Historically Black Colleges and Universities Professional Development Program: Advancing the promise to diversify the architectural profession

HBCU Grant Recipients
2021-22 Prescott Reavis Grant recipients

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a known history of contributions and advancements. They provide the highest number of Black professionals within multiple professions while encouraging unique experiences and fostering a sense of belonging, culture, and recognition. Architectural programs at HBCUs serve as catalysts for enhancing BIPOC students’ knowledge, skills, and expertise for entry into professional practice. However, HBCUs are significantly underrepresented and underutilized as resources for recruiting and retaining talent by design firms.

NOMA and the NOMA Charitable Education Foundation have partnered with the seven (7) HBCUs with accredited architecture programs across the country to foster opportunities for architecture firms to engage in mentorship, recruiting, and general networking with these talented and underrepresented students studying architecture.  Founded in 2020, the HBCU PDP has three primary goals.  Goal one is to help students and HBCUs build a pipeline with award-winning firms across the country that have expressed an interest in advancing diversity in the profession. Goal two is to support students from HBCUs in securing entry-level positions with these large-scale architecture firms. Goal three is to develop a community of professionals in architecture that will continue to support diversity within the profession through continued mentorship of minorities working in the profession. It is NOMA’s expectation that through the HBCU PDP, we will continue to shine a light on the value of inclusion as we continue to advance the promise of diversity in the architectural profession. 

HBCU Logos

HISTORY

During a webinar entitled “Concrete Steps to Improve Racial Equity in the Architectural Workplace”, Moody Nolan’s CEO, Jonathan Moody stated that in order for our industry to acquire more racial diversity it is imperative that we increase the number of touch points with HBCUs. This simplistic, but profound observation is what inspired the establishment of the Historically Black College and University Professional Development Program (HBCU PDP). His words led to the development of a program focused on the creation of opportunities for architecture firms to engage in mentorship, recruiting, and general networking with talented students studying architecture at the seven (7) Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with accredited architecture programs across the country.

GUIDELINES & EXPECTATIONS

DURATION: The HBCU Professional Development Program (PDP) is a nine-month-long program beginning in September and concluding in May. Program events are held once a month.  See the program schedule for more details. 

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS: Eligible students are expected to broaden their professional network, find a mentor and ultimately find an internship or full-time position using the skills gained through the program.  Registrants are expected to attend monthly events for the entire program year.  Attendance at the speed networking and the career fair is mandatory.  Missing either event without prior notice and cause is grounds for removal from the program. 

FIRM EXPECTATIONS: Networking, mentorship, and job opportunities are at the core of firm participation in the HBCU PDP.  Although it is the responsibility of the students to drive the mentor/mentee relationship, we recommend that firms actively participate as mentors for the duration of the program year.  It is our expectation that professional mentors will support their mentees as they learn how to network and will ultimately help their mentees find a position with their firm or with a firm with which they have a relationship.  Continuity is essential to the success of the program. At a minimum, the same firm participants from the speed networking workshop are encouraged to participate in the Career Fair.

2021-22 HBCU PROGRAM REPORT

You can download and review the entire report here.

2021 22 Report Grid Summary

2021 22 Report Grid Summary

PRESCOTT REAVIS GRANT

The Prescott Reavis HBCU PDP Grant has been established through the generous donations of our HBCU PDP firm sponsors in honor of Prescott Reavis, an HBCU architecture graduate, NOMA leader, Spatial Activist, architect, planner, award-winning educator, and a dedicated supporter of architecture students and emerging professionals.  For more information about Prescott Reavis and the impact he had on the profession, and on so many lives go to https://archinect.com/news/article/150298117/remembering-prescott-reavis-a-champion-of-black-excellence-and-mentorship-within-architecture.

Grants are awarded to support the repayment of student loans, moving expenses, cost of living expenses for interns working in cities away from home, and other expenses that can be associated with the transition from school to the profession. Grants are awarded in amounts not to exceed $2500 each and will be awarded based on each student’s active participation in the HBCU PDP, demonstrated need, and recognition of the need to give back. Applications from students that have taken full advantage of the program through regular participation in monthly events and seminars will have an advantage during the selection process. Grant applications open in April.  Specific dates will be shared with program registrants.

The Prescott Reavis Grant is administered by the NOMA Charitable Education Foundation.  All contributions are tax-deductible.

SPONSORSHIP DETAIL

Although volunteers lend their time and energy to the development of programming to advance the program each year, firm contributions are key to the administration of the HBCU PDP.  All contributions received are used to fund the administration of the program and grants for students in the cohort.  Below are the available sponsorship levels and the perks for your support.

