LTU, UD-Mercy Named To Pilot Project For Faster Architecture Licensing

SOUTHFIELD — The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards has named Lawrence Technological University, the University of Detroit Mercy and 11 other highly rated architecture programs to participate in its Integrated Path Initiative for licensure, a pilot project designed to give students more flexibility in their pursuit of licensure as architects.

The universities say the initiative will result in a more structured experience for students that will provide the opportunity to complete the requirements for architecture licensure at the time of graduation.

LTU’s Department of Architecture in the College of Architecture and Design, the UDM School of Architecture, and the other participating architecture programs, have been asked to propose a pre-graduation integration of education and experience requirements so that students will be prepared to complete the requirements for the intern development program and take each of the six divisions of the new Architect Registration Examination 5.0 prior to graduation. In Michigan and many other states, enabling legislation will also be needed to change existing state law.

It has taken NCARB’s Licensure Task Force two years to develop an integrated path framework that promotes individual academic program flexibility while addressing all regulatory requirements for architectural licensure.

“The UDM School of Architecture is proud to be in this select group of schools,” said UDM School of Architecture Dean and Professor Will Wittig AIA. The School’s five-year accredited masters of architecture program has a longstanding tradition of integration with the profession, including one of the oldest co-op programs in the country. Building on that history, this new integrated path, will make it possible for a student to elect the six-year option leading towards the completion of all three elements for licensure and provide a valuable opportunity for those students who are highly motivated to attain licensure early in their career.”

At LTU, “the Integrated Path Initiative to architectural licensure aligns perfectly with Lawrence Technological University’s longstanding tradition of teaching theory and practice,” said LTU associate professor James Stevens, interim chair of LTU’s Department of Architecture. “It will allow the Department of Architecture to better coordinate and support our students’ academic and professional pursuits.”

Interim associate dean Scott Shall noted that the new Integrated Path will be “an opportunity and a challenge to build a more robust dialogue between our academic ambitions and professional pursuits.”

Associate professor Amy Deines, interim dean of LTU’s College of Architecture and Design, said the Integrated Path Initiative will help LTU focus more on the critical relationship between education and related experiences with professional licensure. She added that LTU’s emphasis on architecture students becoming involved in community projects should grow even stronger.

“The return on investment from this initiative will greatly benefit our region, particularly as it helps us address the complex issues that face American cities, as in the case of Detroit, which is so important to the College of Architecture and Design,” Deines said.

NCARB has formed a new Integrated Path Evaluation Committee (IPEC) to monitor the initiative. IPEC will “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.”

Besides LTU and UD-Mercy, the other architecture programs in the pilot program are Boston Architectural College, Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., Drexel University in Philadelphia, New School of Architecture and Design, North Carolina State University, Portland State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Cincinnati, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, University of Southern California, and Woodbury University.

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