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#BACbuzz

The latest news and events happening at the Boston Architectural College

  • BAC Celebrates Newest IPAL Graduates

    By deancascieri
    Sep 15, '20 9:20 AM EST

    The path to becoming a licensed architect is not for the faint of heart. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), in 2019 the average time to earn a license was 12.7 years, with the average age at licensure being 32.

    Through the Boston Architectural College's IPAL program, our students are able to work towards completing their licensure while simultaneously earning their degree, allowing them to significantly reduce the time it takes to become a licensed architect. Since 2015, there have been 3 graduates from the BAC's IPAL program.

    Shawn Willett (B. Arch ‘20) and Cameron Simko (M. Arch ‘20) are the two newest BAC graduates to complete their licensure requirements by graduation, joining BAC's first IPAL graduate Travis Wiegand from 2019.

    Shawn Willett (B. Arch ‘20)

    Cameron Simko (M. Arch ‘20)

    "Once I graduated, I wanted a clean transition to being an architectural professional. Now I can focus on my growth in other ways - I can explore architectural passions, devote myself fully to complex projects, and network with other professionals all with the respect that comes with the title of architect," shared Simko.

    For Simko, the IPAL program meant he could reach his goals faster and ultimately spend more time in the field as an architect.

    "When the company I work for hired me two years ago they made an investment knowing that I was still working towards my graduate degree. The IPAL program has allowed me to showcase that I was a good investment and prove my worth as an employee. In a matter of months I went from being a designer that was still in school to being a licensed architect with an advanced degree. I have surpassed my colleagues who are taking the more traditional path of getting licensed and as a result have shown my company how valuable I am," Simko shared.

    "This is especially pertinent during COVID and the economic recession that has accompanied it. The hard work that comes with being in the IPAL program has earned me flexibility and trust when working remote and during economic uncertainties."

    Cameron Simko in studio at the BAC

    BAC graduate Shawn Willett began his educational career before the IPAL program became available at the BAC. With already 9 years of experience, Willett decided to take advantage of this new opportunity.

    "The IPAL program was a game changer, mostly because I already had so much experience during my 11 years at the BAC. Although I already had a full-time, engaging job, it let me hit the ground running after graduation," Willett shared.

    Willett offers a word of advice to future architects, "The IPAL program is a logical step if you want to compress the amount of time spent learning, studying, and preparing for licensure. It requires a pretty strong commitment to self-disciplined studying though, because taking the exams (which are extremely difficult) too early and failing can result in a loss of motivation or self-confidence if you aren't ready. Only the most motivated and aspiring students should consider adding it into their lifestyle during the already-demanding BAC curriculum."

    One of those motivated and aspiring students is Andrew Mitchell, who's a current BAC Bachelor of Architecture student prepared to graduate in December 2020 and has already completed NCARB's AXP and ARE requirements for licensure. For Mitchell, the IPAL program is less about just completing licensure requirements and more about taking the fastest route to pursue a passion.

    Andrew Mitchell (B. Arch '20)

    "I fell in love with architecture at the BAC, and licensing took a back seat until my final year. Then, unexpectedly, it was clear I should focus on the AREs during the pandemic. I'm not sure quite how to say it, but somehow the restrictions and requirements went from being a chore or an annoying barrier to overcome, to becoming part of the wild and complex art of architecture and beyond," Mitchell said.

    For Mitchell, the BAC's concurrent education, which requires students to work in the field, is what has prepared him most for passing his exams.

    "I've been with Architectural Design Inc. on Cape Cod for 5 years now and the firm has been a huge support. For example, I was particularly nervous about my first exam, Practice Management, and so at one point the principals sat down with me to go over how "Practice Management" works in our office. It would be difficult to overstate how supportive the firm has been and how essential that has been for the testing process," Mitchell said.

    Student Work: Andrew Mitchell

    Studio Model by Andrew Mitchell

    Mark Rukamathu, Director of Special Projects, IPAL and Architect Licensing Advisor at the BAC, helps students successfully navigate their unique paths to licensure during their time at the BAC.

    "It is amazing to see our students achieve such feats, I cannot congratulate them enough! I know how difficult the whole licensure process is (took me 15 years post-graduation). I'm very happy to assist our students with this so they don't have to go through the long, complicated, and frustrating struggle I did. Our IPAL students are very dedicated and determined individuals. It is my hope that the IPAL initiative will have a long-term positive transforming effect on the profession," Rukamathu shared.

    Additionally, having an architecture license typically equates to higher compensation/salary. IPAL graduates, with their architecture license, can now raise the bar for a recent graduate's earning potential.

    Of all IPAL programs nationwide, there have been a total of 11 successful IPAL graduates, three of which are from the BAC and a fourth joining this December.

