Posts tagged with "NCARB":

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How can architects build the equitable discipline we deserve?

For those of us in schools of architecture, September is an exciting time animated by the return of students and the arrival of those beginning their journey. Architecture school is a powerful framework for cultivating capacities—a place of exploratory, creative, integrative, and rigorous learning and making. The design studio at the heart of our curriculum powerfully enhances student development as peers work together through face-to-face interaction in a shared space. However, those of us involved in accredited U.S. architecture programs will convene a population of students and faculty skewed toward white, male, and able-bodied people from well-off families. Studies by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) show that our discipline is marked by gaps in participation and advancement by gender and ethnicity, leading to a profession where these disparities are even more pronounced. As David Gissen has pointed out in these pages, we lack data on other key factors, including ability. As exhilarating as starting an architecture degree can be, it also marks one step in a screening process that yields a demographically skewed profession and academic discipline. Where are the missing cohorts, and what factors are turning them away? How are we inadvertently sidelining women, first-generation college students, people of color, disabled people, and other traditionally underrepresented constituencies? How can we enrich architectural education and practice by expanding access and improving the value proposition? I am passionate about architecture’s intellectual and creative capacities, so I believe that a society that relies on architects to translate its needs and desires into built form deserves better. The underrepresented population turned away by the cost and other challenges of architectural education deserves better. Those of us in the field deserve better. What will make the field more accessible—and more compelling—to a diversity of talent? How can we build the discipline we all deserve? One familiar consideration is people, as more diversity in firm leadership and architecture school faculty will counter explicit and implicit bias by expanding the range of visible role models, mentors, and gatekeepers. A second well-recognized component is content: Presenting a diversity of perspectives and models within research and curriculum will better train our profession to serve society. If the theory syllabus, for instance, covers feminism and multiculturalism only in week 13—after students have chosen their paper topic and checked out to charrette for final reviews—the ways that women, people of color, disabled people, and queers have interpreted and shaped our built world will seem like an afterthought to the achievements and preoccupations of the propertied white men who historically have been recognized as architects. People and content are priority areas for any good diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. Pipeline and mentoring programs starting with pre-college and continuing through faculty and firm promotion are essential, as are strategies for expanding what counts as core knowledge. Our ability to make substantive change is limited, though, if we don’t also tackle the ways we structure our degree programs and practices. By making high demands in money and time, the formats of education and practice distort the demographics of our field. Consider licensure: NCARB reports that the average time it takes from commencing architectural studies to obtaining licensure is more than 12 years. This is a very long probationary period marked by continuing education, tracking, exams, and diminished earnings. Given that the rigors of licensure may outweigh the rewards, people with fewer resources often pursue other career paths. Nearly half of those pre-licensure years are typically consumed by education. Whether you enter the field through an undergraduate professional degree or through a liberal arts or science degree followed by graduate study, architectural education requires a lot of academic credits. For many students, this also translates into a high debt burden. Many of those credits consist of design studios that meet for three to four hours per credit—rather than the typical one-hour-per-credit standard—while also demanding another three or four times as many hours in evening and weekend work. This curricular burden multiplies with each course or studio. Architecture school culture expects intensive effort disproportionate to the credit achieved. Studio is one of the glories of architectural education, increasingly emulated in other fields from engineering to business. But who can afford to dedicate this much time to schoolwork? Probably not a parent, a caregiver, a student-athlete, a first-generation college student working a job to offset costs, or a person with a disability that magnifies the endurance test of long studio nights and charrettes. This dynamic carries forward into practice. The habit of undercompensated overwork, instilled in studio, primes students for exploitation in the workplace along lines described by the Architecture Lobby. Studies by the American Institute of Architects Equity by Design committee suggest that the heavy time demands placed on many junior and midlevel associates push women out or take them off the top promotion track, because those years coincide with the period when many are starting families. To address these issues, NCARB and other organizations are reducing time-to-licensure by changing the Architecture Experience Program and launching Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure degree options. Faculty should extend this work deeper into the format and culture of architectural education, reviewing our assumptions about learning so that we attract and foster a broader range of talent. In doing so, we can accelerate progress toward building the discipline we deserve. To test these ideas, my colleagues and I at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning are embarking on a human-centered redesign of architectural education. Working in close contact with interaction and experience designers has shown me the value of human-centered design as a way to see interactions from varied user perspectives, and to redesign processes to promote success. By mobilizing this approach in architectural education, we hope to understand how our current students and those missing cohorts perceive and experience both our degree programs and the larger profession. Identifying the factors that turn people away will help us test ways to bring a wider range of people into the intellectual and professional world we cherish. One tool for building the discipline we deserve is pursuing academic innovation by piloting new approaches to teaching and learning, with the goal of improving the value proposition of architectural education. In many fields, institutions are combining online platforms with new business models to offer learning in a wider range of formats beyond the standard multiyear, full-time residency model. Some schools offer courses in self-paced online modes or create microcredentials that allow learners to gain competency. This lets them try out a new field through part-time study, which is compatible with work and other obligations. Architecture schools already deploying academic innovation or testing alternative formats range from IE University and Academy of Art University to the London School of Architecture and Build Academy. Our focus at Taubman is on something we’re calling equity innovation: academic innovation that promotes equitable access to learning and professional opportunity. This spring we launched an Equity Innovation initiative aimed at the human-centered redesign of architecture school. By experimenting with a broader range of ways for students to learn, we believe we can meet the needs and priorities of a more diverse community of future architects. As a first step, we have convened a task force and launched a multiyear competitive incentive funding program to elicit, develop, pilot, and deploy new approaches. Drawing on research by NCARB, ACSA, Equity by Design, the J. Max Bond Center, and other sources, we aim to understand the dynamics of selection and attrition shaping our student population. What are the points at which prospective architects exit the field? What curricular structures and experiences promote success equitably? Does the portfolio requirement unduly weed out promising candidates from impoverished urban school districts? Can more inclusive review practices promote gender equity? Can we lower the cost of education by complementing the high-contact model of the atelier studio with other platforms for design learning? What can we draw from the achievements of historically black colleges and universities, other minority-serving institutions, and past initiatives such as the one described by Sharon Egretta Sutton in When Ivory Towers Were Black? By prototyping—and ultimately deploying—equity innovations across and beyond the curriculum, we aim to remake our field. This work presents challenges, of course. Many faculty, alumni, and students are attached to our current ways of teaching—they worked for us, after all—and are loathe to tinker with cherished institutions like the desk crit, the all-nighter, and the marathon review. Others may fear a loss of status and cultural capital if the field draws less on the canons of Western philosophy and elicits theoretical knowledge from a more diverse range of sources. Finally, not everyone wants to let go of cultural capital built on selectivity and exclusion. I hope that by advancing this conversation within architectural education we can solidify the core strengths of our field, disentangle them from needlessly exclusionary mechanisms, and find common ground in enlisting a broader range of talent to design our world. Building the discipline we deserve is no small task, so we will partner with professional organizations and other schools to promote architectural excellence on more accessible terms. Join us in creating greater opportunities for all.
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NCARB updates its ‘Model Rules of Conduct’ for practicing and teaching architecture

