SOLUTIONS to NCARB's Problems, Challenges and Issues

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27 comments

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    michael.

    i think we need to talk to you as a community about the way you are managing the ARE testing forum on Facebook. it is not right for you to ban members without warning (for apparently no documentable infraction) and there is some question as to whether you are running it as a for profit center which in itself is a problem. perhaps there is a route to address this through an ARE or NCARB ombudsman. i've emailed you at least twice in the past year about this and left you a nice voicemail about it twice as well with no response.

    last week i had someone nicely ask you about this independently since i am currently retesting and they said that you refused to discuss it but that they were loathe to pursue it due to their own financial interest in the Facebook Forum. 

    this is quite simply wrong and should be corrected in some appropriate manner.

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    Michael Riscica

    Jonathan, 

    You violated the groups rules multiple times and we had several conversations about it. Your behavior in the group was repeatedly inappropriate and you are no longer allowed to participate.  This happened 2 years ago btw. 

    Being apart of the Facebook ARE Group is a privilege, not a right. It's like being invited to a party. It's my party and i decide the rules and who gets to participate.  There are plenty of other ARE groups for you to use. 

    There is nothing left to talk about.

    Please stop calling me and begging people to talk to me on your behalf.  I'm not changing my mind. 

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    michael.
    i joined the “ARE facebook Study Group” after what would be considered difficult testing circumstances by any stretch of the imagination. i was venting about difficulties testing which appears to be the exact same reason you are posting here. it should not be surprising to you or anyone that people are venting about the process. you seem to explicitly state you have been doing this specifically yourself and that this is the reason you prepared this very video you link to here.
    just out of a courtesy to colleagues you should reply to inquiries about banning without notice and if you don’t have the courtesy to do this why would you have the courtesy to “have a conversation” about problematic posting. by the way i am not the only one mentioning this problem and for every one that mentions it i expect there are many more that don’t speak up.
    you have a moral obligation to the ARE testing community to A. allow people that made a mistake to rejoin in order to test. and B. not hold out the group as a study group or not for profit or non-commercial group. the very name of the group makes it appear it is related to ncarb and the ARE.
    also, i am not aware that i broke any rules and quite the contrary you were the one using foul language on the site to an extent that other members messaged me that were startled (as i was) asking what was going on.
    i realize there is an NCARB sponsored forum here but i think NCARB has a moral obligation to clear up what is going on with your group if you will not.
    and also. if you had the courtesy to respond earlier i would not obviously have to post here.

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    Bianca Beadling

    Jonathan,

    You are correct that for every person who does speak up, there are several more who don’t. I have been banned from his group too, along with several other women he slandered or called derogatory names in his group, to 5,000 or so of our peers, and never gave us the chance to defend ourselves. I’ve noticed a lot of similar complaints about him, along with your point about wondering if he is managing the ARE Facebook Group in a way that is misleading and unethical. I was a member for several months before I realized he was the owner of the ARE Bootcamp that everyone in the group so fervently recommended.

    I agree that NCARB has a moral obligation to address these issues, along with any other issues that have come up with him over the years.

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    hi bianca,

    thanks for speaking up.

    i was thinking about this today (and in light of michael's response) and a couple months ago i started seven groups with the acronyms of the ARE exams on facebook. with the idea that you could plug in on exams for good information or help and then leave after testing or stay to help others. even if only for moral support or real life tips!

    i think part of the problem is that just by virtue of the facebook system it is hard to alleviate this sort of "bottleneck" due to the size of this original group but also for other obvious-to-me reasons.

    i started these groups in the hopes of leaving something non-commercial to fellow test takers - with the idea that as current testers we could contribute something to the community and our future colleagues. maybe this is naive and of course it will be a very slow road i assume toward building the communities from what i have seen on the other groups.

    anyway, my hope is that NCARB will leave this conversation up as i think it is an important one to have. but also i wonder if NCARB might be able to take even a small role in helping alleviate what i consider an unproductive and unpleasant bottleneck in the current testing "ecosystem".

    after all we are all or are going to be future colleagues so maybe a little effort into organizing and trying to "plug in to the system" may not be a bad thing even if it is informal or kind of loose. i realize that is a little oblique i suppose but i want to throw it out there.

    i guess you or anyone else can catch me on facebook on one of the other groups and we can discuss further if anyone is interested in building something for the future?

    warmly.

