Web-based Emerging Professional's Companion Now Available

Washington, DC—The American Institute of Architects (AIA), together with The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), announces the release of the Emerging Professional's Companion (EPC). This new online training resource is designed to expose students, architectural interns, young architects, and more seasoned professionals to current practice models through an array of educational activities.

The EPC was developed in response to an ongoing need in the profession to support emerging professionals on their path from education to licensure. This resource is a complete revision of the AIA Supplementary Education Handbook and can be used by interns to receive up to 225 training units in the Intern Development Program (IDP), which is mandatory for licensure in most states.

In addition, the EPC addresses the varied paths that an intern or licensed architect may consider during his or her career. While the primary users of the EPC are architectural interns, the resource provides material and exercises for use by mentors in architecture firms and by professors at schools of architecture. Each of the 16 chapters begins with a narrative, an introduction to the latest information on that topic. The user can then choose from a series of exercises and case-based scenarios to apply their knowledge in areas such as health, safety, and welfare; design and construction liability; and ethical dilemmas.

"At the heart of this project is a spirit of developing practice competency through a strong mentoring relationship. In using the Companion, students and interns select real projects to study or use reality-based scenarios to apply their knowledge and then to share and discuss their discoveries with a licensed architect," said Helene Dreiling, FAIA, Team Vice President, AIA Community. "Cultivating this method of learning in universities and firms will help to prepare students for their internships and beyond." According to Dreiling, the activities in the EPC vary in level of difficulty so that they might be applicable to students just beginning to learn about practice issues as well as intermediate interns and advanced practitioners. "We wanted to create a tool that would foster the development of a professional along the lifelong learning continuum. I am confident that we have achieved that with the EPC," said Dreiling.

Practitioners and IDP mentors are optimistic that this tool will facilitate a more focused effort from IDP interns and their mentors to stay on track and complete the program. "I anticipate that this will be enormously instructive to interns and a great catalyst for mentoring and dialogue in offices, both large and small," said Shannon Kraus, AIA, an associate in the Dallas office of HKS. "I can see clearly where this resource will find much direct and practical application by interns, project managers, and management leaders involved in education/training for the firm."

The EPC can also be used by educators to address complex practice issues directly with their students. The exercises and scenarios can be used as assignments outside of class or adapted for in-class debates and discussions. "Students can work independently or in teams to complete the work. The EPC is an excellent tool for classroom use," said Laura Lee, FAIA, head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. "It gives educators the framework to build lectures and hands-on learning exercises that will provide students with the tools they need to be successful in various firm settings. We have been waiting for this type of tool, and we finally have it."

The EPC is currently available to all stakeholders. It is free to AIA Associate members and NCARB IDP Council Record holders through the [AIA bookstore] or by visiting www.EPCompanion.org.

For more information about the Emerging Professional's Companion, please contact Cara Battaglini in the AIA's media relations office or Robert Rosenfeld, NCARB's director, council records (202/783-6500).