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Practice : Winter 2009
The BAC can certainly take pride in the development and delivery of c utting- edge online design educ ation. With the Sustainable Design Program’s size, interest a nd recognition doubling every year, a nd the Distance M.Arch becoming one of the standard options for a first profe ssional degree in Architecture, we have made memorable progress in the la st four years. It then seemed reasonable, a fter being successful online, to want to be successful globally as well. And that’s how the Global Education Initiative was brought to life. Our plan for e xporting global educ ation is closely a ligned with the BAC mission: to provide excellence in design education grounded in practice and accessible to diverse c ommunities. Our goal is to select countries that fit pa rticul ar criteria, to be present at significant events , to ma ke con nections, a nd to seek educ ational ac creditation in other c ountries while raising awareness, receiving recognition, a nd achieving planned growth. The starting point wa s April of 2008, when BAC Executive Vice President Jim Dunn, BAC Executive Director of Educationa l Initiatives Curt La mb, and I, then the BAC Director of Online Education, a ttended an AIA Europe e vent, Ecology + Environment + A rchitecture, in Athen s, Greece. The e vent included many lectures a nd a presentation by Curt La mb on the Boston A rchitectural College’s online Susta inable Design Certificate Program and the Distance M.Arch. We were well received and our programs were the talk of many at the conferenc e. We returned to Boston with many ideas and much excitement about the Glob al Initiative. In September, I attended the 11th a nnual meeting of ENHSA, the Europea n Network of Heads of School s of Architecture in Chania , Greece. EN HSA is a Socrates Programme f unded by the Europe an Commission that provides a support frame- work for European school s of architecture spe cifically “to aid schools during their integration process in the presently under con struction c ommon spa ce for higher educ ation in Europe.” The BAC’s close partnership with ENHSA was initiated by President Landsmark during his tenure a s President of the A ssociation of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. For us at the BAC, meeting with ENHSA ser ved a s a forum for discussion on architectural educ ation, with emphasis on Practice-ba sed educ ation and the opportunity to le arn about European practice, economic strengths and challenges to higher educ ation, global practice, a ccredi- tation and licensure. The BAC was a mong the few c ollege s attending the conferenc e from the U.S .; the majority of attendees represented European schools, so I had the opportunity to discuss, in depth, programs, accreditation processes, and institutional goals for online educ ation with Program Heads from a variety of countries. The BAC is certa inly a pioneer in online educ ation, and other schools are very interested. I began my work in the European theatre with the English-speaking countries, by raising awarenes s and appreciation for our online programs. The first exposition that I attended wa s the Irish Sustainable Building Show in Dublin, at the end of September of 2008, which wa s visited by 11,000 building bac launches global Online Initiatives in Europe The plan for expor ting global education is closely aligned with the BAC mission. Ann a Stefanidou, Director of Global Educa tion NEWSWORThy ] bac l aUN chES glObal INITIaTIv ES anna in booth at Ecomondo pRacTIcE 14