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Webinar: Getting Started with CLARB

Following last week’s Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) Prep

Focus Group kick-off Pau Hana, the second event, a webinar about the licensing

process, took place on July 13th. We were very fortunate to have Missy Sutton, a Member Engagement Specialist from the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board (CLARB) as presenter and Joel Kurokawa, Principal of Ki Concepts Hawaii from the Hawaii Licensure Board to answer questions about Hawaii’s specific conditions. Every state has different requirements and eligibility for the exam. Thanks to this presentation the varied and nuanced application process became clear. We are grateful for this opportunity to learn about the process.

Most people who belong to the L.A.R.E. Prep Focus Group have a Bachelors and/or

Masters degree in Landscape Architecture and will be able to take the exam anytime

after graduation. First, an applicant should prepare his/her council record to document education, work experience and professional references. Then after two or three years of work experience (two if both degrees were obtained, three if one was obtained), s/he will be able to register for licensing.

In addition to the L.A.R.E. exam, I learned from the presentation that licensure

applicants need to pass the Hawaii Licensure Board-produced Landscape

Architectural licensing exam of Hawaii Plant Materials.

I have a rather unique background. I finished my associate degree in English studies in Japan and worked for a company who manufactures exteriors and garden

products. I was involved with product development and related international trade. While I was working there, I met some garden designers who worked for residential projects and I thought that was what I wanted do. So I moved to the Bay Area and got my certificate in Garden Design at UC Berkeley Extension, after which I worked for a small design-built Landscape Architecture company in San Rafael, CA. I moved to Hawaii in 2004 and I noticed that the landscape design industry is different from California. I began to build my career as a Landscape Designer at HHF Planners and other local firms in August 2005.

Throughout my career in Hawaii, I’ve been encouraged to obtain a landscape

architect license and learned that I can pursue a license if I work 12 years under the

supervision of a licensed Landscape Architect. I am now close to having 12 years of

work experience in the industry. I first need to prepare my council record and ask

that my experience be evaluated by the Hawaii Licensure Board to see if I am ready

to register for the L.A.R.E. exam. Since I have a different path from others, the

presentation was extremely helpful to me to compile many pieces of necessary


Hawaii is unique in that there is also a path toward licensure for those applicants

who hold related degrees in the industry that are not Landscape Architecture (such

as Architecture, Engineering or any other degrees) or are from non-accredited

programs. These applicants follow the same process and need five years experience

working under a licensed Landscape Architect and need to submit their council

record to the Hawaii Board.

Finally, applicants who bring a Landscape Architecture or related degree from other

countries should contact the Hawaii Board to find out how the degree can be

evaluated. Once the degree is evaluated, the Hawaii Board will contact the applicant

on the licensure process.

The presentation also covered what sections are on the L.A.R.E. exam, how to

prepare for the exam, when the exam is offered and fees.

In addition to the power point presentation PDF by Missy, here is the link to other

general exam related questions.

Thank you Missy and Joel for a great presentation!

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