It’s no secret that architecture has long-been thought of as a profession in which suffering is integral to the work itself. From unreasonable work hours to gender bias and poor pay, these deep-seated issues in the industry have gained more traction as of late with the fresh light shone on sexual harassment in the workplace. This is not a new issue in architecture, but it has recently caused one group to think strategically about how to regulate behavior with legislative policy. In an annual meeting last week in Detroit, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) approved an updated version of their “Model Rules of Conduct," proposing new ethical standards for the practice and teaching of architecture. The rulebook is expected to serve as a starting point for U.S. licensing boards to navigate the complex world of workplace culture in 2018. NCARB says it began looking closely into the topic three years ago when then-president Dennis S. Ward, FAIA, NCARB, set up an Ethics Task Force to investigate the ethical obligations between architects, NCARB, licensing boards, and collaborators from other professions. Their main concern was uncovering and setting up boundaries for the harassment issues facing the industry. The new Rules of Conduct document also outlines the obligation to report unethical behavior as well as the key role supervisors of NCARB’s Architectural Experience Program, a program required by most U.S. jurisdictions, have in objectively training future-licensed architects. While these new rules are not a singular solution to tackling the discrimination and harassment problems happening within architecture, this is welcome news for an industry that is rooted in relationships. These guiding principles, which are thoroughly listed on page 7 of the unedited, updated document, help establish a baseline set of standards by which the profession can take a much-needed step towards a more equitable future. The final, edited version of the “Model Rules of Conduct” will be online in the coming weeks, according to NCARB. You can view the current unedited document, which highlights the new language in red, here.
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New NCARB report reveals diversity issues on the path to licensure

