Continuing Education

An Advanced Academy for Learning Spaces


Creating Connections: The CEFPI Guide For Educational Facility Planning

This intense, high quality program consists of six, 6-week online courses created by industry experts and is delivered through San Diego State University's Interwork Institute Center for Distance Learning (IL-CDL). The comprehensive program of study is grounded in the key knowledge and skills central to the sound planning, building and maintaining of learner-centered school facilities. Based on chapters of Creating Connections: The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning, each course addresses one phase of the capital project, while the complete program emphasizes a collaborative process that engages all stakeholders. The primary text is supplemented with relevant materials collected and developed by the expert instructors.

Formerly known as The Advanced Certificate in Educational Facility Planning and managed by San Diego State University, CEFPI has assumed responsibility of the program and revised the courses. Dr. Cynthia Uline, Director of The National Center for the 21st Century Schoolhouse emphasizes that the program will continue to introduce students to a learner-centered approach to school facility planning, provoking thought and prompting educational leaders, planners, designers and construction managers to give careful consideration to the educational, developmental, psychological and social needs of learners.


With over $10 billion US of capital construction experience, instructors bring a wealth of knowledge from around the globe. Collectively they have worked in all 50 states and in over 35 countries to plan, design, build, and maintain learner-centered educational facilities. They will give you the practical knowledge and skills central to creating healthy, safe, and high-performing school facilities that serve the needs of the students, staff and community.

The Courses

The entire program of study centers on the student, beginning with a course on learner needs and styles. Each of the remaining courses addresses one component of a successful planning process that results in learner-centered schools. The program curriculum draws from Creating Connections: The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning (2004), as well as supplemental materials recommended by the expert faculty member developing the course and serving as instructor of the pilot modules. Instructors were recruited according to their particular areas of expertise, drawing upon a wide range of professional perspectives and experiences and ensuring specialized content knowledge for each course. A performance-based project will link each course to the larger Certificate Program curriculum. These projects will comprise the certificate program candidate's portfolio.

Designing Schools to Support Diverse Learning Styles Needs

Today, hundreds of studies have documented that learning-style-responsive environments statistically increase student achievement. As a result, this course focuses on the importance of linking school design and differentiated instruction within the classroom. Students will gain critical insight that will expand their sphere of knowledge about quality facilities, quality education, and increasing student achievement.


Honigsfeld, A., & Cohan, A. (Eds.). (2010). Breaking the mold of school instruction and organization: Innovative and successful practices for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. May be purchased through or

Meyers, N. and Robertson, S. (2004). Creating Connections: The CEFPI guide for educational facility planning. Scottsdale, AZ: The Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

Community Engagement and Master Planning (2 units)

This course explores the importance of creating a broad base of support for schools and looks at methods of community participation. Focusing on community engagement and partnerships this course will explore how educational specifications and master planning can contribute to the success of school projects. Issues of demographics, transportation, and school financing will also be discussed.


Myers, N. & Robertson, S. (2004). The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning – Creating Connections. Phoenix, AZ: The Council of Educational Facility Planners, Intl.

Tanner, K. C. & Lackney, J. Educational Facilities Planning: Leadership, Architecture, and Management, Allyn and Bacon.

Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning (2 units)

This course explores the components of pre-design planning, effective processes for deriving essential information, strategies for documenting appropriate detail, and reinforces the necessity for creating connections in planning and design of school facilities.


Myers, N. & Robertson, S. (2004). The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning – Creating Connections. Phoenix, AZ: The Council of Educational Facility Planners, Intl.

The Educational Facility Architectural Design Process

The course is designed to introduce certificate candidates to the architectural/engineering design process, including who is involved, how they are involved, when, and why and the intended outcomes of the process.


Demkin, Joseph A. The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice.

Educational Facility Implementation: Project Management, Project Delivery, Finance, Procurement, and Post-Occupancy

Candidates will learn the basics of overall capital project management from initial conception through planning, design, construction, and post-occupancy phases. The course will expose students to different project delivery models and will enable the students to understand the basics as well as the pros and cons of different models. Students will review the overall management of capital projects from initial conception through planning, design, construction and post-occupancy phases, and understand the role of all stakeholders in each phase.


