Effective for the graduating class of 2015 and subsequent classes, Milestone 2.0 is a mandatory review of progress toward the accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree and a graded component of ARC 401. The purpose of this review is to provide an assessment of the skills and knowledge of the Core Stage of the Professional Phase (from 2nd Year through Fall of the 4th Year); as such, it will be a helpful tool in graduating with the requisite abilities of the accredited professional degree and realizing the highest potential of each student. Milestone 2.0 is the gateway to the Application Stage, or the final three semesters of the Professional Phase of the B.Arch.
The medium of evaluation is the Milestone Portfolio, the EVIDENCE of each student’s comprehensive output through the first five semesters of the Professional Phase. It is organized around, and addresses criteria under, the School’s five Curricular Streams: Studio, Technology, Design Communications, History + Theory, and Professional Practice.
Milestone 2.0 asks students to appraise their progress by considering personal strengths and weaknesses, effectively speculating on a career trajectory by illustrating how they have satisfied criteria within each Stream. The essence of Milestone 2.0 is synthesis: students should demonstrate how the Stream criteria have been brought together across courses and studios. The Milestone is therefore, not a re-grading of past coursework; it is the construction of a case, using an assemblage of evidence from past courses and studios, that demonstrates the student’s acquisition of skills and knowledge outlined by the Stream criteria. Occurring when the curriculum transitions from Core to Application Stage, this Milestone is a recognition of preparedness for the complex studies undertaken in the final semesters. The Core Stage, being tested by Milestone 2.0, inculcates basic skills that must be performed by the individual; the Application Stage, tested by the Capstone, teaches students to work in collaboration, to handle more ambiguous criteria, to serve clients and community groups, and to work under conditions analogous to critical practice.
Milestone 2.0 is intended to be supportive of students, encouraging them to assume responsibility for skill and knowledge acquisition (rather than merely passing courses) and getting themselves to degree completion with the best possible skill set; it is not intended to be punitive. Milestone 2.0 presents an opportunity for students to bring focus and development to their work; to construct and own a personal trajectory toward practice. With three semesters remaining after the Milestone, it allows adequate time for focused development of individual strengths while mastering the new skills presented in the Application Stage.
The Milestone Portfolio must be submitted in a template and to specifications provided by the School, which have been designed to provide a basis for a professional portfolio. Portfolios are anonymous and are reviewed, autonomously, by at least one Faculty representative from each curricular Stream.
The review committee has four potential actions for portfolios that do not indicate unequivocal entry into Application Stage:
RE-PRESENTATION: If it seems plausible that evident deficiencies were the result of an inadequate Milestone Portfolio, a student may be asked to revise and resubmit it for re-evaluation. (This is not a student right and will only be extended, as a courtesy, where extensive effort was clearly made yet the reviewers have reason to believe that important material or explanation is missing.)
DIRECTED LEARNING: If a student’s work in one or more Streams is marginal, that student’s remaining curricular options may be directed by specifying electives, specific ARC 451 studio(s), or other remedies.
CORE SKILL STRENGTHENING: If a student’s work in one or more Streams is weak, the student may be allowed to proceed into the Application Stage, but required to repeat a selected course(s)—regardless of whether they have previously received a passing grade(s)—in order to acquire and demonstrate specific Core skills and knowledge.
CORE SKILL FUNDAMENTALS: If a student’s work indicates general unpreparedness to transition to Application studies, the student may be required to re-enter the Core curriculum at a specific point and repeat one or more course(s), regardless of whether they have previously received a passing grade(s), for the purpose of acquiring and demonstrating general Core skills and knowledge in a subsequent Milestone 2.0.