The Boston Architectural College (BAC) has been accepted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) for participation in the inaugural launch of the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Initiative, validating the College’s longstanding tradition of integrating in-class and experiential learning in architectural education.
As the only school in New England to earn recognition in NCARB’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure, the BAC aims to reconfigure the graduate architecture degree program, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), to be able to offer students the opportunity to qualify for architectural licensure at the time of graduation. The College’s accepted proposal demonstrates the strong alliance that exists between practice and academics; it was crafted by a balanced team composed of two deans, Len Charney, dean of Practice and Karen Nelson, dean of the School of Architecture, along with key staff; Beth Lundell Garver, director of foundation instruction in practice, and Kyle Sturgeon, director of advanced architecture studios and building technology.
NCARB’s Licensure Task Force commended the BAC for its substantial effort in creatively incorporating experience and examination into the existing NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture curriculum, synthesizing pre-graduation academic coursework, internship requirements, and access to all divisions of the Architect Registration Examinations® (ARE®). This recognition enables the BAC to introduce a series of progressive educational changes that stand to benefit all BAC architecture students by eventually reshaping the College’s architecture curriculum.
The College is currently the only NAAB-accredited architecture degree-granting program to combine academic coursework with systematic qualitative and quantitative assessment of professional skills gained through non-classroom instruction and architectural internship. Moving forward, the College anticipates new collaboration with the 12 other accepted schools and welcomes conversations surrounding this process. NCARB has established a new Integrated Path Evaluation Committee (IPEC) to oversee the ongoing work of this initiative. It is anticipated that the IPEC will continue to 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.
“Being selected as an NCARB ‘integrated path’ pilot recognizes the Boston Architectural College’s tradition of integrating rigorous academic coursework with applied, practice-based learning in monitored and evaluated experience settings,” said Len Charney. “It not only underscores the exceptional potential of the BAC’s approach but also strengthens the commitment of all partners—students, administrators, educators, and supervising practitioners alike—to redouble the collective efforts to communicate openly and ensure a student’s ultimate success.”
As described by Kyle Sturgeon, “This is a real game-changer for us. It advances what we have been doing to a higher level, bringing everyone involved together to accelerate and better prepare our architecture students’ path to licensure.”