Meyers, N. and Robertson, S. (2004). The CEFPI guide for educational facility planning. Scottsdale, AZ: The Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

Assessment of the School Facility

This course will introduce certificate candidates to the purpose and methods of facility life cycle assessments, indicators of building quality, building assessment instruments, building maintenance program as an assessment tool, and procedures and policies for institutionalizing assessment.


Myers, N. & Robertson, S. (2004). The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning – Creating Connections. Phoenix, AZ: The Council of Educational Facility Planners, Intl.

An Appraisal Guide for Older & Historic School Facilities, Appraisal Criteria, pages 13-29 and 37-50, CEFPI (2005). To purchase, click link above, or go to "market place" tab, publications, appraisal tools at (Purchase through CEFPI for approximately $35 for members)

Lead Change – Successfully 3rd Edition, Harvard Business Review, Article collection, Oct. 2005, 49 pages. (Purchase downloadable version through for $17.95.)

Continuing Education Photos

The Instructors & Schedule

The Advanced Academy for Learning Spaces

Six nationally and internationally recognized experts have been recruited to lead this rigorous and engaging course of study. All course content is intentionally designed and delivered by practitioners, thus ensuring its relevance to the day-to-day work. Expert faculty members include practicing educational facility planners, practicing architects, a state education department official and two internationally recognized experts in learning styles theory. Meg Parsons, principal at Cuningham Group and instructor of the Community Engagement and Master Planning course, addressed the generative nature of the program curriculum, "This series of courses is a unique opportunity for professionals to reflect on what they do and how they do it. By sharing not only class materials, but also our experiences and viewpoints, we have the opportunity to learn from each other."

Connecting key stakeholders involved in the educational facility enterprise, this fully online program focuses squarely on the student, beginning with a course on learner needs and styles and culminating in a course on life cycle facility assessment.

Allen Abend, R.A.

Mr. Abend is a licensed architect, has written several publications, and until it's dissolution in 2012 served on the Board of the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. He has worked for an institution of higher education, a public school district, the Maryland State Department of Education including head of their School Facilities Office, and as the Deputy Director for the Maryland Public School Construction Program. In 2003, Mr. Abend managed a statewide survey of 1342 public schools in Maryland that evaluated condition, ability to support educational programs, and the cost of correcting deficiencies. From 2005-2010, Mr. Abend participated in meetings held by the Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, focused on developing an international framework for evaluating the quality of educational facilities. He served on the CELE Work Group of National Experts on Education Facilities Evaluation to develop and implement a manual for evaluating educational facilities. In 2010 he was hired by the European Investment Bank to assist with a project on Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure.

Ronald Fanning, AIA, PE, CEFP, NCEE, NCARB (Instructor Emeritus)

One of the original founders of Fanning/Howey Associates, Inc., Ron Fanning, Chairman of the Board, has more than 40 years of experience in the design of educational facilities and community complexes. Mr. Fanning has provided national leadership in the effort to bring visibility to the condition of America's school buildings, advocating the modernization of school facilities to support the educational program and improve the quality of learning. He has been a presenter at regional, state, and national educational conferences dealing with various aspects of educational planning and design. Mr. Fanning is a past\president of CEFPI.

Andrea Honigsfeld, Ed. D.

Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld is associate professor and coordinator of the Master of Science in Education: TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY. She teaches graduate education courses related to cultural and linguistic diversity, linguistics, ESL methodology and action research.

Sandy Kate, Senior Educational Facility Planner, Associate Principal, LEED AP, REFP

Sandy has specialized in the planning, programming, design and project management of Pre-K-12 and higher educational facilities in multiple states throughout the US for 30 years placing a strong importance on client relationships, personalized service, and a passion for children. She is an advocate for education and understands the importance of designing environments that remains learner focused while supporting a variety of community visions and needs.

