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Architectural Schools Indicate Interest in NCARB Proposal for Integrated Path to Licensure Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC A proposed framework for an alternative, integrated path to becoming an architect, which could culminate in students earning their architectural license at graduation, has drawn interest from more than 30 institutions that offer accredited architectural degree programs, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) recently announced.

Thirty-eight universities with programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) responded to NCARB’s recent Request for Interest & Information regarding the proposal for a rigorous, alternative path to licensure upon graduation.

The new path to licensure would integrate course work required for an architectural degree with the rigorous internship and examination requirements that aspiring architects must complete. This includes providing students with opportunities to obtain real-world experience through the Intern Development Program (IDP) and passing the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).

“We are gratified that so many schools have shown interest in designing an additional path to licensure that would augment traditional architectural curricula,” says NCARB Licensure Task Force Chair Ron Blitch, FAIA, FACHA, NCARB, and a former NCARB president. “The integrated framework would incorporate all elements of the licensure path, including full IDP compliance and access to the ARE divisions, within a NAAB-accredited degree program.”

Of the schools that responded, 32 (representing 26 percent of institutions with NAAB-accredited degree programs) declared interest in submitting a formal proposal for consideration by NCARB’s Licensure Task Force. The task force will consider the proposals in June. NCARB has also received informal notice from other schools expressing interest in the initiative.

NCARB will release a formal Request for Proposal in January 2015, seeking input from accredited programs on ways to fully integrate the IDP criteria within an accredited curriculum and make it possible for architecture students to begin work on completion of the ARE divisions before graduation.

In May 2014, the NCARB Board of Directors endorsed the task force’s concept of an additional, integrated path that leads to licensure in a U.S. jurisdiction, a framework that would combine academic work, real-world IDP experience and completion of the ARE. Over the next several years, NCARB will also work closely with the registration boards of states and jurisdictions to ensure laws and regulations are in place to grant pre-graduation access to the ARE.

“Because internship and experience opportunities must be in compliance with the requirements of the current program, collaboration among schools, firms, and practitioners will be key,” says NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB.

About the NCARB Licensure Task Force
The NCARB Licensure Task Force, formed in 2013, brings together recently licensed and seasoned practitioners, interns, licensure administrators, and educators to explore a fully integrated path to licensure for architects. The task force is also made up of former and current NCARB Board members, as well as representatives from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).

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