     

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    Helen Vasquez

    Michael Riscica has posted this video to address the issues the ARE candidates are currently facing amid a pandemic and ever changing rules and regulations by NCARB and Prometric.

    He has gone far and beyond to even come up with solutions that would relieve the stress and anxiety that I'm sure everyone is feeling right now.

    Let's not undermine the importance of this video and this thread by bringing up old personal issues.

    It's not fair for those who are coming to the NCARB Community board trying to find a resolution and reassurance during these trying times.

    We all have the same goal and that is to become licensed and knowledgeable Architects, and Michael Riscica has been an advocate of that from day 1.

    The ARE FB group is successful because it has a community that respects the group rules and NCARB rules. Any violation to those rules seems logical to not be allowed in the community. Pretty simple. 

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    Emily Burton

    So... the only way I can imagine you’d be removed from the Facebook ARE group is if you violated the group rules (to not disclose test material or market anything, share bootlegged study information, etc.) It’s a free group that Michael hosts and monitors so that information that shouldn’t be shared, isn’t.
    If you were removed, you most likely violated the rules and jeopardized others in the group. Therefore, you would not be allowed back in, in order to protect others.
    Johnathan, from the sound of this, you being removed happened a while ago. Keep your posts here on the NCARB forum where they can keep any eye on you. The rules are clear and if you violate them, that’s on you.

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    Jessica Gardenhire

    I wanted to commend Michael in being so positive and upfront, not only with solutions but, with tone and expectation setting in the video. This year has been so stressful psychologically and while NCARB’s announcement is stress inducing, this video is a good reminder that we need them still. We can work with them vs having a state by state ran licensure process. I’m very disappointed in NCARB’s lack of awareness with the recent updates but I’m so thankful people like Michael are advocating for aspiring architects and helping maintain sanity in a pretty off the rails year.

    Thank you! I hope NCARB listens to what truly matters to us. These are wonderful ideas

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    Ashley Davis

    NCARB is continuously dropping the ball with their ARE candidates. I personally have experienced borderline discrimination while trying to get accommodations to pump during an exam and had to get my state board involved. Michael’s video addresses some key issues and ways to solve them.

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    Tania Lecona

    Jonathan, I'm not sure what happened, how it happened, when, or why, but it stands that the ARE Facebook Group was started by Michael and moderated by him and other admins. The group has clear rules posted ever so often since many people join often. It is up to group members to read and follow them accordingly. If Michael says you violated the rules repeatedly, he's the admin in charge and has already said he's not changing his mind about the situation and decisions made. And as he has mentioned, there are plenty of other groups to be a part of to continue what you want to focus on, testing, etc. And they don't necessarily have to be on Facebook,its just another social media platform where many people converge on similar ideas and goals. If it really happened 2 years ago, I personally think it's time to let it go.
    As for the whole ARE Boot Camp/advocating to get involved in it within the group, it's certainly spoken of as a good resource to consider as many members have taken the Boot Camp, but it's always discussed as an option or recommendation, not as a requirement, "You have to take this Boot Camp to pass the ARE, so give Michael all your money." Some people take up the offer and others don't. Simple as that.
    We're all better off trying to figure out what to do about all the obstacles NCARB is unnecessarily implementing at the moment than complaining about not being in a social media group.

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    Timothy Hill (Edited )

    Taking the ARE was an arduous task that does not need to be made more difficult in my opinion. I am thankful for Michael Riscica & his ARE Facebook group. I admire & respect NCARB as well & hope they are taking a hard look at the possibility they may be making too many changes too quickly.

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    Mohammad Ali Haddad

    I believe that change is inevitable, but my biggest concern is the short timeline in which these changes are put in motion. I appreciate your effort (Mike and NEXT) to put this together.

