by: Erica Fischer, Associate AIA
As the Architecture Licensing Advisor for the State of Iowa, I don’t have all the answers; I just know where to look.
I have taken the opportunity to become involved with many professional organizations both in school and in my career. My leadership with AIAS lead to involvement with the AIA Iowa Emerging Professionals Committee. My enthusiasm on the EP led to a leadership role on the AIA Iowa Intern Advisory Committee and now I am the Architecture Licensing Advisor for the State of Iowa. I get excited when I am asked to present a workshop or lead a mentoring event. I love this role as an intern architect.
Studying is a totally different story.
I was lost when I decided it was time for me to start taking my ARE’s. I pushed myself to reignite the ARE Study Group in my area. We shared resources, experiences, and Wednesday evenings together.
The first test went great! I was excited (believe it or not) to get studying and practicing and re-practicing that vignette. Test day came. And a week later I was looking at a big blue PASS.
Then deadlines started rolling in at work. January, February, March and my study books made a cozy winter home at the back of my shelf.
Even Licensing Advisors have struggled with motivation for the ARE’s. But maybe that’s the reason to get to know your state’s Licensing Advisor. They will certainly have experiences to share and resources to connect you with.
In my experience as a Licensing Advisor so far, I have visited Iowa State University and presented information on the path to licensure. I have also worked with interns across the state to help them access study materials and get more connected with other interns in their area. Often I answer specific questions interns have about foreign degrees, categorizing their hours for IDP, and how and when they should start their NCARB record.
Recently I was contacted by an intern who worked for a non-traditional office and did not have access to study materials through this employer. I was able to connect him with the AIA Iowa Section President in his area and together they found away to make studying more accessible. Now this intern is on his way to passing his first exam.
Advisors are members of NCARB’s Architecture Licensing Advisors Community. This nationwide team meets annually and has access to special NCARB resources to help stay current on NCARB changes. Each state has at least one advisor, often many more. The states in the Central States Region have a total of fourteen advisors available to help students and interns. In fact, architecture schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board should have a Licensing Advisor appointed by the school. While you should always consult the ARE and IDP Guidelines first, Advisors can help you find answers to questions like, “Where can I find, or how do I form a study group in my area?” or “Does my local AIA Office offer study materials?” You can find out who your state’s advisors are under the Intern Development Program (IDP) Tab at ncarb.org.
If you find yourself as the go-to person for question for other interns at your firm, consider becoming an Advisor yourself. You might also make a great Architecture Licensing Advisor if you are a licensed architect and like to stay current on the latest NCARB updates to help younger professionals achieve licensure. Contact your state’s Licensing Advisor to see how you can contribute your experiences to the nation-wide network.
The period of internship is intended for learning. As an intern I have learned about topics from contracts to construction to consultants. Applicable above any technical skill an intern can have is learning to use their resources. If you have questions, do your research. If you still have questions, ask. Speaking for all Architecture Licensing Advisors, we are here to help.