    View full entry



  • 2020 Virtual Alumni Awards Ceremony

    By deancascieri
    Sep 8, '20 12:14 PM EST

    Celebrate with us! Please join us in virtually celebrating the outstanding achievements of our 2020 BAC Alumni Award Winners on October 2, 2020 at 7PM- 8:30PM EST. We will be honoring four outstanding BAC Alums who have made incredible contributions to the world of design and our community. ... View full entry



  • BAC student Nizar Abou Ezzeh shares his perspective after devasating explosion hits his hometown

    By deancascieri
    Aug 18, '20 1:49 PM EST

    I am from Lebanon and have lived my whole life there. I came to Boston and started the MLA program at the BAC in August of 2019. I was supposed to visit Lebanon during the summer, but due to all the travel restrictions on leaving and entering the United States because of COVID and a second... View full entry



  • Ahlan: The App Designed to Help Refugees

    By deancascieri
    Jul 28, '20 12:55 PM EST

    What started as a BAC thesis project has now become Ahlan, an app that has been launched in three languages (English, Spanish, and Arabic) across three major cities in Californa, Texas, and Washington and expanding to Germany and Sweden. BAC alumna Rania Qawasma shares, "I created an infographic... View full entry



  • BAC Alumni Enter Bee Breeders Vale de Moses Meditation Cabins Design Competition

    By deancascieri
    Jul 27, '20 11:58 AM EST

    Congratulations to BAC alumna Britt Ambruson (M.Arch '17) and alumnus Phil Reville (M.Arch '17) for being shortlisted in The Vale De Moses Meditation Cabins competition! This competition is the first in a series of competitions based in Portugal and the first in partnership with Vale de Moses... View full entry



  • 5 Ways to Support International Students

    By deancascieri
    Jul 23, '20 12:40 PM EST

    Did you know the number of international students in the United States was at its peak in the 2018-19 academic year with more than one million international students? The total number of international students, 1,095,299, makes up 5.5% of the total US student body.International students are a... View full entry



  • Taking Action to Protect our International Students

    By deancascieri
    Jul 17, '20 11:30 AM EST

    As most of you are aware, the government recently announced it would rescind the July 6, 2020 ICE SEVP guidance that would prohibit F-1 students enrolled in online-only schools during the Fall semester to maintain visa status. We join The Presidents’ Alliance in its ardent support and exuberance... View full entry



  • Turning Architects into Entrepreneurs

    By deancascieri
    Jun 12, '20 9:43 AM EST

    The unique education model at the BAC offers students real life experience not just after they graduate but while they're still in the classroom. One course in particular that equips students for their lifelong careers is Practice Management, a NAAB required course designed to help students become... View full entry



  • Dr. Mahesh Daas, President of The Boston Architectural College, Announces Plans for Fall 2020

    By deancascieri
    Jun 5, '20 12:44 PM EST

    President Mahesh Daas shares an important update regarding BAC's decision for the fall semester and new initiatives going forward. We encourage you to watch his video message here. View full entry



  • Digital Graduation Exhibit

    By deancascieri
    May 28, '20 12:16 PM EST

    In our 130th year, the Boston Architectural College commends a new generation of socially conscious designers with this exhibit! We present the work of the BAC 2020 degree recipients from undergraduate and graduate programs in Architecture, Design Studies, Interior Architecture, and Landscape... View full entry



  • Design for Human Health During COVID-19

    By deancascieri
    Apr 27, '20 4:14 PM EST

    The Masters of Design Studies in Design for Human Health (DHH) program at the Boston Architectural College is uniquely poised to leverage design’s powers to transform the built environment and public health, especially now, at this time of increasing awareness of this connection.  “DHH was... View full entry



  • BSA Calls for AEC Industry to Assist During COVID-19

    By deancascieri
    Mar 27, '20 4:59 PM EST

    Our friends at the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) are calling on all AEC industry workers to collaborate and assist with identifying, evaluating, documenting, and retrofitting buildings and other facilities to accommodate the anticipated surge in acute inpatient care due to COVID-19. We... View full entry



  • Albania to Boston: Journey of an Architect

    By deancascieri
    Mar 18, '20 4:03 PM EST

    After winning the green card lottery, Erion Nikolla (B.Arch '17) migrated from Albania to Boston with nothing but one thing: a clear passion for pursuing architecture. Now, after graduating from the BAC, he is an architect at Wilson Butler Architects and plans to become a project leader.What... View full entry



  • Designing for Change #NETHERLANDSplanBAC

    By deancascieri
    Oct 23, '19 12:50 PM EST

    In order to design for a climate ready future, we must learn lessons from our past. Climate change calls for a new way of thinking, a new way of approaching problems, and a constructive effort to building a collective consciousness around the issues our planet is facing and will continue to face... View full entry



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About this Blog

The #BACbuzz blog will help to inform, educate, and share relevant and noteworthy architectural and design news happening within the Boston Architectural College and around the Boston community.

Authored by:

  • deancascieri

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