Continuing Education Sponsor Approval

New York State Education Department Approval as a Sponsor of Landscape Architecture Continuing Education Programs

(Effective January 1, 2007)

This page explains the requirements for becoming an approved sponsor of continuing education for landscape architects in New York State. Once you have read the "Standards" below, please complete the application, Form 1-SB LARCH ( PDF 121 KB), and send it to the address at the end of the application form along with the supporting materials requested. You must also enclose a check made out to the "NYS Education Department" in the amount of $900. Sponsors are approved for a period of three years. Sponsors are required to keep records on the continuing education programs that they offer. The details concerning the record keeping requirements are included in the "Standards" document.

An organization must comply with the applicable requirements of Section 79-1.5 of the Commissioner's Regulations to obtain State Education Department approval as a sponsor of continuing education for landscape architects. Sponsors are expected to meet or exceed the standards detailed in this document. Approvals are valid for a period of three years and can be renewed.

Should you have questions concerning the requirements, please contact the State Board for Landscape Architecture.

Standard 1 - Organization | Standard 2 - Courses/Educational Activities | Standard 3 - Instructors | Standard 4 - Assessment of Learning | Standard 5 - Records

Standard 1 - Organization

Section 79-1.5 (i)(3)(ii)(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require organizations to document that they are an organized educational entity, or an entity that has expertise in the professional areas that will be taught, including but not limited to a school of landscape architecture accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or a national, State, or local landscape architecture association or organization.


Standard 2 - Courses/Educational Activities

Courses/educational activities are offered in appropriate subject areas.

Section 7328 of the Education Law limits the educational programs a landscape architect may use to meet the continuing education to "courses of learning" and "educational activities" which contribute to professional practice in landscape architecture. Sponsors must offer courses/educational activities in one of the subject areas listed below:

  1. The following subject areas relating to health, safety and welfare (HSW):
    • code of ethics
    • codes, acts, laws, and regulations governing the practice of landscape architecture
    • construction administration, including the administration of construction contracts
    • construction documents
    • environmental process and analysis
    • erosion control methods, including storm water management as is incidental and necessary to the practice of landscape architecture
    • design of environmental systems and use of site materials and methods of site construction
    • grading and natural drainage
    • horticulture
    • irrigation methods
    • land planning and land use analysis
    • landscape preservation, landscape restoration and adaptive reuse
    • natural hazards - impact of earthquake, hurricane, or flood related to site design
    • New York State Building Code as it affects landscape architecture
    • resource conservation and management
    • site accessibility, including American with Disabilities Act standards for accessible site design
    • site and soils analysis
    • site design
    • site security and safety
    • specifications writing
    • surveying methods and techniques as they affect landscape architecture
    • sustainable design, including techniques related to energy efficiency
    • vegetative management
    • wetlands
    • zoning as it relates to the improvement and/or protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public
    • other matters of law and ethics which contribute to the health, safety and welfare of the public

  2. Other topics, which contribute to the professional practice of landscape architecture as such practice is defined in section 7321 of the Education Law.

Sponsors must offer courses/educational activities in one of these subject areas. Subject areas that do not contribute to the professional practice of landscape architecture as defined in section 7321 of the Education Law, such as, risk management, limiting the design professional's liability, project management related to profitability and maximizing fees, marketing and public relations, insurance, laws related to arbitration, mediation, liens (unless they relate to safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public), real estate, real estate development, expanding a design professional's business, basic AutoCAD, personal development, general office management, accounting/financial planning, succession planning, zoning as it relates to increasing a developer or landscape architect's profitability, design build (unless 75% of the course content relates to the laws related to design build in New York State) are not acceptable subjects.

An hour of continuing education is one contact hour of at least 50 minutes duration. Most continuing education providers give credit in hours (e.g. One AIA Learning Unit (LU) is equivalent to one hour of continuing education), however, some courses may be given in continuing education units. One continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 contact hours. Therefore, .1 CEU equals one contact hour, .2 CEUs equals two contact hours, and so on.

