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Academic Programs / Environmental Design
Teresa Scott Soufas, Dean
See the Ambler Campus Section of this Bulletin for more information on services, facilities, and student life.
Temple University Ambler has been connected to sustainable concepts and environmental stewardship for nearly a century. In June 2000, the Temple University Board of Trustees formally recognized Ambler College located at the Ambler Campus, as the 17th academic unit of Temple University. This designation provided Ambler College with the ability to plan and develop unique programs consistent with its mission. In July 2009, Ambler College was renamed the School of Environmental Design in the College of Liberal Arts. The School of Environmental Design is the home to the Department of Community and Regional Planning, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture, and the Center for Sustainable Communities, with plans for future academic programs to be added under the school umbrella.
The mission of the School of Environmental Design (formerly Ambler College) is the enhancement of the relationship between individuals, social patterns, and political systems and the natural, built, and cultural environments of contemporary life. The School of Environmental Design upholds the environmental traditions established by the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women and carried forward by our founding Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture. As Temple University's 17th college, the School of Environmental Design has a commitment to the health of communities, the preservation and appreciation of the natural and historical landscape, and the recognition of the connections between the natural and constructed worlds. (Adopted by the Faculty, Ambler College [now the School of Environmental Design], December, 2000.) The School of Environmental Design core values are: student-centered learning, community engagement, and environmental responsibility.
The Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture traces its origins to the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women, founded in 1911 at Ambler Campus. Originally, the department offered only two-year Associate degree programs but in 1988 added two four-year degree programs in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture. The department's evolution has combined theory with practice, continuing the tradition of blending art and science with practical experience. Committed to excellence in ecologically-based education, the department provides students with the knowledge and understanding of sustainable environments. Through an ecological approach to planning, design, development, and care of the land, the programs in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture promote the development of skills to improve the quality of urban, suburban, and rural communities. Courses and programs are offered that utilize the 187-acre Ambler Campus as both an arboretum and a living laboratory for faculty and students. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research in a state-of-the-art greenhouse.
The Department of Community and Regional Planning, building on the traditions already established in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and the Center for Sustainable Communities (See Special Programs and Facilities below), develops skilled practitioners for the dynamic and growing field of planning in the government, non-profit, and private sectors. Students develop an understanding of the physical and economic issues of planning, sensitivity to the social and environmental impact of planning decisions, and a knowledge of governmental structures as they apply to planning. The program places students on the front lines of efforts to create and maintain healthy, sustainable communities by providing students with a broad-based understanding and awareness of multi-dimensional land-use and planning issues.
The Ambler Campus continues to be the home of the School of Environmental Design and is also a teaching site for many courses and full degree programs sponsored by other schools and colleges of Temple University. See the Degree Programs Chart for a listing of the full degree programs and the Ambler Campus section for additional information on campus facilities and services.
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The Landscape Architecture program is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board.
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Ambler Admissions Office
Longwood Gardens Agreement
Students who graduate from the Longwood Gardens Professional Gardeners Program and are admissible to Temple University may receive up to 52 credits toward the Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture or Horticulture. Specified courses in the agreement must be passed with a grade of B or higher to be eligible for transfer credit. Call the Office of Academic Advising for details at 267-468-8200.
Upper Darby High School Agreement
Graduates from Upper Darby High School who meet Temple's admission standards and apply to the Associate in Science in Horticulture program within one year of high school graduation may receive up to 6 transfer credits toward the Associate's degree. Students must complete specified high school courses with a grade of B or higher. Students should see their Upper Darby High School counselor for details.
For a listing of all Temple University articulation agreements, go to www.temple.edu/vpus/transfer/agreements.htm.
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In addition to assistance from the Department of Student Financial Services, there are several scholarships and grants-in-aid that are available only to School of Environmental Design students: Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, and Community and Regional Planning. Also see the Financial Aid section of this Bulletin.
W. B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences Scholarships
Two scholarships, the Robert Hunt Scholarship and the William Mifflin Scholarship, are available to students graduating from Philadelphia's W. B. Saul High School who are admissible to Temple University and wish to study Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, or Community and Regional Planning. Interested Saul students should contact the principal of the high school for information.
Grants and Scholarships for Community and Regional Planning Students
Applications for the following are available from the Department of Community and Regional Planning and at www.temple.edu/ambler/ac_services/scholarshipslah.htm.
Grants and Scholarships for Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Students
Applications for the following are available in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture office and at www.temple.edu/ambler/ac_services/scholarshipslah.htm.
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Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) at Temple University Ambler
Md. Mahbubur Meenar, M.U.P., Assistant Director, Geographic Information Systems Operations and Research
Susan E. Spinella-Sacks, M.S., Assistant Director
The Center for Sustainable Communities develops and promotes new approaches to protecting and preserving quality of life through sustainable development, balancing the relationship between environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity. It was designed to build on Temple University Ambler's strengths in horticulture and landscape architecture and to draw upon the expertise of all Temple University faculty. A working resource for government agencies, community organizations, and developers, the center provides objective information and services to improve decision-making relative to land use and water resources planning, in addition to conducting interdisciplinary research and offering educational and community outreach programs. Students in degree programs in Community and Regional Planning, Horticulture, and Landscape Architecture have the opportunity to take full advantage of the CSC to obtain practical experience on campus.
The Landscape Arboretum of Temple University Ambler
The Temple University Ambler Campus has a long history and rich tradition of horticulture and landscape design. Established as the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women in 1911, the 187-acre campus represents a unique mix of natural and designed landscapes.
The gardens and campus serve as an excellent outdoor teaching laboratory for numerous classes and as a source of inspiration for students, faculty, and visitors. The campus was officially designated an arboretum in March 2000. Now known as The Landscape Arboretum of Temple University Ambler, it continues to develop as a living laboratory. The formal gardens have recently been revitalized to express the character of their original design, and many new garden additions are included throughout the grounds.
As the home of Temple University's Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture, the Ambler Campus has a myriad of learning gardens, including a ground cover garden, native plant garden, formal gardens, green roof garden, rock wall, woodland garden, sustainable wetland garden, trial garden, the Viola Anders herb garden, the Philip A. and Barbara F. Albright Winter Garden, the Ernesta Ballard Healing Garden, and large perennial borders. New gardens are under construction, including a dwarf conifer garden.
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Academic and Leadership Awards
All Ambler Campus students are eligible to qualify for the academic and leadership awards presented annually that are described in the Ambler Campus section of this Bulletin.
The following annual awards are available to Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture students only. For applications, go to www.temple.edu/ambler/ac_services/scholarshipslah.htm.
Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Honor Societies
Pi Alpha Xi is the national honor society for students majoring in horticulture. To be admitted to the society, a student must be a junior or senior, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75, and have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all horticulture courses.
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Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Student Association
This organization, which incorporates a Pennsylvania/Delaware Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), holds annual fundraising events, such as plant sales, and sponsors a student-mentoring program.
Temple Planning Student Organization (T.P.S.O.)
In addition, all the School of Environmental Design students may participate in the student organizations listed in the Ambler Campus section of this Bulletin.
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