Search results for "National Architectural Accreditation Board"

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Architecture on the Range

South Dakota State University Department of Architecture gains accreditation
The South Dakota State University’s Department of Architecture’s (DoArch) Master of Architecture program has been granted its initial three-year term accreditation. The new program is now one of only two architecture programs in the Dakotas. Located in Brookings, South Dakota, DoArch currently offers a non-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a professional Master of Architecture degree. South Dakota is not particularly known for architecture as there are only around 100 architects in the whole state. Yet the school sees a chance to set itself apart from other schools with a progressive program. The program works closely with the other departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and reaches out to surrounding communities. Drawing on the small practice model of many of the local firms, the school focuses on “an interactive, haptic, and performance-based curriculum rooted in fundamental issues of professional architecture and design practice.” With the initial three-year accreditation, the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) will make its next visit to the school in 2019. At that time, the school will be eligible for either a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation.  
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Parting Ways

Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture will keep accreditation
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has approved the Change of Control application submitted by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. This approval recognizes the school as an independent entity from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, a condition for the school to maintain is accreditation as an institute of higher learning. With the HLC decision, the school will be able to continue its three-year Master of Architecture program. Along with the graduate program, the school offers additional educational programs, including an 8-week non-degree Immersion Program. The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture was first accredited with the HLC in 1987 as part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and first became an accredited architecture school in 1996. The school will now begin the transition to an independent entity by August 2017. The initial application to the HLC was submitted in February 2016. While the initial application was denied, the school worked with the HLC to revise the application, which was resubmitted November 30th, 2016. "This is really a cap on a lot of changes that have already happened. This process started more than two years ago, when it became clear that the school needed to become an interdependently accredited organization. This meant we had to raise money, but it also meant that we had to do a lot of reorganization. That was a lot of what HLC was looking at," Aaron Betsky, dean of the school, told The Architect's Newspaper. "One thing I have been working on with the faculty is figuring out how to do this in such a way that we can be the best experimental architecture school in the country. Now that we have the HLC approval, we can move ahead with our plans." Architecture schools in 19 states, including Wisconsin and Arizona (where the Frank Lloyd Wright School is held), are required to hold accreditations from the HLC as well as the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). In 2010, the HLC updated its bylaws to include a provision which required all institutions of higher learning to be financially independent of any other larger institution that does not have education as its primary mission. The school’s accreditation is valid through this year, making it imperative that it proves its independence from the foundation before it expires. The school’s NAAB accreditation is valid through 2023.
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Honoring Millar

SCI-Arc and Woodbury University both launch new architectural scholarships
The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Los Angeles separately announced new scholarship opportunities for students this week. SCI-Arc’s latest new scholarship program—the third such new initiative launched in the last year by the university—is part of a new partnership with the country of Colombia aimed at benefitting students attending the university's new SCI-Arc Bogota program. SCI-Arc Bogota was launched last year in order to create a pipeline for Colombian and South American students seeking access to SCI-Arc’s undergraduate and graduate architectural programs. In a press release announcing the new scholarship, SCI-Arc Director Hernan Diaz Alonso said, “We are happy to continue expanding SCI-Arc’s relationship with diverse parts of the world,” making reference to the Bogota location as well as the recently-opened SCI-Arc Mexico outpost in Mexico City the school also debuted last year. The new initiative will be helmed by Juan Ricardo Rincon Gaviria, principal at Taller Paralelo Arquitectos in Bogota, a noted international firm. SCI-Arc Bogota’s educational program also includes a double-degree accreditation with the University of the Andes’ masters program and a full annual scholarship grant for Colombian students with the Foundation for the Future of Colombia (COLFUTURO).  COLFUTURO was founded in 1991 by public and private sector leaders in the country to “promote, guide, and finance graduate studies for Colombian professionals” attending international universities. The foundation benefits a selected student who is awarded up to $50,000 over two years in financing. SCI-Arc’s new scholarship aims to match this amount for the selected student. Applications for the foundation’s Loan-Scholarship program are due February 28; the winner of the scholarship will be announced in May 2017. Woodbury University also announced this week that initial contributions to the Norman R. Millar Scholarship Endowment fund had surpassed $30,000. The fund, which will benefit the school’s overall architectural scholarship programs, was started by the university after Millar’s death early last year. Starting in 1999 Millar served as dean of the university’s architecture school and is credited with helping increase its enrollment threefold over the course of his tenure. Millar also focused strongly on increasing diversity at the school and was instrumental in developing the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). IPAL facilitates students’ ability to complete the requirements necessary for architectural licensure concurrently along with their degrees. In a press release announcing the scholarship fund’s endowment, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, interim dean, Woodbury School of Architecture, lauded Millar’s contributions to the university, saying “Norman’s talent and experience as a practitioner and vision as an educator helped thousands of young people achieve success in the field of architecture. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear from a former student, colleague or fellow architect whose career was inspired by Norman’s leadership, and who wishes to honor his legacy by making a contribution to the scholarship endowment established in his memory.” Donations can be made to the Norman R. Millar Scholarship Endowment here.
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Students given more flexibility with architectural programming by NCARB
In what is good news for architecture students across the country, the names of the first 13 accredited architectural programs to be accepted for participation in the the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Integrated Path Initiative has been announced. The scheme aims to give students more flexibility in terms of their architecture courses. The news signals the success of NCARB’s Licensure Task Force's (LTF) two-year plan to allow students to have academic flexibility within the program while still adhering to the requirements needed to gain architectural licensing. The proposal by NCARB was covered earlier in the year by AN. NCARB has formed a new Integrated Path Evaluation Committee (IPEC) to monitor the initiative. IPEC is also expected to continually "coach accepted programs, promote engagement with jurisdictional licensing boards regarding necessary law or rule changes to incorporate integrated path candidates, and oversee the acceptance of future program applicants." These 13 accepted schools comprise a range of accredited B.Arch and M.Arch programs and are split between public and private institutions. The accepted schools are: —Boston Architectural College; Boston, Massachusetts —Clemson University; Clemson, South Carolina —Drexel University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania —Lawrence Technological University; Southfield, Michigan —NewSchool of Architecture and Design; San Diego, California —North Carolina State University; Raleigh, North Carolina —Portland State University; Portland, Oregon —Savannah College of Art and Design; Savannah, Georgia —University of Cincinnati; Cincinnati, Ohio —University of Detroit Mercy; Detroit, Michigan —University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Charlotte, North Carolina —University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California —Woodbury University; Los Angeles, California “Each of these programs has impressed our Licensure Task Force with their creativity, commitment to maintaining their NAAB-accreditation, and desire to provide a conduit for students who choose a rigorous path that will enrich both the academic and experience elements of architectural licensure,” said NCARB President and LTF Members.  