The architecture industry has faced difficulties recently with the issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion with the rise of the #MeToo movement and harassment allegations, including those against Richard Meier. It seems only timely that the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) released their latest report on diversity in architecture, revealing that attrition along the path to licensure remains significantly higher for non-white individuals. The 2018 NCARB by the Numbers study reported that diversity among licensure candidates and new architects continues to improve over the years, even though the industry traditionally skews white and male. But the data also revealed that improvement in diversity happens mainly in the early career stages. Of non-white candidates who started their NCARB Record in 2008, only 33 percent had completed the requirements for licensure by 2017—15 percent less than their white counterparts. In general, non-white candidates are also 25 percent more likely to not get their license than their white peers, according to the report. The report also noted that while women still remain underrepresented in the industry, gender equity is gradually on the rise. The percentage of all Certificate holders who are women rose to 20 percent, a positive trend that is on its third successive year. Although the report data suggests a shift towards gender and racial equality, progress is slow, and for many in the industry, there still needs a lot more to be done. In light of the #MeToo movement, which has given women a platform to speak up against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, equity has become an increasingly vital subject of discussion. As the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 kicks off, industry professionals are taking the opportunity to raise awareness about these issues. Planned events include a flash mob, workshops on #MeToo, and a resolution requiring ethical and equitable workplaces. The full 2018 NCARB by the Numbers will be released in July.
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NCARB responds to concerns about licensing

Over the past several years, there has been an uptick in political activity addressing the value of regulation. It is important to distinguish protective regulations for professions such as architecture from efforts focused on “occupational” regulation, aimed at improving job opportunities for returning veterans, blue-collar workers, and underemployed individuals. Without this distinction, legislative overreach could unintentionally remove important protections to the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

This is why the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) supports the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) “Where We Stand” statement on professional licensure and the important role architecture licensing boards play in ensuring a safe built environment. In fact, NCARB model laws and programs, along with its NCARB Certificate, address many of the core issues such as mobility and inter-state consistency that are inviting criticism of the entire licensure and regulatory spectrum.

It’s important that architects understand how their own regulatory framework functions. NCARB serves as a federation of the country’s 54 jurisdictional boards that license and regulate architecture. These boards contribute several hundred volunteers who regularly develop examination questions, monitor the relevance of national models for education and experience requirements, and develop alternatives to licensure for those taking untraditional paths. The ability to modernize architectural licensure while retaining essential rigor has assured that reasonable regulation equates to public protection.

With mobility and portability a key focal point of current regulatory scrutiny, it is noteworthy that NCARB was created by state licensing board architects who sought a more standardized process along with reciprocity across state boundaries. Today, there are more reciprocal architect licenses issued in the U.S. than resident licenses. Yet despite this proven process, lawmakers continue to consider overreaching bills with negative impact on architecture boards’ ability to protect the public. Most recently, NCARB funded AIA South Dakota to assure that any revamp to regulation would provide an opt out for professions with established paths to reciprocity (including architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and land surveying) from a “temporary licensing compact” proposal.

Modernizing the Path to Licensure

Similar to medicine and law, architecture is one of roughly 60 professions that is regulated in all states and territories. Each of the 54 boards is legally responsible for issuing licenses and regulating practice within its borders, utilizing NCARB models at their discretion. Each of these jurisdictions, in varying formats, has determined that three essential steps to architectural licensure are required: meet specific requirements for architectural education, earn real-world experience through the Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™), and pass the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).

In a continued effort to eliminate unnecessary hurdles for candidates, NCARB membership, through the state boards, has updated and streamlined these programs—without sacrificing the rigor needed to protect the public. Recent changes include: removing the experience program’s elective hours from reporting requirements and allowing an alternative work portfolio option for experienced designers; aligning the licensing exam to the “phases of practice,” eliminating vignette software and introducing case studies; and streamlining alternative paths for those with diverse educational backgrounds. These changes have also reduced the average fees for licensure candidates and NCARB Certificate applicants.