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    Emily Burton

    Absolutely. I’m not going to let a couple of bitter rule breakers drag his name through the mud after the thousands of people he’s helped. The Facebook group is an amazing tool for those who respect it and use it for what it is intended.

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    Helen Vasquez

    Bianca, 

    I personally wanted to read more on what these SOLUTIONS to the NCARB's problem looked like since there was an NCARB live video today, which unfortunately led me to comments that had nothing to do with the original intent of this post. So I for one want those who actually are interested in this thread, to really have a dialogue about these NCARB problems, and not read irrelevant comments that have nothing to do with this particular social community board/platform. 

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    Bianca Beadling

    I deleted my comment before I saw any replies because I felt my comment was irrelevant, but I do find it interesting that it’s being admitted here that there was a call to action placed in order to garner support for him on this thread.

    It feels very disingenuous to read all of these comments knowing this. How many times does that happen? How can we get a clear picture when these conversions are being manipulated by behind-the-scenes requests to control the dialogue? He bans members from speaking up in his group and then he directs his supporters here to attempt to control the conversations here as well.

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    Bianca Beadling

    My comment that I deleted that Emily is replying to was this: “7 replies in 20 minutes, all in favor of Michael. There wasn’t a call to action, was there?”

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    Emily Burton

    I heard about this thread through friends and chose to comment on it. It’s easy to gain a lot of supporters when you’re doing something helpful.

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    Helen Vasquez

    Bianca, I still don't see how your comments are helping to address the importance of what this thread is really suppose to be about. 

    Do you agree that candidates should come to NCARB community to find resolutions for all the changes that NCARB is putting in place in such a short timeline? Even if you like Michael Riscica or not, he has some really good points in his video. 

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    Lynn Rabatsky

    Michael runs the ARE Facebook group voluntarily and has set up rules that are in the best interest for the test taking candidates. These rules are taken very seriously and it sounds like folks that have been banned from the group are trying to distract us from what's really important. Identifying the solutions to NCARBs shortfalls. Also, the mentality of wanting NCARB to SUCCEED is clearly stated at the beginning of Michael's video. This video is really positive, critical, and energetic! The 7 solutions he describes and challenging questions he asks need to be answered with the community and stakeholders so the next generation of architects is inclusive, rewarding, and successful.

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    Andrew Roehl (Edited )

    Bianca, for the record Michael had nothing to do with the comments.  I just made this post aware to those who I know would find the importance of Michael's message.  They all made their comments on their own thoughts and beliefs.  No one told them what to post.  I find it very disingenuous when posts are "hijacked" with comments that don't relate to the original post.  There are ample opportunities to start a new dialogue and feed.  This is not a good way to get their point across because it takes away the voice of the original poster, whether you agree with him or not.

    As far as my comment to the original post, I applaud and commend Michael's call to action throughout this whole year with things starting from Covid shutdowns to the changes in the testing delivery.  A lot of people have concerns and frankly may not know how to get their voice heard.  Michael has always been a strong advocate for those who want the help.  This is a very important topic and we are at a crossroads.  Really, we need more people like him to advocate for us and the industry.  Thank you Michael for being there for all of us!

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    Sarah Vinyets

    Bianca, there is no manipulation happening. We are all ARE candidates with one goal in mind, to become successfully licensed architects. That being said, Mike has shown and proved to everyone time and time again through his actions that he is absolutely a devoted advocate for the community. Just as NCARB and AIA have their Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct, there are repercussions by not following those guidelines which they take very seriously; as does Mike take the responsibility of monitoring this group very seriously. Every few weeks, Michael, without fail makes a posts for all new members of the group aware of the rules. I also checked the ARE group currently sitting at 8.8k members. It does not seem credible that 5,000 of your peers were slandered, but I will admit that is a subjective opinion. 

    And Jonathan, to quote you "i realize there is an NCARB sponsored forum here but i think NCARB has a moral obligation to clear up what is going on with your group if you will not."

