NCARB Reaches Out Across the Country

Recently, the NCARB Outreach team connected with nearly 2,000 students and professionals, crisscrossing the country to hold events in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Kansas, Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York.

Valuable Face Time with NCARB

Many hosts and attendees commented about the value of meeting and talking directly with NCARB representatives. “It is very important that students understand the requirements of and opportunities for licensure,” said Randy Seitsinger, AIA, Professor and Head, Oklahoma State University School of Architecture, “having someone from NCARB reinforce the message and encourage students about the importance of licensure helps cement their commitment to this goal.”

Venesa Alicea, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, IDP Coordinator for City College of New York (CCNY) School of Architecture invited NCARB to speak at her school because she wants students to understand this process so they can make educated decisions moving forward. She said “the biggest comment I get when presenting to architecture students, usually in the fourth or fifth year, is ‘why wasn’t I informed of this process earlier?’”

NCARB outreach events offer a comprehensive overview of the licensure process and “provide the opportunity for people to ask questions, learn from discussion, and establish contacts with not only NCARB representatives, but other young professionals on the same path,” said Kenneth N. Baviello, Associate AIA, KG&D Architects & Engineers, who hosted NCARB at a recent AIA Westchester Hudson Valley (WHV) chapter event.

Kimberly Tuttle, IDP state coordinator, Maine, said NCARB’s visit at a recent AIA Maine event “really helped plant into student's minds that IDP is real, it's something you need, [and] it will help with your future.”

First-hand Accounts of the Path to Licensure

Since NCARB’s Programs Outreach team is all licensed architects, they make a point of sharing their own personal paths to licensure when speaking with students and young professionals. These first-hand accounts “help reassure interns they are not going through this process alone,” said Amy Kobe, CAE, Hon. AIA, Executive Director, Ohio Architects Board, who was part of outreach events held at Ohio State and Kent State universities, and with AIA Columbus.

Baviello said, “having the opportunity to have a face-to-face discussion with another young professional in architecture that has been down the exact road you are on is extremely valuable as they can answer just about any question and relate their experience to specific questions you may have.”

Students want to understand how to progress successfully through the Intern Development Program (IDP) or what to expect with the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), so it is “good to hear from current professionals, who have their own stories to share,” said Heidi Reger, Architect, NCARB, Academic Advisor, Department of Architecture at Bowling Green State University.

Wide-ranging Topics and Discussion

Hot topics at the recent outreach events were as diverse as their audiences and as wide-ranging as their locales, reflecting interests and issues that varied based on career stage, jurisdiction, or role. Interns who attended Baviello’s AIA WHV event wanted to know ways to stay on track with reporting IDP experience and how to prepare for the ARE. At Alicea’s CCNY student event, “you could hear the buzz go around the room when the IDP six-month rule and the ARE five-year rolling clock was described. The fact that the students were already concerned with documenting their experience is proof that they are on the right path,” she said.

During the “Conversation with NCARB” event hosted by AIA Detroit, discussion focused on the IDP and ARE. Host Matthew Guinta, Associate AIA, Harley Ellis Devereaux said, “having a more complete view of IDP and ARE policies is imperative to fully understand the process of licensure.”

Bringing the Profession Together

Robert Lopez, RA, Executive Secretary, New York State Boards for Architecture and Landscape Architecture, joined NCARB for events at several schools of architecture in New York. He is a strong proponent of making sure that licensure discussions involve NCARB and the state “given that an intern architect must ‘do the dance’ with both organizations, understand who does what, and know when to reach out to each of us.”

“When they hear the state's requirements in addition to NCARB's, they put two and two together and really begin understanding the process. They know steps to take, are encouraged to find out they can take the ARE right out of school, and know they are armed to complete IDP and ARE in a timely fashion,” said Lopez.

In addition to school-hosted events that focused on a student audience, a number of outreach events were hosted by regional AIA chapters and brought together all levels of the profession. Gary Ferguson, AIA, corporate associate, Parkhill, Smith & Cooper (PSC), hosted NCARB at an AIA Lubbock event and said “this face-to-face outreach introduced interns, architects and supervisors to the [IDP] program requirements, and they all heard the same message at the same time. Participating in the discussion helped to ensure that we all stay on track in terms of the practitioners’ understanding of the interns’ experience areas and approach to satisfying requirements.”

Baviello was happy to see a mix of both interns and practitioners at his NY event, and said, “it’s important for practitioners to be aware of the requirements interns need to meet for the IDP, so that they can ensure they are providing the best work environment in which interns can learn.”

NCARB Outreach On the Road Again

Spring is packed solid with many more outreach events around the country. If you’re interested in having NCARB Outreach come to your school, AIA chapter meeting, or large firm to talk about the licensure or certification process, please contact Martin Smith, Manager, IDP at msmith@ncarb.org.