In the BAC's experience-based method of instruction in Practice, students are guided by the learning objectives we provide them, but within a self-directed educational framework. Students play an essential active role in creating for themselves a flexible learning experience within a Practice setting.
A student's progressive learning in Practice is measured by the accumulation of Practice credits assigned to course areas and project activities specifically linked to the student's discipline and area of study, and evidence of increased Skill Level, measured by skills and competencies leading to professional advancement. The BAC tracks student's progress through twice annual reporting which tracks the accumulation of Practice hours and by requiring students to participate in periodic Practice Assessment meetings in which students meet in-person with a designated Practice Faculty member to have their Skill Level evaluated.
Earning Practice Hours
Students earn Practice hours for design-related work and involvement in Gateway Projects.
The goal for all concurrent students is to find a supportive learning environment that enhances and reinforces their academic studies to help them grow as design professionals. While the nature of Practice-based learning largely depends on the student's ability to shape his or her own path and acquisition of professional skills, the student's supervisor plays an important mentoring role in a student's success in the office.
Students can receive Practice hours for approved and supervised work completed in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design firms or in "related" design settings. These representative work environments encompass the variety of industries in which students can work and acquire technical skills and knowledge that will further their understanding of their area of study.
Related settings include but are not limited to the following:
- Urban and regional planning and design
- Landscape architecture and design
- Interior design, decorating and space planning
- Graphic and web planning design
- Structural and M/E/P planning design
- Site and traffic planning and design
- Production and set designers
- Engineering/ Environmental Engineering
- Contractors and all the related trades
- Project Management
- Property Appraisal
- Apartment Management Firms
- Facilities & Asset Management
- Real Estate Development
- Cost Estimating
- Quantity Surveying
- Project Financing
- Public Officials (at municipal, state and federal levels)
- City and regional Planning agencies
- Housing Authorities
- Economic and Urban Development Agencies
- Asset Management Agencies
- Community Development Corporations
- Transit Authorities
- Port Authorities
- Custom Kitchen & Bath Stores
- Design Build Firms
- Electrical and Lighting Firms
- High-End Furniture Retail
- Home Inspection Service Firms
- HVAC & Plumbing Firms
- Industrial Design
- Lighting Design
- Lumber Yards
- Municipal Planning & Zoning
- Physical Engineering
- Real Estate "Staging" (designing and arranging rooms so they appeal to prospective buyers)
- Real Estate Developers
- Real Estate Offices
- Space Planning
- Stone Yards
- Trade Show Exhibit Design & Production Firms
- Window Treatment Design
Monitoring Skill Level
Skill Levels are based on two important sets of proficiencies: those which underscore technical abilities necessary to be a productive member of a project team, as well as non-technical traits or characteristics involving communication, leadership and maturity. They demonstrate an individual's unique potential to assume increased managerial responsibilities and advance within a professional office environment.
Given the diverse and varied office settings - along with the broad array of individualized employment opportunities pursued by BAC students - it is understood that the Practice situation and rate of advancement is potentially different for each student. It is for this reason that no uniform, step-by-step learning and understanding through a prescribed sequencing of activities is expected. Rather, students are guided to make continual progress by acquiring new skills and competencies from a comprehensive list of choices (laid out in the Student Learning Contract).
The Skill Level is evaluated by Practice Faculty members during periodic Practice Assessment appointments.