She is currently an Associate Principal at HMC Architects, and former Principal at Fanning/Howey Associates. Both firms focus on the design of educational facilities. Planning and designing schools in multiple states has provided her with experience working with a broad range of school districts from very small rural districts that have just a few schools to some of the largest urban districts in the US and all sizes and grade configurations of educational facilities. She also spends time visiting and researching schools all over the world. She truly believes that an environment can impact children both positively and negatively, and this strong belief has provided the foundation for her to focus her career on the development of educational facilities.

Margaret S. Parsons, AIA., REFP, LEED ® 2.0 A.P.

Ms. Parsons is a principal at Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. She has been involved in the planning and design of educational projects since she joined the firm's Minneapolis office in 1989. She has been active in a wide range of projects from high schools to elementary schools, from pre-referendum planning through construction. Her expertise and experience is in assisting schools and districts in their facility planning and community engagement.

Donald Pender, AIA, REFP, LEED AP BD+C

Don began his career in architecture over 30 years ago. Licensed to practice architecture in California and Texas, he is a Principal at LPA, a 250 person integrated design firm Headquartered in Irvine, California. He specializes in design and planning of K-12 Educational facilities.

Don completed a graduate certificate in Educational Facility Planning from the San Diego State University Distance Learning program. He holds a Masters Degree in Architecture and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

His educational facility planning and design experience includes numerous school districts in California ranging from large urban districts to smaller suburban Districts, and from leading Master Planning processes to the design of new and renovated educational facilities with a focus on high performance, sustainable learning environments.

Sue Robertson, CEFP

Ms. Robertson integrates experience in the fields of education and design into her work as an educational planner. She has a Bachelor's degree in elementary education and has worked as an educator from elementary through university levels. Additionally, she holds a Master's degree from Florida State University in Interior Design and experience in space planning for educational facilities as well as commercial office buildings. In 2004, Ms. Robertson co-authored CEFPI's cornerstone publication, Creating Connection: The CEFPI Guide for Educational Facility Planning.

Susan Rundle

Ms. Rundle is President of Performance Concepts International, Director of the Connecticut Learning Style Center for Business and Education, and Director of Adult Learning and Corporate Training for St. John's University, Center for the Study of Learning and Teaching Styles. Susan specializes in the implementation and application of learning and productivity styles leading to increased academic achievement and improved performance in educational and workplace settings.

Irene Nigaglioni, AIA, CEFP

Ms. Nigaglioni is a partner with PBK Architects, Inc. In her current position, she is directly responsible for servicing every aspect of a client's needs and is responsible for communication and coordination between Owner's representatives and the entire A&E team. During her more than 12-year tenure with PBK, she has been involved entirely in the design and construction of educational facilities. Irene Nigaglioni's experience includes facilities assessments, master planning, programming, schematic and design development, construction documents and construction administration. An active member of the Council, Irene Nigaglioni serves as president of the Southern region.

Schedule of First Cohort


Course Instructor(s) Delivery
Designing School to Support Diverse Learning Needs Susan Rundle 8/11/14 – 9/21/14
Educational Facility Community Engagement and Master Planning Meg Parsons 9/29/14 – 11/9/14
Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning Sue Robertson 11/17/14 – 1/18/15
The Educational Facility Architectural Design Process Sandy Kate/
Donald Pender
1/26/15 – 3/8/15
Project Management/Project Delivery Irene Nigaglioni 3/16/15 – 4/26/15
Assessment of the School Facility Allen Abend, RA 5/4/15 – 6/14/15

Fees & Registration


While maintaining the rigor and relevance established in the Advanced Certificate Program, CEFPI is able to significantly reduce the cost and efficiently deliver the courses in 10-months. Expert faculty members have streamlined the course work, while offering the same high-quality program so that students will continue to benefit.

Registration is now closed.  The August 2014-June 2015 cohort has reached full capacity, please contact CEFPI if you would like to be notified of future cohorts.


  • $4,900 Member
  • $5,300 Non-member