Milstein in the Balance

Having just won final approval from Ithaca’s Planning and Development Board, OMA-designed Milstein Hall, the planned expansion of Cornell’s College of Art, Architecture, and Planning (AAP), has hit another roadblock, along with most other construction projects on campus. Due to university-wide financial constraints, President David Skorton has put all university building projects under review. In this context, a group of professors and alumni have called for Milstein to be shelved, while AAP faculty, students, and alumni are lobbying for its survival. Meanwhile, the school is facing a deadline from the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) to upgrade its facilities.

“We’re not calling it a freeze. Most projects on campus are being evaluated, including Milstein,” said Tommy Bruce, vice-president for university communications. “Projects must meet two criteria. They must be essential to the mission of the university, and they must have all funds aligned.” Deans and department heads have been asked to submit detailed reports demonstrating how each project meets these criteria. Decisions are expected at the beginning of April.

In a January 30 letter to The Cornell Daily Sun, 25 faculty members and alumni questioned the project, given the estimated 27 percent decline in the university’s endowment. “The financial crisis faced by our university renders the extraordinary expense of the chosen design (circa $60 million, before it has even gone to bid) very difficult to justify,” they wrote. “The extravagant expense of Milstein threatens more pressing financial needs for core functions of research and teaching, contributes to a greater financial burden on students and their families from projected tuition increases, and threatens more employee layoffs.” In addition to the cost of the project, the letter questioned its aesthetics and sustainability, as well as its high-profile design team.

On February 11, one of the signatories of the letter introduced a resolution to include Milstein in the university-wide “construction pause.” The resolution was struck down, as the administration already considered the project on hold.

AAP students and faculty, however, defended the necessity for the project’s going forward. Dean Kent Kleinman argued that the project is essential for the school to maintain its accreditation. A spokesperson for NAAB confirmed the dean’s claim. “We have not gotten a satisfactory response from them in regards to their facilities, to date,” said Cassandra Pair, an accreditation manager at NAAB. “This is something we can no longer ignore.”

Though the project appears to meet Bruce’s criteria of being “essential to the mission” of the school, the second measure, having “all funds aligned,” is more complicated. Dean Kleinman, who declined to be interviewed for this article due to the pending decision, estimated the project will cost $52 million, and told The Cornell Chronicle that AAP has raised nearly $30 million for the project and plans to borrow $12 million more, leaving the university to pick up the remaining $10 million (or $18 million, depending on which total cost estimate is used).

OMA is reticent about the situation. “All we can do is explain our intentions,” said Shohei Shigematsu, director of OMA’s New York office. Still, they acknowledge the present climate is difficult for their design. “Every project begins in a particular moment. If we started the project today, the design would turn out differently,” he said. “It’s an issue of bad timing, but the issue is not as black-and-white as some people seem to think.”