Together, the 54 NCARB Member Boards and over 300 architect volunteers function to ensure architects have the skills and knowledge needed to create safe spaces, striking the right balance between reasonable regulation and protecting the public.

Michael J. Armstrong is the CEO of NCARB, a nonprofit that develops and administers national programs for utilization by the 54 jurisdictions regulating licensure candidates and architects.

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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.
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NCARB rebranding says “interning” is now an “experience”

By June this year, the Intern Development Program (IDP), run by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), will become known as Architectural Experience Program (AXP). The program intended to aid architects-in-training with their first steps into the profession was keen to ditch the term "intern." Hailed as a milestone, the decision was taken by the NCARB Board of Directors after more than a year's worth of investigations carried out by NCARB committees. Eager to conduct a thorough methodology to proceedings, NCARB also relied on responses from state licensing boards, industry leaders, and emerging professionals. In the past year the council has been making a number of changes with a view toward making the process of becoming an architect easier. In June last year the licensing process for foreign professionals was simplified as well as making full IDP credit available to be given to those who cast their licensure aside. In August, an Integrated Path Initiative, encouraged students to complete their IDP requirements and begin taking the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) all before graduation day. By September, 13 major schools had adopted this strategy which gave students much more flexibility.

“Renaming the IDP is another step in realigning our programs to better reflect current practice and terminology,” NCARB President Dennis Ward said in a statement. "For example, one firm may refer to a non-licensed employee as a ‘senior designer’ while another uses the title ‘project manager.’ Yet, neither is likely to introduce that individual to clients as an ‘intern.”

The change also comes off the back of advice from the council's Future Title Task Force with NCARB announcing that the new title will come into force on June 29, 2016. Due to each state having its own licensing requirements, the program's new title will also include the caveat “formerly known as the Intern Development Program, or IDP” to cater for any laws that refer to the programs former name. And while NCARB may be eager to encourage the redaction of the term "intern," state licensing boards will still have the authority to prescribe its own terminology for unlicensed professionals. In a press release, NCARB reported that in the following months they will be working with "state licensing boards and the architectural community to implement these changes."
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University of Kansas Joins 13 others in new NCARB program to fast-track student licensure

The University of Kansas in Lawrence has been added to the list of 13 other accredited architecture schools to partake in the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB) inaugural Integrated Path Initiative. The initiative is meant to streamline the licensure process of aspiring architects by integrating the Internship Development Program (IDP) and the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) into B.Arch and M.Arch programs. The University of Kansas is the latest program to be added, after a two year process of discussions and proposals between NCARB and dozens of architecture schools. Schools were chosen to participate by the Licensure Task Force (LTF), a special committee formed NCARB to reexamine the licensure process at all levels. The initiative will be overseen by NCARB’s new Integrated Path Evaluation Committee (IPEC). The IPEC will help facilitate the integration of the programs as well as communication between the participating schools through a series of online conferences. Each school in the program will implement the initiative at varying times over the next year coinciding with their individual academic schedules. The initial schools announced at the end of August included:
  • 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
“Our mission is to provide our graduates with the educational foundation for exemplary professional practice and to prepare them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers who will serve their communities. This initiative will galvanize our partnership with the profession to help our students excel in their education and profession.” Remarked Paula Sanguinetti, Ph.D, Chair of the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Kansas.
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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.  
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NCARB rolls out new program that could allow architecture students to get ahead in their licensure process

As thousands of architecture students prepare to head back to school, August marks yet another step toward an easier path to licensure for aspiring architects. NCARB recently accepted proposals from over a dozen accredited architecture schools implementing a more "integrated path to licensure within academic programs accredited by the NAAB." The so-called Integrated Path Initiative encourages NAAB-accredited programs to suggests approaches that could potentially result in completing Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements and begin taking the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) all before graduation day. Passing all ARE divisions before graduation is not required. The proposals, which were received back in June, were reviewed by the NCARB Licensure Task Force (LTF), composed of interns/recently licensed architects, state licensing board members and executives, academic deans and instructors, and non-architect public members as well as individuals representing the AIA, the AIAS, the ACSA, and the NAAB. Each school will receive feedback from the NCARB on "how their proposal is or could become acceptable before releasing the names of the accepted programs." NCARB also notes that all programs that submitted proposals will be coached towards the next steps including modifications necessary to move forward."With concerns about keeping the pipeline flush with new architects replacing the retiring generation, this initiative assures we are responding to interested students and maintaining our standards," said NCARB president Dennis Ward.
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NCARB makes changes to the licensure process for 2015

