Licensing Examination Seminars: Two to eight hour seminars given on evenings or weekends corresponding to the various sections of the Architects Registration Examination (ARE). Chapter members or experts on the specific subjects are enlisted to lecture at these programs which are often accompanied by handout material. Discounts are usually given to Associate Members; consequently this becomes a major recruiting tool for many chapters.
Mock Examinations: Simulation of the ARE has been the traditional manner in which chapters administer mock examinations. Either the previous year’s actual exam, commercially prepared mock exams, or one written by a chapter sponsored committee is generally used. This year the exam is offered on computer for the first time, which will no doubt change the way chapters administer the mock examination. In most cases, the mock exam includes a critique session held later and may even include the actual grading of each participants exam. The critiquing and grading is done by AIA members of the chapter who have served as actual ARE graders in the recent past and/or by chapter members who have recently passed the exam.
Oral Interview Workshops: Brief oral interview candidates on the topics and format of the California Oral Interview. Frequently these workshops are question and answer sessions with a recently interviewed intern offering to share their interview experience.
Professional Development Programs: These are most often sponsored by the chapter but in some instances are co-sponsored by the Associate Members. They cover subjects which are generally practice oriented, such as energy design, CADD, or legal issues. Programs that particularly appeal to Associate Members include small office practice, construction administration, financial management and portfolio, and resume and job interview techniques.
Technical Workshops/Seminars: Similar to professional development programs but more narrow in scope covering such topics as specifications and specific materials and methods of construction (i.e. brick or skylighting). Workshops are often co-sponsored with related industry organizations such as the CSI, AGC, ASME and ASLA.
Built Environment Education Program (BEEP): BEEP involves the introduction of built environment issues within the classroom, particularly at the elementary age level. Teachers and Architects or intern architects working together through a variety of mediums (i.e. slides, lectures, participatory activities) help to make school children aware of the built environment in which they live. BEEP has become a national model that has been used successfully over the years by many chapters throughout the state.
Special Projects: From time to time, special meetings and/or projects are organized to accomplish specific tasks such as fundraising for one time only expenses, convention attendance planning, chapter office requests for help and special chapter events.
Design Competitions: Local competitions have included the design of chapter offices, AIA booths, public exhibits, stationery, T-shirts, bumper stickers, bird houses, ginger bread houses, and even local building improvements. Competitions are often sponsored in conjunction with public awareness activities such as sand castle competitions or pumpkin carving contests. Other competitions are sponsored on a national level and may only be open to students and Associate Members. They involve a real design problem within the sponsoring community and prize money is awarded to top placing finishers. These competitions are held on a national level with participants from around the country and utilize a top ranking jury.
Student and Associate Member Joint Programs: Some examples from the past are design competitions, “Big Brother/Big Sister” mentor programs, design charettes, university career days, employment placement opportunity programs with schools and joint Student and Associate Member chapter dinner meetings.
Displays and Exhibitions: Usually for public viewing in public places, exhibits often occur at schools, shopping malls, art galleries, etc., but may even be displayed at the chapter office. Topics include local AIA design award winners, special displays of local interest (i.e. historic preservation plans for a particular area), public interest displays (i.e. solar energy, energy conservation, or earthquake preparedness for the home) or simply the work of local architects and artists. Still other exhibits may showcase other Associate-sponsored programs such as design competition entries or children’s artwork generated through Built Environment Education Programs in the schools.
Social Programs: These are get-togethers both of a formal and informal nature and may include social gatherings or receptions, picnics, bar or coffee house nights, sporting events, cultural events (i.e. plays or concerts), beach parties, Christmas parties and special events at architectural or historical places of interest. Sometimes these events are combined with other events such as breakfast committee meetings, special lectures or awards dinner evenings.
Board and/or Committee Meetings: Associate Members of some chapters have organized individual Associate Committees or Boards of Directors that meet monthly to manage Associate activities.
Job Referral Boards and Resume Files: Typical job opening bulletin board located at the chapter office. Often resumes are kept on file at the chapter office for use by members in need of employees.
New Member Orientation Meetings: Associates often participate in membership orientation meetings by discussing activities and programs sponsored by the Associates in their chapters. Sometimes these presentations are taken to the local university, or large offices to recruit new members. Some chapters gear this strictly to new members hoping to increase their participation level.
Lectures: Typical guest speakers format; sometimes combined with a dinner meeting or reception. Topics vary greatly but often closely resembles a typical architecture school lecture program. If a significant architect is working on a project near the chapter area, an invitation can be extended to coincide with the architect’s visit to the project site, which can save the chapter travel expenses.
Films: Similar to lectures, film topics vary greatly and are sometimes combined with a dinner meeting or reception.
Roundtable Discussions: Associates have sponsored a variety of roundtable discussions where invited panelists (experts in their field) are given a forum to make a short presentation and then the program is opened up for questions from the audience. Topics have included NCARB and the licensing process as well as chapter elections where members running for chapter officers or positions on the chapter Board of Directors are invited to address issues of concern to Associate Members.
Newsletters: Most chapters sponsor an Associate Members column or articles on Associate activities within the chapter newsletter. Participation on newsletter staff is greatly encouraged and in some cases, Associates are solely responsible for the production of the chapter newsletter. Often individual inserts or flyers pertaining to specific upcoming Associate events are included with the chapter newsletter mailing.
Resource Center/Library/Bookstore: Many chapters have compiled information for Associates such as ALS Handbooks and other ARE test reference material even including video tapes of licensing seminars. They make all of this material available for Associate Member use at the chapter office. Chapters with a bookstore often offer discounted books, licensing seminar handout material, AIA Sup Ed guides for IDP, etc. for purchase.
Field Trips: Job site visits to local buildings under construction or recently completed buildings have been sponsored by Associates and often include a presentation by the designer and/or owner. Other field trips involve buildings of historical significance, neighborhood walking tours or home tours.
Road Trips: This refers to building tours sponsored jointly by two or more chapters and often involves some travel. Usually, it is combined with a social activity such as wine tasting, a lobster feast or picnic and volleyball at the beach.
Local Architecture Office Open House: Some chapter Associates organize these events for public interest, but mostly for students, prospective employees and/or clients. Most often a slide show of recent works, provided by the host office, is featured as well as an office tour. Other chapter Associates use host offices for their monthly meetings.
Fairs, Festivals and Conferences: These have taken on a variety of formats in the past from job fairs to critical design conferences to Beaux Arts Balls and Architecture Week.
Surveys/Questionnaires: These are often distributed to both chapter members and intern architects-at-large to gain information and opinions on a wide range of issues. Some surveys are designed to evaluate the success and appropriateness of a particular program (i.e. licensing seminars) while others are aimed at gathering info