ORLANDO – UF School of Architecture (SoA) was among four programs approved to participate in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ (NCARB) innovative Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative this year, as announced during the NCARB annual meeting in June.
The National Architectural Accrediting Board has 154 nationally accredited degree programs at 123 institutions. As Florida has only eight accredited degree programs at six institutions, this initiative will make SoA the only IPAL certified program in the state.
The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program, spearheaded by NCARB, certifies accredited architecture programs to provide students the opportunity to complete requirements for licensure while earning their degree. SoA will be offering the IPAL program at their CityLab-Orlando (CLO) location and is open to any student in the Master of Architecture degree program.
The IPAL program of study does not change the existing curriculum, but extends students’ time in the program by lowering their credit load each semester to allow students to work while in school to complete required Architecture Experience Program (AXP) hours.
“We applied for the IPAL certification because many of our current students are already working on their AXP hours, and some have already completed all the requirements, developing a process to integrate AXP, the ARE (Architect Registration Exams) and the degree program was a logical next step for CLO,” said Frank Bosworth, director of the CLO program and who is heading the school’s IPAL initiative.
In addition, through special arrangements between NCARB and Florida’s Board of Architecture and Interior Design (BOAID), students participating in the IPAL program will be able to start taking their ARE before graduation.
Based on 2015 NCARB data on the average length of time to complete the AXP and ARE, the IPAL program at CityLab-Orlando has the potential to reduce the time to licensure from 1.5 to more than 4 years, depending on the degree program. When a student graduates ready to become licensed, they will have enhanced job opportunities and higher salaries.
“The application process took about eight months and required a detailed explanation of how the IPAL program will operate at CLO,” Bosworth said. “I’m pleased we were granted the certification and it will place us with the 17 other schools willing to test a new integrated approach to architectural education and licensure. This certification will certainly enhance the visibility and identity of the CityLab-Orlando program, and builds upon the SoA’s strong tradition of an innovative studio-centered design program.”