Architectural professionals who set their path to licensure aside can soon receive full credit for relevant experiences “that identifies proficiency in the IDP experience categories.” This is one of several changes the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is making to the licensure process. Currently, licensure applicants can only earn full credit for experiences reported within 8 months and half a credit for experiences gained up to 5 years prior. “The facilitation of licensure is a primary goal for NCARB," said NCARB president Dale McKinney. “This proposal is one of many that redefines the path to licensure without sacrificing the value that we place on experience, education and examination.” An estimated 12,000 professionals with more than five year of experience will benefit from this program, with 80 percent of them expressing their interest in the program. For foreign architects seeking to obtain an NCARB certificate, their program has been simplified as well. Foreign licensees are now required to provide documentation stating the completion of the IDP experience requirements and also completing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to be NCARB certified. This alternative replaces the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program’s current requirements, which entails a committee dossier review and seven years of credentialed practice in a foreign country. An NCARB certification, McKinney stated, will allow for more job opportunities in the United States for foreign architects and it also offers free online continuing education classes. “We wanted to remove some of the unnecessary financial and administrative impediments for this group by refocusing on the nationally accepted standards for licensure,” McKinney said. As for the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program, a proposal for a new alternative is not set until next year according to NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong. Board members fell one vote short out of the 28 needed to implement a simplified alternative that proposes twice the IDP requirements for work experience for individuals with a pre-professional architectural degree, five times the IDP requirements for those anything less than a pre-professional degree, and also a required five-years of post-licensure practice for all licensees without accredited education.
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Minneapolis college wants to accredit architecture students in just five years

Minneapolis architect John Dwyer is the latest on a growing list of educators hoping to streamline the path from architecture student to practicing designer—an odyssey of classes, vocational training, and rigorous licensing requirements that can top the time it takes to become a medical specialist. As head of the architecture department at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Dwyer is offering a program designed to qualify architects in five years. The Bachelor of Architecture program is not yet accredited, but already has 55 enrolled students, according to a spokeswoman for Dwyer. (Dunwoody itself is accredited, but the program is a candidate expecting approval for degrees starting 2019.) Dunwoody also offers technical training and associate degrees, including a welding program in Winsted, Minnesota. Their architecture program prioritizes “hands-on, real-world experience” and mentorships with working designers. Students pursue an Associate in Applied Science Degree in the first two years, earning a Bachelor's three years later. The move to fast track architectural education and practice follows similar efforts at larger institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Last year the College of Design at the University of Minnesota announced a new, one-year MS-RP program that aims to help B.Arch or M.Arch graduates achieve licensure within six months of graduation. They cited a study from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) showing the average time from graduation to completion of the mandatory Intern Development Program (IDP) is 6.4 years, plus another 2 years to complete the exams and actually receive a license to practice.
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Billings Index Goes Positive & Architects Licensed At Youngest Age in a Decade

And there it is, after months in negative territory the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) jumped into positive territory in May with a score 52.6—that’s up from 49.6 in April. Any score over 50 signals an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry also jumped from 59.1 to 63.2. Rounding out the positive news is the AIA’s new design contracts indicator, which posted a 52.5. Nice job by all. By region, the strongest gains were in the South (58.1) and the Midwest (51.3). The Northeast (47.6) and West (46.9) had a rougher month. And by sector, the breakouts were multi-family residential (58.2), commercial/industrial (53.6), and mixed practice (50.4). Institutional was one the other side of the ledger with a 47.3. “Volatility continues to be the watchword in the design and construction markets, with firms in some regions of the country, and serving some sectors of the industry, reporting strong growth, while others are indicating continued weakness,” AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in a statement. “However, overall, it appears that activity has recovered from the winter slump, and design professions should see more positive than negative numbers in the coming months.” In other data news, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) released a statistical report this week that found the "median age of people at initial licensure is the lowest in 10 years." Essentially, architects are getting licensed earlier in life—the median age for licensure is currently 34. The board also found "an increase since 2011 in the number of women applying for NCARB Records. The percentage of women applying continues to hold around 40 percent—a marked increase from 10 percent in the early 1990s. unnamed Applications by Gender