Great Expectations

NCARB’s annual meeting, held in Philadelphia this year, is close to wrapping up… and I, for one, am glad. This week has been chock full of announcements about changes to policies surrounding both IDP and the ARE that its been nearly impossible for me to keep up. (Note to NCARB — love the enthusiasm, but can’t we spread these out a little? Like, maybe one groundbreaking change a week? Thanks…)

To summarize, this past week saw huge announcements regarding palpable changes to the time involved in the IDP process as well as retesting for failed divisions of the ARE. The much-maligned “six-month rule” (you know, the one that says any experience older than six months is no longer valid) is being phased out, while the six-month waiting period for retesting after a failed division of the ARE will be dropping to a mere 60 days. Coincidence? Not sure. Both announcements reflect NCARB’s constant commitment to re-evaluating their programs and guidelines to meet the needs of emergent professionals. I’ll address my thoughts on both of these changes in future posts…

But wait — they’re not through yet! A proposal has also been announced that would significantly reduce the amount of time required in IDP by refocusing on the core hours of the various content areas. If successful, the proposal would eliminate elective hours and reduce the 5,600 hours of IDP by nearly a third. (The proposal is rooted in scientific data, such as the results of the most recent practice analysis. That said, I have some mixed feelings about this one that I will explore in a later post…)

All of these announcements have come in a haze of diaper changes, late-night feedings, and a general “what day is it again?” erratic schedule that comes with welcoming a newborn into the home, which my wife and I did just this past Saturday. It’s actually poetically appropriate, as I try to relearn how to be a caregiver to a new baby, that these policy changes turn the familiar on its ear. Bear with me as I play catch-up. For now, enjoy this shot of my son getting to know his new baby sister.

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Breaking News

Lots happening in cyberspace these days… Time for an update.

First and foremost, in a post on their Facebook page yesterday, NCARB has announced that the ARE Scheduling Blackout, which has been in effect since June 30, is rapidly drawing to a close. Record data for more than 90,000 candidates – including name and contact information, candidate numbers, eligibility history, rolling clock information, and test history — has been migrated to NCARB’s new records management vendor, Alpine Testing Solutions. Although “My Examination” has not officially launched, ARE candidates can start scheduling exams (via the “My NCARB” button on the council’s website) while the new system continues to be tested. Any ARE candidates (particularly those of you in Pennsylvania) who are logging in to use the new system for the first time, I would appreciate it if you would drop me a line (or leave a comment) and let me know what you think of the new interface. (Not needing to take the exam means that I have no way of testing it out on my own…)

Secondly, NCARB will be hosting the latest installment of the ongoing “AIA Chat” series on Twitter next week. I had already made plans to join in, but since I have been officially called out by NCARB (which I found quite flattering), you can be sure that I will be making a guest appearance. The chat will take place Wednesday, September 4th at 2pm ET — be sure to follow along using the hashtag “#aiachat,” and feel free to join the conversation!

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Lastly, my Twitter spam has gotten much more creative. I got a really good chuckle out of the idea of an appearance in a Drake video — I knew those twerking lessons i bought on LivingSocial would come in handy!! (I’m long since done with IDP, but I imagine I’d receive a lifetime’s worth of Community Service hours by declining this particular request.)

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Happy Labor Day Weekend to all — enjoy the last few days of our waning summer! Back to the grind next week!