If we truly want a diverse community and to provide equitable pathways to the profession, we need to support efforts to broaden the track to licensure.
A topic that is gaining increasing attention within the architecture profession is the ability to apprentice to be eligible to sit for the ARE (licensing exam) rather than going a traditional “NAAB accredited university degree with subsequent interning” route. The idea is not new; currently 15 states allow alternate paths to licensure other than a NAAB accredited degree and NCARB has pathways for architects who are licensed without a NAAB degree to get reciprocity through NCARB certification. These alternate opportunities might involve eight or more years of apprenticing under a licensed architect or a mix of an associate degree and in-office experience. However, this would not be in lieu of NCARB’s AXP experience requirements, rather this pathway would clearly require enhanced AXP.
Nea May Poole, AIA, LEED, AP
A nationally recognized acceptance of this pathway to becoming a licensed architect would open the profession to many who do not have the means to afford a five-year college education or those who succeed with experiential learning over classroom lectures. A five-year architecture degree could cost a student anywhere from $50,000 to $400,000 depending on the university, and that’s if the student was able to live at home! For many would-be architects, that price is a full stop barrier to entry to the profession, and undeniably earning money for four or five years instead of going into debt is
a very positive start to any young career. If we, as a profession, truly want a diverse community and to provide equitable pathways to the profession, we need to support efforts to broaden the track to licensure. My personal professional experience leads me to strongly believe that an intern would learn more about architecture, building science, codes, computers, construction, etc. by working for five years
See NEA MAY POOLE, page 10
THE ZWEIG LETTER OCTOBER 3, 2022, ISSUE 1459
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