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Practice : Spring 2012
The BAC is a unique, profe ssiona l design col lege where students learn from practitio- ners who work with 300-plus sma ll and large firms with local and global practices. These design profe ssiona ls provide on-going evidence of how changes in client expecta- tions and management practices affect what and how we teach. Practice is no longer what it was a decade ago, a s globalization, LEAN design, technol- og y, BIM, online collaborative practice, sustainability, economic constraints, evidence- based design, LEED, design/build, a nd myriad other influenc es have re-shaped the way we work. In recent years, BAC staff have visited innovative workplaces and school s from Seattle to A msterdam. Our fall 2010 Change Order c onference brought together 140 practitioners and educators to assess how we cou ld better prepare graduates for a rapidly changing world of practice. Such research indicated that our c urriculum needs to be comprehensive in order to better teach agile de sign learning acros s traditiona l disciplines, shorter to enhanc e retention, and more self-evaluative to encourage life-long learning. A creative and flexible curriculum needs to be offered and reviewed on an ongoing basis. O ver 80% of our graduate s over the pa st few yea rs were employed in a design field when they graduated. Nonet he- less, c urrent systems of delivering higher educ ation depend on historical guidelines that are quickly becoming outdated, a nd ac crediting bodies and profes sional require- ments now nece ssitate our envisioning even more clear learning outcomes for the educ ation we offer. R apid changes within a rchitecture, interior design, landscape a rchitecture and design studies mandate that we update what and how we tea ch, so our graduates can meet the new challenges they will face as professiona ls. Professiona ls work best when they can think and work flexibly with passion and from their own strengths. We need to prepare students b oth to engage creatively with the work and to understand their own affinities and talents. Our students are best prepared for profe ssional suc ce ss by engaging them in learning processes that teach them to b ecome fle xible, engaged, critica lly thinking, col laborative and open, a nd life-long learners who expect and embrace ongoing change while holding to their own central values and relying on their finest strengths. BAC students a re e xtremely diverse le arners , a nd providing multiple methods and venues for delivering instruc - tion benefits their successf ul c ompletion of our courses and programs. In order to effectively offer our students such an educ ation, we need to develop a complex delivery system with learning opportunities that a llow students to lear n to think as client- oriented designers, a nd to continue to learn technical and ma nagement skills by engaging their highest capabilities and best imaginations throughout their careers. It is particularly apt for institutions that offer profe ssiona l education to ground The Premise —Toward a Comprehensive New Curriculum Dr. Julia Halevy, Provost Degree Projects Studio BAC Provost Julia Halevy PRACTICE 18 FEATURE] TOWARD AN INTEGRATED CURRICULUM