As everyone in the field knows, the process to becoming a licensed professional involves three steps, education, experience and examination. In its simplest form it is a sequential process. But in reality, it is an ongoing and integrated process. It is designed to establish a minimum competency. Not a lofty goal but an important one. Next week we are hosting our annual Career Fair. Firms from across the country come to find interns to begin the transition into the professional world. Of course our curriculum is designed to begin the process of this transition. Courses in our curriculum address all the core competencies required to educate our students about ways one can approach the challenges that face the design community. We are a fully accredited program and have been for some time now. Some of these courses directly address professional practice content, but they can only go so far. The experience phase of the licensure process is the environment where, through applied activities, they gain the necessary perspective required to be a design professional. This is why the internship or coop option in of our curriculum is so important to many of our students. To do this well, we need a strong partnership between the practice community and the university. I have been visiting many of the firms in the State, since I returned to the director position, because through those conversations, I can let professionals know what is happening in the college and more importantly learn what is happening in the field. I look forward to speaking with all of our exhibitors coming to the career fair and learning how we can collaborate in the future or how we might do an even better job of preparing our graduates to enter the future workforce and become leaders in these firms. That transition from intern to leaders in the workplace is another activity we are interested in discussing, because it also involves a conversation between education and experience. I will leave that for another newsletter, but it is part of the substance of our strategic planning process. If you have been following our newsletter for the past three weeks, you have had the opportunity to see what our faculty have been doing in their research and creative activity.
Other exciting news, recently we have applied to be a certified provider of continuing education with the ASLA. More news on that front in forthcoming issues.