Gateway to Practice
Since 2008, the Gateway to Practice Initiative has provided a platform for students to gain experience in project planning and delivery through design services that benefit nonprofits, community organizations, and municipalities in Greater Boston. Under the guidance of experienced design professionals who act as advisors and mentors, students work in multi-disciplinary teams to produce an established set of deliverables to the community client while developing vital professional skills and competencies.
The Gateway to Practice program strives to satisfy three goals:
- To forge sustainable and enduring partnerships with nonprofits, community organizations, and municipalities;
- To provide community partners with access to design services through projects with clearly defined goals and deliverables;
- To provide students with opportunities to expand their knowledge base and apply learning through research and action; engage with community leaders and stakeholders; collaborate across disciplines; and acquire vital professional skills and competencies.
How It Works
The process for developing a Gateway project begins with an idea. Community organizations in need of design assistance submit a completed project application form to the Practice Department. The proposal is then reviewed by the Director of Gateway and an initial meeting is arranged. If a project proposal is accepted, the client and Director of Gateway work together to develop and clarify the project goals, scope of work, and anticipated deliverables. The final project description, deliverables, and client expectations are dictated in an official Letter of Understanding.
At the beginning of each semester, the Practice Department hosts a Gateway Open House. Students are invited to learn more about the project offerings, speak with community partners, and submit an application to join the project of their choice. The Practice Department then reviews all applications, selects, and assigns students to teams based on demonstration of interest, academic standing, and recommendations from faculty and academic advisors.
Once teams have been assigned, Gateway projects officially begin!
Learn more about Gateway
Annual Gateway Reports