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SCI-Arc Announces Scholarship and Program Partnership with SoCalNOMA

With the aim of establishing actions as an institution of architecture education that reflect an effort towards engendering equity and inclusion among its students, SCI-Arc has partnered with the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCalNOMA) to create a full-tuition scholarship for its undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs.

SCI-Arc building cityscape

SCI-Arc created the scholarship, alongside other measures spearheaded by the school this summer in its Structural Actions to Promote Access, Inclusion, and Equity in Architecture, as part of a general partnership with SoCalNOMA, which will take the shape of several initiatives developed over the course of the next five years. The program partnership between the two institutions is formed in alignment with the overall mission of SoCalNOMA, which “seeks to advance and support the education and careers of those who have been historically underrepresented in the field of architecture and various allied design/build professions.”

The scholarship itself will fund full tuition for all 5 years of SCI-Arc’s B.Arch program, 2-3 years of its M.Arch 1 or 2 programs, or 1 year of its Master of Science postgraduate programs, with applicants selected on the basis of need. Applications will be open nationally, however domestic students are encouraged to apply, with priority given to Los Angeles high schoolers, to facilitate impact among the community of Southern California. Mentorship will be a critical feature of implementing the SoCalNOMA scholarship, to extend and supplement the financial support offered throughout the student’s career at SCI-Arc until graduation. To expand operations, liaison and committee positions will be created by SoCalNOMA, which will assist SCI-Arc in the selection, implementation, and management of the scholarship.

With transparency in mind, SCI-Arc represents a student population that is currently 40% local or domestic and 60% international, with less than 3% of the student body being Black. SCI-Arc’s student population as it relates to the population of Los Angeles County shows a measurable imbalance reflective of the inequities found within the field of architecture as a whole. The formation of this scholarship is done in hopes to begin to bridge the gaps and broach the barriers to entry that create such a quantifiable lack of representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color within SCI-Arc’s student population and architecture at large.

“The issue is intersectional: each student is different and has different needs, be they financial, mentor-based, or something else entirely. Every step is meaningful if it serves to minimize barriers and obstacles,” comments SoCalNOMA President Lance Collins on the specificity of the SCI-Arc scholarship.

“To produce sustainable and durable change, we recognize that it requires a collective effort,” says SCI-Arc Director and CEO Hernán Díaz Alonso. “SoCalNOMA is an extraordinary and generous organization that has always worked and continues to work to improve cities and correct the shortcomings and unfairness in the pursuit of equality and inclusion that the field of architecture needs to address. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with them for years to come.”

Applications for the SCI-Arc SoCalNOMA Scholarship are currently being accepted online and are due by January 15, 2021. Visit the SCI-Arc website to apply. For any questions contact the Office of Admissions at 213.353.5320 or email admissions@sciarc.edu.

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