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Seat at the Table

UW-Milwaukee elects new urban planning and architecture chairs
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has elected two new leaders for its School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP). Lingqian (Ivy) Hu will serve as chair of the Urban Planning department, with Mo Zell taking over as chair of the architecture department. Zell is currently the associate dean and will be the first woman to chair the department. Hu has served as associate professor at UW-Milwaukee since 2010. Lingqian (Ivy) Hu has written extensively on spatial mismatch both in the United States and China. With a research focus on how transportation policy and planning affects the lives of people in vulnerable communities, Hu’s tenure as chair comes as UW-Milwaukee’s Master of Urban Planning degree program receives accreditation for another seven years. UW-Milwaukee has been offering urban planning courses since 1974, will full accreditation given by the American Planning Association (APA) in 1977. Mo Zell is a member of the leadership team of Woman in Design Milwaukee and a partner at bauenstudio, designers of the Veterans Memorial at Northeastern University and finalists of the 2011 Burnham Prize and the Washington Monument Grounds Ideas Competition. Zell founded the Mobile Design Box for SARUP, connecting community entrepreneurs with UWM designers in a formerly vacant space in Milwaukee’s Concordia neighborhood. The recipient of a $30,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creativity Connects program grant, Zell will assist in connecting a pool of architects, artists and designers in creating commissioned art, with projects constructed in venues across Milwaukee that discuss the city’s socioeconomic diversity and material culture.  Zell has authored books on traditional architectural drawing. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), four out of ten architecture graduates in 2017 were women. The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) reports that women make up 39% of graduate program faculties in urban planning schools.
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Woman Up!

Here are some scholarships and resources for women in architecture
It's no secret that architecture has a diversity problem. Though roughly half of architecture grads are women, women make up only 14 percent of those employed in the architecture and engineering occupations, according to a 2016 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (and those in the field still average salaries that are 20 percent less than their male counterparts). While some things are changing as the industry opens its eyes to the wide variety of professionals in the design industries, it's undeniable that still more needs to be done. In celebration of International Women's Day, we've rounded up a list of resources to help support and connect women in architecture, design, and related fields. Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation Founded in 2002 by famed architect Beverly Willis, this organization seeks to increase awareness of women architects throughout history with projects like the Pioneering Women of American Architecture website, while also fostering the next generation of industry voices through initiatives like the Emerging Leaders Program and the Built By Women event series. National Organization of Minority Architects NOMA works to promote diversity in all aspects of the design professions, through community engagement and professional development, with the goal of minimizing the effects of racism in the field. Check with local chapters for opportunities geared toward women minorities in the design professions, including networking meet-ups and lecture series. ArchiteXX This independent, unaffiliated organization for women in architecture, composed of academics and practitioners, seeks to transform the architecture profession by "bridging the academy and practice." Every month, ArchiteXX sends out a list of resources and opportunities specifically of interest to women in academia and practice. Those interested can sign up through their website. Architects Foundation The Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship, which was named in honor late founder of the firm Payette and founder of the AIA's Women's Leadership Summit, is an annual $10,000 award for a woman entering their third year of undergraduate study or beyond. In addition, each recipient is paired with a senior-level mentor from Payette, to help her grow her professional network. AIA While many local AIA chapters offer their own resources for women, the nationwide, Women's Leadership Summit has grown from a grassroots movement to a national phenomenon as the biannual program prepares to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with the 2019 edition. American Planning Association Foundation The American Planning Association Foundation's Judith McManus Price Scholarship offers awards to women, African American, Hispanic, and Native American students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program approved by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), with plans to work in the public sector and demonstrated financial need. Scholarships range from $2,000 and $5,000, and application forms will be available in early April for 2018 applications. Association for Women in Architecture + Design AWA+D is a group dedicated to promoting the education and careers of women in the fields of architecture and design. They offer a variety of resources, including foundation offering a fellowship program that grants a women with 10-plus years design experience in Southern California the funding to produce a significant work of publishing or research. National Organization of Women in Construction Each year, the professional organization awards some $25,000 in scholarships (ranging from $500 to $2,500) for undergraduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA in construction-related fields. Houzz Scholarship Program The online design community offers twice-yearly student awards, including the Women in Architecture Scholarship. The $2,500 prize is open to female students studying architecture or architectural engineering with the goal of working in the residential sphere. American Association of University Women With roots dating back to 1881, the AAUW offers a variety of programs promoting education and equity for women and girls. The Selected Professions Fellowships offers grants for those pursuing fields where women's participation has historically been low, including architecture and engineering. What are your favorite resources for women in architecture? Spread the word in the comments. And there's still time to have your voice heard in the AIA 2018 Equity in Design Survey. The online survey closes March 16.
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JustDesign.Us