Please note that if courses are longer than one hour in duration, then time spent on breaks and while eating meals will not count towards the amount of hours. For example, a course takes place from 9am - 5pm, inclusive of one hour for lunch and two 15-minute breaks; one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Credit for this course would break down as follows:

9am - 5pm 8 hours
Lunch - 1 hour
Two breaks - .5 hour
CE credit hours 6.5 hours

In addition, sponsors must:

  1. maintain and use written procedures to identify, design, and evaluate prospective courses/educational activities before offering or sponsoring them; and
  2. maintain and use written procedures to evaluate the effectiveness and overall quality of courses/educational activities. The procedures shall specify how course/educational activity attendees participate in such evaluation and ways the evaluations are used to update or modify courses/educational activities. Procedures may include, but need not be limited to, written post-course evaluations by participants. Use of course/educational activity monitors to attend and assess the quality of courses/educational activities can be an especially effective evaluation tool.

Standard 3 - Instructors

Instructors are qualified to teach the courses/educational activities which will be offered.

Section 79-1.5 (i)(3)(ii)(c) requires sponsors to provide course/educational activity instructors who are qualified to teach the courses/educational activities which will be offered, including but not limited to, faculty of a college of landscape architecture accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or instructors who are specially qualified authorities in landscape architecture, as determined by the department with assistance from the State Board for Landscape Architecture, to conduct such courses.

Sponsors must assure that instructors meet this standard and must:

  1. maintain and use written criteria and procedures to select instructors, including job descriptions, intended to assure that every instructor is qualified by training and/or experience to teach the course/educational activity; and
  2. maintain and use written procedures to evaluate instructors' performance. Both attendees' written evaluations and assessments by course/educational activity monitors may appropriately be part of the evaluation of instructors' performance.

Standard 4 - Assessment of Learning

Sponsor has a method of assessing the learning of participants.

Section 79-1.5 (i)(3)(ii)(d) requires sponsors to have "a method of assessing the learning of participants...."

Sponsors must maintain assessment methods that (1) are appropriate to the course/educational activity objectives and educational methods, and (2) measure the extent to which the objectives were accomplished. These methods may include, but need not be limited to, post-tests, questionnaires, and attendees' evaluations. Course/educational activity monitors may also be effective components of a method of assessing learning.


Standard 5 - Records

Sponsor will maintain records for at least six years from the date of completion of coursework/educational activity.

Section 79-1.5 (i)(3)(ii)(e) requires that sponsors "will maintain records for at least six years from the date of completion of coursework, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the name and curriculum vitae of the faculty, a record of attendance of licensed landscape architects in the course if a course, a record of participation of licensed landscape architects in the self-study program if a self-study program, an outline of the course or program, date and location of the course or program, and the number of hours for completion of the course or program. "

Sponsors must create and maintain for at least six years the following records for each course or educational activity:

  1. the date and location of the course/educational activity;
  2. the name and curriculum vitae of the instructor/presenter;
  3. the objectives and learning methods of the course/educational activity;
  4. the outline of the course/educational activity, the assessment methods used, and the number of contact hours of the course/educational activity;
  5. a summary of any evaluation of the course/educational activity;
  6. copies of all promotional materials used in a course/educational activity;
  7. any evaluation of the need for the course/educational activity; and
  8. the list of licensed practitioners in attendance, including the profession(s) in which each is licensed.

Sponsors must provide a Certificate of Completion to licensed practitioners who have completed a course/educational activity for continuing education credit. A Certificate of Completion should contain the following information:

  • attendees name
  • title of the course, program, or educational activity and any identification number assigned to it by the sponsor
  • number of hours completed (HSW and LU)
  • the sponsor's name and any identifying number
  • verification by the sponsor of attendance
  • the date and location of the program, course, or educational activity

Inquiries and applications to become an approved sponsor of continuing education ( PDF 42 KB) can be obtained from the: New York State Education Department, State Board for Landscape Architecture, 89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor East Wing, Albany, NY 12234-1000 Phone: (518) 474-3817 x110 E-mail: larchbd@nysed.gov

Last Updated: December 16, 2009