ProgramTraining in architectural firms, continuing education and professional practice furthers the educational process. Schools and firms offer many opportunities for acquiring knowledge and skills; however, you must take responsibility for developing your competencies to the fullest. 


Your education as an architect typically begins in a school of architecture. But it does not end there. Training in architectural firms, continuing education and professional practice furthers the educational process. Schools and firms offer many opportunities for acquiring knowledge and skills; however, you must take responsibility for developing your competencies to the fullest. Participation in IDP reflects your commitment to acquiring the comprehensive training that is essential for competent practice.

IDP responds to your professional development needs by providing a wide range of resources that enhance day-to-day experience. The IDP training requirement establishes levels of training in important areas of architectural practice. Through the IDP mentorship system, you receive advice and guidance from practitioners. The IDP record-keeping system facilitates the documentation of internship activities, while the IDP supplementary education system provides a variety of learning resources designed to enrich training.

The shift from school to office is not a transition from theory to pragmatism. It is a period when theory merges with pragmatism. Internship is, in many ways, the most significant developmental period in your career as an architect.

Intern Development Program (IDP)

By Jim H. Seay, Jr., AIA, Alabama IDP Coordinator

All individuals who wish to practice Architecture in Alabama must hold a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited degree, complete the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' (NCARB) Intern Development Program (IDP), and pass the NCARB Architectural Registration Examination. Alabama has a well-developed IDP organization. "Alabama Home" interns are required to be active in the program a minimum of 2 years prior to taking the A.R.E. for the first time. While no NCARB qualified learning units are lost, Alabama interns should understand that the earliest date that one may site for the A.R.E. is two years after his or her NCARB/IDP file was originally opened. State and area coordinators are available to answer questions and to assist in appointing IDP advisors. The three state coordinators are appointed jointly by the Alabama Council AIA and the State of Alabama Board for Registration of Architects.

IDP responds to beginning architects' professional development needs by providing a wide range of resources that enhance day-to-day experiences. The IDP training requirements establish levels of training in important areas of architectural practice. Through the IDP advisory system, interns receive advice and guidance from practitioners. The IDP record keeping system facilitates the documentation of internship activities, while the IDP supplementary education system provides a variety of learning resources to enrich training.

Intern Friendly Firms

To recognize firms that provide assistance to interns and to support interns preparing for registration, the Alabama council of AIA has developed an "Intern Friendly" firm profile. All qualifying intern friendly firm website links will be posted on AIA Alabama's website.

National and State Level IDP Officials

Scott Siegel - Director of Student and Intern Services, NCARB, Washington, D.C.
Suzanna Wight - Director of Emerging Architects, AIA, Washington, D.C., swight@aia.org
Cindy Gainey McKim- Executive Director, State of Alabama Board for Registration of Architects, Montgomery, Ala., cmckim@boa.state.al.us
Janet Wells - Executive Assistant, State of Alabama Board for Registration of Architects, Montgomery, Ala., jwells@boa.state.al.us
David W. Hinson, AIA - Alabama IDP State Coordinator, Auburn, Ala., hinsonw@auburn.edu
Kyle D. Agostino, AIA - Alabama IDP State Coordinator, Birmingham Ala., kda@gfainc.com
Jim H. Seay, Jr., AIA - Alabama IDP State Coordinator, Montgomery, Ala., jseay@sslarch.com
Rajesh Sehgal , IDP Faculty Advisor/Coordinator, Tuskegee University, Ala.

Intern Development Area Coordinators

Fred N. Underwood, Jr., AIA - Decatur, Ala.
Jim Hartsell, AIA - Huntsville, Ala., jim@mail.jh-archt.com
Patricia E. Sherman, AIA - Gadsden, Ala. Pat Sherman, shermanp@bellsouth.net
Ty Cole, AIA - Birmingham, Ala., tco@gfainc.com
Lonnie Vowels, AIA - Birmingham, Ala., llvarch@aol.com
Bert Wilkins, III, AIA - Montgomery, Ala., bwilkins@2wrholmeswilkins.com
Clark Lundell, AIA - Auburn, Ala., lundece@mail.auburn.edu
Joseph R. Donofro, AIA - Dothan, Ala., donofro@graceba.net
David Tharp, AIA - Mobile, Ala., datharp@bellsouth.net

The State of Alabama Board for Registration of Architects has adopted a policy for registration that parallels that of NCARB, as have virtually all states in our region and the nation. NCARB/IDP is firmly established as the method for obtaining the training and documentation necessary to become a registered architect in our state, region and nation. Closely following IDP training guidelines better prepares an intern for the A.R.E., and once he or she passes and becomes a new registrant, adherence to the guidelines ensures the new registrant an orderly reciprocity process in other states.

The Alabama Council of The American Institute of Architects (in addition to supplying the volunteers who act as intern mentors) sponsors other programs to benefit interns. These programs include participation in Collegiate internship fairs sponsored by AIAS chapter and a national AIA "Career Center," which assists Interns in job placement; the Young Architects Forum providing supplementary education courses; and annual presentations to architecture students that explain the basics of IDP. For more details, visit these websites that have additional information regarding IDP.

AIA: http://www.aia.org
NCARB: http://www.ncarb.org
IDP Alabama General Information website: http://idp-al.netfirms.com
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Alabama Council of AIA website: http://www.aiaalabama.com
Board for Registration of Architects website: http://alarchbd.state.al.us
Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction website: http://www.cadc.aburn.edu/
AIAS website: http://www.arch.auburn.edu/aias/
Auburn Architecture Department: http://www.arch.auburn.edu/
Tuskegee University College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences website: http://www.tusk.edu/academics/colleges/ceaps/index.htm