AIA National Honors AIA Chicago for Development of Black Spectacles’ Online ARE Course Program


In May 2014, the online architecture education company Black Spectacles partnered with AIA Chicago to launch the world's first web-based program to help architects pass the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). Now, AIA National and Black Spectacles have launched the courses as an official AIA product, showing how the program is poised to grow from its nascent beginnings in Chicago.

AIA Chicago, Black Spectacles founder and AIA Member Marc Teer,   and course instructor Mike Newman of SHED 5tudio—who has taught an in-person ARE course at AIA Chicago’s offices for years—collaborated on the initial production, development and distribution of the online program. The collaborative effort was immediately embraced by those seeking a convenient way to study for the ARE exam, and a further expansion of the program with AIA National made sense to meet growing demand..

The course, now rebranded as “AIA ARE Prep: Powered by Black Spectacles,” is offered as an official product of AIA National at a discounted rate to all AIA members and can be accessed through the AIA National web site.

And the program continues to grow from its beginnings as an AIA Chicago offshoot.

Teer and Newman plan to expand the online offerings to include a broader range of topics, as well as interviews and other types of videos to help people view the information in different ways.   

As a result of AIA Chicago’s involvement of helping the platform get off the ground, AIA Chicago executive vice president Zurich Esposito  was honored with a certificate of appreciation during the AIA CACE meeting at the 2015 AIA Convention in Atlanta.  Later this summer, AIA Chicago program director Joan Pomaranc and Mike Newman will be similarly honored.

AIA Chicago executive vice president Zurich Esposito, with Deborah M. DeBernard, AIA, NCARB, AIBC-Architect, LEED BD+C Senior Vice President, Global Innovation, receiving a certificate of appreciation during the AIA CACE meeting at the 2015 AIA Convention in Atlanta.