Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Urban and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Urban and Public Affairs, PhD

Committee Chair

Kelly, Janet

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Simpson, Davide

Committee Member

Simpson, Davide

Committee Member

Rollins, Jr., Aaron

Committee Member

Owen, David

Author's Keywords

planning education; planning education evaluation; national planning education program; program evaluation; performance management; performance measurement


Contemporary evaluations of accredited planning education performance have eschewed the principles and methodologies of formal program evaluation and performance management. This dissertation tests hypotheses that this contributes to the lack of social equity and justice commitment, content, and inquiry on the part of accredited graduate planning degree programs, their clients, and administrators. The organizations, resources, and processes involved in the purveyance of accredited graduate planning education were conceptualized as a singular, evaluable program and illustrated in a series of program logic models. These models revealed sources of the inattentiveness to normative issues that past evaluations have evidenced, and informed assertions of benefits likely to occur from adherence to formal program evaluation principles. An opinion survey was constructed and administered to mitigate the aforementioned praxis gaps whose identified a disjuncture between planning faculty and students’ interest in social equity and justice and those of practitioners and informed recommendations that each individual planning degree program administer identical surveys annually to their alumni, current students, and faculty. Reviews of, and analyses on, a sample of 21 accreditation self-study reports were conducted on their adherence to performance management principles and their content levels associated with, and their commitment to, issues of social equity and justice. Hypotheses test results concerning adherence to performance management principles were generally poor. Hypotheses test results concerning social equity and justice were somewhat inconclusive. Overall, the results of the dissertation research urge thorough adoption of program evaluation and performance management principles to operate and evaluate accredited graduate planning education.