The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approved the Change of Control application submitted by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

This allows the School to operate as an entity independent from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (Foundation), and maintain its accreditation as an institute of higher learning.

The HLC decision allows the School to continue its three-year Master of Architecture Program, while offering additional programs for continuing education, including an 8-week non-degree Immersion Program.

“Together, the Foundation and the School are now able to extend this approach throughout the education continuum. 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,”said Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation CEO Stuart Graff.

As Graff indicates, the Foundation will expand its own STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education programming for K-12 students.

Since gaining accreditation in 1987, the School has operated as part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In a proposal submitted in February of 2016, and after responding to communications from the HLC regarding revised accreditation standards, the School demonstrated its ability to operate independently from the Foundation. With the approval of this plan, the School will begin to transition to an independent entity by August 2017 while providing a seamless educational experience for both existing and incoming students.

The Foundation will continue to be a supportive partner as the School works to provide experimental and experiential higher education in architecture. It will continue to donate space at Taliesin and Taliesin West for the School’s operations and providing other support to the School. Aaron Betsky, Dean of the School, said the HLC decision will benefit all parties. “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. We look forward to working with the Foundation and building on this legacy at his homes, Taliesin and Taliesin West.”

Betsky and Graff both expressed gratitude for the work of the HLC and the time dedicated to reaching an outcome that satisfies all parties. The School and Foundation will work together over the next several months to allow the School to begin its new academic year as an independent institution beginning in August 2017.