campus landscape arboretum is a living laboratory for teaching/learning. The LA program is nationally competitive and is recognized as one of a handful of institutions in the country that integrate design/build in the curriculum.

Realm B: Skills and Tools

Each goal is supported by practice with graphic and oral communication skills in studio presentations. Students take a required course in LA Design Communication, CAD (1 course), and writing intensives (5 courses).  Oral and graphic presentation skills are integral to all seven design studios, one planting design course and two engineering courses. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in presentations to students, faculty, invited practitioners and the community. Practice with all media from hand sketching to 3-D design and rendering software is integral to the program’s studio sequence. Computer skills (GIS, CAD, Sketchup, Adobe Creative Suite) are presented in a specific course and integrated into all studio courses. Advanced Computer Graphics, Advanced CAD and a GIS are offered as electives. Students demonstrate their skills in presentations to faculty, invited practitioners and the community.

Realm C: Professional and Cultural Experiences

Students have been successful in finding opportunities to gain professional work experience during the summer months, given the wealth of landscape architecture, engineering, architecture, and multidisciplinary firms in the Philadelphia area. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the international study-abroad programs: fall semester at Temple Rome or Japan.

Realm D: Collaborations

The program offers interdisciplinary courses and activities with the Horticulture program and encourages the development of liaisons with other related disciplines such as  Community and Regional Planning, Architecture, arts, and Environmental Studies. The Landscape Architecture and Hortriculture programs have worked collaboratively on projects like Pleasant Hill Park (with Architecture) and on the Philadelphia Flower Show as well as on projects generated from the Center for Sustainable Communities (e.g., Pennypack River Watershed). Recent projects at the Philadelphia Flower Show include Metromorphosis - 2010, Ecolibrium - 2011, Aloha aina: A return to life with the land- 2012, Wilde! cultivating wonder in everyday places- 2013, Tamanend's track: The path to a portrayal of the past, 2014 and Star power: Casts of light that stir and spellbind - 2015.

Realm E: Public Service and Service Learning

‪The BSLA program encourages integration of service learning through public service projects, which teach students about the importance of community involvement. Such projects also educate the public about the role of landscape architecture and its positive impact on shaping our environment; and enhance the visibility and reputation of our program and the University.