Students studying architectural and construction technologies within the Pennsylvania College of Technology will have the option of taking a new degree, the Bachelor of Architecture degree, following approval of the new program by the college’s Board of Directors.

The new program will add five years to the bachelor’s degree currently awarded, which will allow students to further their careers without the need for postgraduate studies. The approval of the program permits students in the Construction and Architectural Technologies Division to seek accreditation through the National Architectural Accrediting Board. According to the information provided by the school, students may be accepted into the program as early as 2023, if not earlier.

“What you’re doing today is not approved for something, but rather the two aspects,” Ellyn A. Lester, assistant professor of architecture and construction technologies, spoke to the board.

“When we begin our program in the autumn, we would wish to get going and begin with the accreditation process to become an institution by NAAB. There are many advantages of having NAAB recognize our program, including accelerating our students to earn the right to be an architect who is registered,” Lester said.

“It will cut the time needed to seek licensure by half. It will reduce the time from up to just three years, which is important in our pupils’ eyes,” She added.

Registered architects are the ones who sign, seal papers, and seal documents, which Lester said is essential in the commercial sector.

“Any commercial project must be accompanied by a written agreement from an architect registered with the government. Our students can be involved in larger and more complicated projects to earn more money and gain access to higher leadership, and possibly the owners of their projects,” she said.

“So you can see that we’re kicking off the process of giving our students to take their careers forward,” she said.

A little over 100 students are currently students in the department of Lester, and with the acceptance of the new program, this number will likely rise, she added.

The accreditation process can take about six years for completion, including multiple visits to sites by NAAB staff at different points throughout the five-year program. Once accreditation is granted, it would retroactively apply to the first graduating class, based on information provided by the college.

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