The 2017 Licensing Advisors Summit was held July 27-29th. I traveled to Chicago representing Eskew+Dumez+Ripple joining over 250 licensing advisor professionals to soak in NCARB's latest and greatest. Appropriately the summit was titled 2017 Licensing Advisors Summit: Breaking Down Barriers in Architecture. The event was peppered with presentations on diversity and equity in architecture including two keynote lectures; one by Rosa Sheng, Equity by Design founder, and the other by Oswaldo Ortega, President of the Illinois Chapter of NOMA.
This being my first summit, I attended the intro session Thursday afternoon. This session touted the basics of ARE 5.0 and AXP with a heavy lean on changes from the previous ARE 4.0 and IDP.
Friday and Saturday were filled with breakout, best practice, and networking sessions. Attendees could choose three of six breakout sessions for the weekend. I attended Opening Doors: Empowering Yourself and Others, Inspiring Candidates to Complete the ARE, and The Right Fit: Job Searching and Recruiting. Check out my takeaways from each below. And, of course, what kind of architecture-based trip to Chicago would be complete without visiting Crown Hall?
Program Update Takeaways:
ARE 4.0 to 5.0. Making the Switch? Who doesn't love a good deadline? The June 30, 2018 deadline for 4.0 is quickly approaching. Candidates looking to finish out their exams in 4.0 or those pursuing the combo method will have to complete all their 4.0 tests by the June 30th date. Combo candidates will want to prioritize Construction Documents & Services (CDs) and Programming, Planning, and Practice (PPP). You can see how completed tests swap over using this handy NCARB 5.0 Transition Calculator. Biggest recommendation for those considering the transition: Take the 5.0 Demo exam. It's meant to familiarize candidates with the 5.0 test format. You can access the exam in your NCARB record under "Exam Resources"
- Preliminary Pass Rates. NCARB revealed preliminary pass rates for 5.0 which have since been published on their website HERE.
- Score Report Feedback. Along with 5.0 comes a new score report feedback chart. If a candidate receives a failing score, the report will include descriptive feedback to help identify areas requiring more study. Differences between the charts can be seen below. NCARB has published a detailed blog article on reading the new score reports HERE.
Breakout Session Takeaways:
- Opening Doors: Empowering Yourself & Others. Presented by Dr. Susan Kliman. Dr. Kliman's presentation heavily underscored the concepts from Equity by Design. She discussed the lack of diversity within the profession, how it's been a topic of conversation since the 1980's, and the incremental changes we've seen since then. Dr. Kliman praised the increase of recognizable women in the profession; Jeanne Gang, Zaha Hadid, Billie Tsien. She notes, however, that there's still a very apparent gap visible in 2016 NCARB By the Numbers.
- Inspiring Candidates to Complete the ARE. This session was a panel discussion including two representatives from the AIA and a student actively testing. Questions included:
- Resources for study? AIA chapter staff and study groups, NCARB 5.0 handbook including the listed resources at the end of each test division.
- Techniques for helping a discouraged candidate? Locating/Providing structured study opportunities, Advertising lessons learned from recently licensed professionals, and matching the candidate with a partner/confidant going through the same process.
- The Right Fit: Job Searching & Recruiting. Another panel discussion represented by professionals from architectural firms and AIA state chapters. Topics included:
- The importance of yearly reviews, a licensure program, and a champion for that program
- The concept of subtle cues firms can send to prospective employees to show that they're approachable; advertising the firm's culture, providing contact information for "people in charge," and outreach oppprtunities
- Lastly, the panel encouraged prospective hires to ask about a firm's AXP program in the interview. Emphasis on a licensure program shows opportunity for professional growth.