    NCARB has many things they should be clearing up before considering this an issue, which is the whole premise behind Michael making the video addressing real concerns with the ARE community. 

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    Natasha Marie Dagher

    This is a great video! Thank you for taking the time on explaining the changes and issues WITH possible solutions. These changes have come on fast and it’s hard to keep up. It’s unfortunate the timeline they have given towards these changes without time for feedback with adjustments.
    I am also at awe with the side projects of trying to get testing along with school - the last thing I would have needed is added tests along with project deadlines. NOPE. Focus on fixing!! Not adding to the mess....
    Side note: some of the comments are out of context for this post.... would be great to hear what people think about the changes and solutions, not personal matters. There are many other platforms for other issues. :)

    Thanks Mike for always keeping us informed, especially while I have been taking a break.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    i’m with bianca. no one reading this can possibly not understand what is going on here or the “asymmetric warfare” being conducted. it simply proves the point this is a problem.
    and in my opinion it is a very big one.

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    Nasario Arreguin

    Mike this video was really helpful and really got me pumped to continue studying. We need to work with NCARB just as much as NCARB needs to work with us. With regards to the ARE facebook group, I've been introduced to many study materials through that group, not just the bootcamp. If there was a Mt. Rushmore of ARE study providers it'd have Riscica, Ermann, Thaddeus, and Griendling. And I would not have heard of any of those providers without the ARE facebook group. The reason the bootcamp gets talked about so much is because of how successful it is, and those who have participated speak on it and the successes they have found through that program.  Most of the time it is others recommending the program. If you've been kicked from the group it's for violating the rules, or just not contributing to anyone else's successes on the ARE. Mike I just wanted to actually congratulate you on the haters. The reason congratulations are in order is because nobody hates the good ones, they hate the great ones.

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    Nicole Zuber

    Jonathan/Bianca:
    Rules are very important in the world of architecture. As architects and future architects, we must abide by the rules. Rules come in many forms, from local municipality to international building code. If we don’t follow the rules, we undermine public safety. As test takers, the rules of Mike’s group and any other ARE group out there, are key to protecting every one of us and the exam content. What I’ve observed is that folks who don’t follow the rules (and get kicked out of groups for breaking them) tend to be a little reckless and have issues with authority. How can folks who have such an issue following the rules be responsible architects in the future?

    As for the use of THIS particular post to rehash over an event that may have happened 2 years ago (or whenever), it’s very unprofessional. Ncarb doesn’t have a “moral obligation” as you put it, Johnathan, to weigh in on this topic. Do you honestly think they truly care that much, given the state of the exam testing fiasco?

    Mike is a fantastic ADVOCATE for ALL of us. He’s actually offering up actionable solutions to very real problems that NCARB has been slow to respond.

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    Katie Merten

    As many others have stated, Michael runs The ARE Facebook Group page.  He does this on his own time and because he cares about the next generation of architects.  He also runs a PRIVATE FB Group exclusively for those of us who have taken the Bootcamp where we can talk all things Bootcamp without clogging up the "main" page.  NCARB has no moral obligation to police other ARE groups, especially one as well run as this FB page.  They do not own the letters "ARE."  That'd be like me starting a "Baby-Sitter's Club Fans Only!" Group, blocking people who break the rules, and those blocked people expecting Ann M. Martin to have their back. In other words, it's a ridiculous request.  

    To be fully transparent, after seeing your posts in this community, Jonathan, when I started seeing them in the ARE FB Group, I brought my concerns to Michael, which may have led to your banishment from the group.  I have no regrets.  And the fact that this happened over 2 years ago and is being brought up now is astounding.  

    Along with the "call to arms" to support Michael, don't pretend you didn't put out your own call, Jonathan.  I've seen your request in a few ARE FB groups that you were not banned from.

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    Muna Shahrori

    Great video Michael Riscica, I think the solutions suggested are not hard to implement.
    I wish NCARB listen to the community and address their concerns. But unfortunately every time I feel that the process is made unnecessarily complicated.

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