NCARB Awards Grants to Pratt Institute and the University of New Mexico

Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has awarded NCARB Grants for the Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy to Pratt Institute and the University of New Mexico. The schools will receive $5,000 each as seed money to turn their proposals into innovative programs that bring together architectural practice and education.

“We received many excellent proposals,” said former president of NCARB and chair of the Practice Education Committee, H. Carleton Godsey, FAIA. “The interaction of non-faculty practicing architects and students was evident in the successful proposals, and most clearly met the goals of the grant program.”

The second annual NCARB Grant builds upon the NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy, now in its seventh year. As a separate funding venture, each academic year the Council awards up to a total of $10,000 through one, two, or three grants to National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited program(s) to support the creation and implementation of new ideas and methods of integrating practice and education. The grant was created to support and encourage concepts that may be more risk-taking than a school can initially afford on its own.

Pratt Institute was awarded a grant of $5,000 for their proposal to integrate coursework across various disciplines of study with a specific focus on the fourth semester of the Masters in Architecture program. Their proposal focused on a semester that links the Comprehensive Architectural Studio with a corresponding technical course, Integrated Building Systems. The grant proposal sought funding to further develop the cross-disciplinary semester by developing a concurrent history/theory course. The new course will bring students into firms to examine and
prepare case studies that document the ways in which theory is integrated into practice, design, and construction. The course will use a virtual format to link research with actual projects as they enter into the construction phase in locations around the world.

The University of New Mexico was awarded a grant of $5,000 to provide financial impetus to develop a series of professional-level courses for advanced students, interns, and practicing professionals. The courses reconsider the role of the practitioner-educator and address the gap between practice and the academy, strengthen the continuum of the architectural education process, and transform the training of interns into the education of interns. These courses cover topic areas generally considered to be the most critical in the gap between the academy and practice such as the architectural impact of building codes and standards, construction administration, construction costs,specifications, product selection, contract negotiation, and liability. Because the courses will be taught by local experts, they are intended to provide the richness and immediacy that is often difficult to create in educational environments.

This year, members of the NCARB’s Practice Education Committee reviewed 16 proposals from 15 different schools. Each proposal included an application form, a narrative no longer than five pages, a supporting letter of commitment, an itemized budget, and a letter from the dean authorizing the project. Schools applying for the NCARB Grant were encouraged to:

  • Explore different venues or innovative curricular methods/programs to increase the practice/education link or
  • Support efforts that, for a variety of reasons, have not materialized into for-credit curricular activities and, therefore, have not been submitted to the NCARB Prize program.

Courses and initiatives that result from the NCARB Grant program as well as other for-credit courses that represent unique efforts to integrate practice and education initiatives may be eligible for the NCARB Prize program. Architecture schools with NAAB-accredited programs are invited to submit established projects, completed or in progress by the end of the fall 2007 term, that exemplify the merging of practice with education. Six cash awards, totaling more than $60,000, will be awarded next spring.

For more information about the NCARB Grant program and the NCARB Prize program, visit the NCARB Prize section of the web site. NCARB Prize submissions for the 2007-2008 academic year are due on or before 5:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 5, 2008. Submissions for next year’s NCARB Grant are due on or before 5:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 14, 2008.

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