Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Victor M. Hernandez-Gantes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward C. Fletcher, Jr., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yi-Hsin Chen, Ph.D.


Community of Practice, Cognitive Apprenticeship, Legitimate Peripheral Participation


The purpose of the study was to describe the nature of the architectural apprenticeship experience from a curricular, instructional, social, and transformative perspective to help interns move from novice status to entry-level expertise in architectural practice. The study examined the apprenticeship experience from a holistic perspective to develop a better understanding of the architectural internship program. To meet the study purpose and inquiry, a case study research design was used to explore and describe the nature of the apprenticeship experience from the perspectives of three stakeholder groups: the interns, the mentors, and the members of the community of practice (CoP). Overall, as evidenced by the perspectives of the Interns, the Firm serving as the case study emphasized all-aspects of architectural practice as the basis for the development of a holistic apprenticeship experience. That is, the Interns participated in the whole of the Firm’s architectural practice. Additionally, the Firm used work- and project-based learning as the vehicle for the apprenticeship curriculum and instruction. As a result, the Interns were grounded in authentic learning and work contexts requiring the application of architectural knowledge and skills. Further, because of the all-accepts of architectural practice and the grounding of work- based and project-based learning, the interns purposefully progressed in expertise through increased participation in architectural projects requiring enhanced demands in terms of knowledge and skills. Study findings highlighted the role of a holistic approach to the apprenticeship experience, the value of immersion in all aspects of architectural practice, and the firm’s commitment to be engaged in a process of shared transformation. As such, related findings should be helpful in the conceptualization and implementation of the architectural apprenticeship experience in the field.