Indiana University’s first class of architecture students is set to graduate in 2021, but the program won’t be accredited until as early as 2023. That could have been a big problem, because graduation from an accredited school is a requirement for becoming a licensed architect in Indiana. But now there’s an exception.
The State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects unanimously approved adopting a motion to accept a two-year grandfathering rule at its March 13 meeting. Trevor Foughty, IU’s vice president for state relations, testified at the board’s meeting and explained the situation earlier this month during the IU Board of Trustees meeting in Fort Wayne.
The IU Board of Trustees approved a proposal to create a master’s of architecture degree in 2016. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved the program, offered through IU’s School of Art, Architecture and Design, in March 2017.
IU’s J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program welcomed its first students in the fall of 2018. During that semester, the program went through an eligibility assessment with the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
“We passed that in the fall of ‘18,” said Peg Faimon, dean of the School of Art, Architecture and Design.”Now we’re a candidate, which means we will have regular visits and documentation sent to NAAB.”
Completing the accreditation process will take five years, but the master’s program only takes three years to complete. Faimon said she and other IU administrators knew that going in.
“It looked like it wasn’t going to be a big hurdle and it ended up not being,” she said.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards develops and administers programs for licensure candidates in 55 U.S. states and territories. But each state and territory does things a little differently, Faimon said.
Prior to the establishment of IU’s architecture program, 17 jurisdictions had already adopted a two-year grandfathering rule. This rule allows the first graduates of new programs to meet the education requirement for licensure, even though their program wasn’t accredited at the time they graduated.
Indiana became the 18th jurisdiction to adopt the rule. It was a simple change to address a situation that just hadn’t come up in Indiana, Faimon said. Architecture programs at other schools in the state were established before the current requirements. Faimon said it’s great to have the issue officially resolved.
“Like with anything, we’re building a new program and so it’s another building block in place,” she said.