 

$400-President’s Circle Sponsor: (available to NOMA President’s Circle members only) 

  • Company name listed as a participant on the HBCU PDP webpage

 

$600-Bronze Sponsor:

  • Company name listed as a participant on the HBCU PDP program webpage
  • Company name listed on all program marketing & social media as a sponsor

 

$1000-Silver Sponsor:

  • Company name listed as a participant on the HBCU PDP program webpage
  • Company name listed on all program marketing & social media as a sponsor
  • Company name listed as a Prescott Reavis Grant Sponsor on all social media

 

$1500-Gold Sponsor:

  • Company name listed as a participant on the HBCU PDP program webpage
  • Link to the company website on the HBCU PDP webpage
  • Company name listed on all program marketing & social media as a sponsor
  • Company name listed as a Prescott Reavis Grant Sponsor on all social media

 

$2000-Platinum Sponsor:

  • Company logo on the HBCU PDP program webpage
  • Link to the company website on the HBCU PDP webpage
  • Company logo on all program marketing & social media as lead sponsor
  • Company name listed as a Prescott Reavis Grant Sponsor on all social media

 

$3000-Diamond Sponsor

  • Company logo on the HBCU PDP program webpage
  • Link to the company website on the HBCU PDP webpage
  • Company logo on all program marketing & social media as lead sponsor
  • Company name listed as a Prescott Reavis Grant Sponsor on all social media
  • Your contribution, excluding $600 for admin support, will be awarded directly to the student(s) or emerging professional(s) to which you extend a summer internship or full-time position

 

To register for the program, go to https://forms.gle/YeTRHPAHk5f6yZUVA

To submit payment, go to https://membership.noma.net/donations/donate.asp?id=21993

PROGRAM DETAILS

PLATFORM:  All program events and seminars are held via Zoom.  Larger program events with significantly larger participants utilize breakout rooms to provide more intimate spaces for networking opportunities.  Moderators are present to guide participants on what they can expect. 

SCHEDULING:  Students and Emerging professionals sign up to meet firms using SignUpGenius. Sign-up is only open to people that have registered for the program year.   Links to the event sign-up are shared with registrants via email. 

INFORMATION SESSIONS & ORIENTATION: Each program year begins with an information session.  Registrants are invited to join the virtual sessions to learn about the program and ask questions. Larger format programs are preceded by an event orientation.  Participants will learn more about the run-of-show and what they can expect on the day of the event. 

SPEED NETWORKING: Designed to maximize student interactions with as many professionals as possible, the speed networking workshop connects students with firms for 15-20 minute mini-interviews.   Participants are encouraged to briefly introduce themselves, discuss professional goals and expectations of the profession, and exchange contact information.  The ultimate goal of the networking workshop is to connect mentors with mentees for the duration of the program year and beyond. 

HBCU CAREER FAIR: The annual career fair is held in January. The career fair will follow a similar format as the workshop with virtual breakout rooms, but with more time for interviews.  The career fair will conclude with a general feedback session with the students and another private session with the program team for feedback on student progress.

SEMINARS: Seminars are held each month to support professional development.  Monthly seminars are designed and moderated by volunteers from participating firms.  Seminar topics include resume and portfolio preparation, interview skills, financial planning, workplace etiquette, and other special topics deemed relevant and supportive of professional development.

PROGRAM ELIGILIBILITY

Applicants must be students or graduates of one of the seven HBCUs with accredited architecture programs and (a) currently enrolled in a 4 or 5 year undergraduate program, or (b) currently enrolled as a graduate student in an M.Arch program, or (c) an Emerging Professionals within their first two years after graduation. Students from both NAAB-accredited and non-accredited architecture programs are welcome to register. All student participants are encouraged to be current paid members of NOMA by the 1st of October of each program year.

Eligible schools:

  • Florida A&M University
  • Hampton University
  • Howard University
  • Morgan State University
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of the District of Columbia

2022-23 SCHEDULE

Specific dates and access to zoom meetings and events will be shared only with those that register for the program.  Everyone who would like to receive information about program events but register to be added to the distribution list.

 

July: Registration Opens

August: 2022-23 Program Orientation

September: Seminar 1

October: Speed Networking Workshop

November: Seminar 2

December: Seminar 3

January: HBCU Career Fair

February: Seminar 4

March: Seminar 5

April: Seminar 6 & Prescott Reavis Grant Application Opens

May: Seminar 7 & Prescott Reavis Grant Awardee Announcement

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