A new initiative targets fair labor practices for architects
The Architecture Lobby, Yale School of Architecture’s Equity in Design, and Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Women in Design have collectively launched a new accreditation program to promote fair labor conditions in architecture firms called JustDesign.Us. The consortium cites the “rise of massive student debt, stagnating wages, and an overabundance of skilled applicants coming out of professional schools” as the impetus for such a service. Operating from an eponymous website, the project seeks to provide a platform for architects and designers to vet the labor practices of potential employers serving as a new industry tool for more transparent employment. 
“The project aims to provide potential employees with a robust tool for gaining a sense of which firms will treat them fairly, with respect, and support their development as architects, while giving certified JustDesign firms an edge in attracting the best possible designers.”
Planning to release its inaugural list in December of this year, the organization will deploy its operation in two phases; first, solicit nominations online from employees themselves, then certify that the nominated firms comply with “best labor practices.” The initial employee nominations will survey issues such as "labor conditions pertaining to flexibility, agency, fair pay, salary transparency, employee diversity, and family-friendly policies." While the website and its associated documents are light on the specific methodologies to be employed in phase two of the process, or indeed who will be evaluating the firms, the ambition of this program is to cultivate a field that is symbiotically beneficial to workers and employers alike. JustDesign.Us is endorsed by a handful of groups, mostly academic in nature, however has not yet recruited professional organizations such as The American Institute of Architects and The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. The nomination process is not meant to be punitive and will only review positive employee questionnaires, celebrating firms that excel in fair treatment of their employees not shaming companies that underperform in this regard. Nominations for the first round of review are due by July 15.
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Prairie House Rules

Frank Lloyd Wright School works towards independence from Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

The Scottsdale, Arizona–based Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture is currently working toward achieving independence from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to maintain its accreditation as an institution of higher learning.

Architecture schools are required to be accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), usually as part of a larger university, and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The HLC is responsible for overseeing overall standards of degree-issuing institutions in 19 states, while NAAB is only concerned with architecture schools. In 2010, the HLC updated its bylaws forcing all institutions of higher learning to be separate from any other larger institution, which does not have education as its primary mission. The Frank Lloyd Wright School is a division of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, meaning the school is not in line with the HLC’s current policies.

In a recent decision by the HLC, the school’s application for “Change of Control, Structure, or Organization,” a requirement for its continued accreditation, was denied. Working closely with the school, the HLC has asked for an updated application by November 30, which will be reviewed at its February board meeting.

“The response from HLC was never a matter of a disagreement with what was previously submitted. In consultation with their staff, we now understand the areas where they would like to see us flesh out our previous submission,” remarked Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation president and CEO Stuart Graff in a statement to the press. Graff and school dean Aaron Betsky have met with the HLC in order to understand the commission’s concerns and recommendations for their upcoming application. Both Betsky and Graff are confident the school is on the path to accreditation as an independent institution.

 

It is important to note that the school has not lost its accreditation, which is good through 2017, but it must prove that it is independent before that accreditation expires. The HLC’s criterion for accreditation dictates that “the governing board of the institution is sufficiently autonomous” and “the institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs.” This separation from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation greatly affects the school’s funding, much of which has come from the Foundation. In 2015 the school successfully raised $2 million dollars in order to become financially independent.

The school has been an accredited institution of higher learning since 1987, and first became accredited as an architecture school in 1996. The school’s NAAB accreditation is good through 2023. The Frank Lloyd Wright School offers a three-year Master of Architecture degree, which students pursue while splitting the year between the school’s Scottsdale, Arizona, and Spring Green, Wisconsin, campuses.

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Going Global

U.S., Australia, and New Zealand reach reciprocal architecture license agreement
U.S. architects will be able to more easily pursue work internationally thanks to a new Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) among the architectural licensing authorities of the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, according to an NCARB News post. NCARB led the movement towards this arrangement, which was signed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB). “In an increasingly global marketplace, this arrangement will benefit architects seeking to expand their careers internationally,” said NCARB President Dennis S. Ward, FAIA. The agreement requires a minimum of 28 U.S. licensing boards to sign the arrangement by December 31, 2016. Over two years of research and negotiation led to the agreement; analysis had indicated that the licensing procedure in the United States parallels those of Australia and New Zealand. A similar agreement currently exists between the United States and Canada. The requirements to earn a license in Australia or New Zealand requires:
  • 6,000 hours (approximately three years) of post-licensure experience in the home country.
  • Validation of licensure in good standing from the home authority.
  • Citizenship or lawful permanent residence in the home country.
  • Licensure in the home country not gained through foreign reciprocity.