If you’re lucky, you could live in a state that wants your school to be responsible for both the education and the training of architects!
Expect cautious optimism over the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) endorsement of a path for students to earn an architectural license and a professional degree together. The decision last week sets in motion a process to get the first students underway. The idea is easy to get behind, but for these plans to succeed, state licensing boards and participating schools will need to collaborate. A change to a licensing regulation may be necessary, but alone it is not sufficient. Licensure upon graduation is not a reduction in requirements. In fact it will require substantial commitments from schools and the profession.
From interested schools it starts with a commitment to design a curriculum that adds professional competency—attested to by the license—as one of its stated outcomes. This drastic expansion in scope should not be underestimated. It will take 10 years for this path to come to maturity, and schools and the profession will have to build and sustain it together.
The path to licensure is greatly streamlined when students satisfy educational and licensing requirements at the same time. So from the profession there must be a commitment to employ students regularly. This is not an infusion of free labor, but rather a compact between firms and schools to have ongoing conversations about the experiences that students will get while working. Students who choose this path must be confident that employment opportunities early in school will be in supply and stay in supply.
During the contraction of the profession in 2008 and the years after, architecture programs faced real difficulties matching students and employers. Students looking for a job will have to be savvy about finding the right match. Firms taking students will have to adjust, as well. Interns need IDP experience across a number of work areas, and architecture schools typically define in advance the educational outcomes that work in a professional office will occasion. In other words, what happens in the office will have to be purposely educational.
A clear path to being an architect starting after high school is a potential game changer, but only with a lot of coordination, transparency, and frank assessments of the costs and benefits will it succeed. Start by visiting http://www.ncarb.org/Getting-an-Initial-License/Registration-Board-Requirements.aspx to check your state’s requirements for registration. What degree is required? When can someone start taking the ARE? Are additional requirements in place?
If you’re lucky, you, too, could live in a state that wants your school to be responsible for both the education and the training of architects.
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a nonprofit membership organization, founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. Our members are over 250 schools, including all accredited programs in the USA and Canada, schools seeking accreditation, and non-accredited and international programs--representing over 40,000 architecture faculty and students.