Architecture students work on library design

Architecture students at Arapahoe Community College must propose design ideas for the renovation of a Denver libary as a semester project, reports the Denver Post.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for the students to come into contact with a real-world client and have those kinds of connections,” said Greg Houston, the students’ architecture professor at Arapahoe Community College.

In addition to connections with the Denver Public Library and Denver-based Humphries Poli Architects, the firm in charge of the renovation designs for the Ross-Barnum branch, the students were also helping to forge an important connection with the University of Colorado Denver, which has recently announced its own architecture degree program.

“It is our hope that we develop an alignment between the community college courses and what they’re offering and what we are wanting this bachelor’s of science to be,” associate professor Phillip Gallegos of CU Denver’s architecture and planning school said.

An Arapahoe graduation, Houston struggled when he transferred to University of Colorado. “I want to make sure that students who apply and are accepted are better prepared,” he told the Post.

ACC students presented their design ideas for the branch library on Nov. 14. “I think there are some things that we can incorporate into the modest renovation we will be doing,” said Susan Kotarba, director of public services for Denver Public Library, who was at the presentation as a judge. “There were really some very exceptional ideas.”

NC creates ‘stackable’ energy jobs curricula

North Carolina community colleges have consolidated “green” jobs’ programs, creating stackable credentials that let students move easily between jobs and advanced schooling, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Using employer feedback on core skills and competencies, the 58-college system created 47 new courses, revised 219 and dropped 92.

“Our goal was not to create one-off programs” at individual campuses, said Scott Ralls, the system’s president. “It’s a curriculum that cuts across 58 colleges.”

. . . The program, named the Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project, affects academic areas related to building, energy, environment, transportation and engineering technology.  More than 80 curriculum standards were consolidated into 32 revised ones, based on “career clusters” like architecture and construction technology (see box).

In many cases, students can earn an industry-recognized certificate with 12 to 18 credits, find a job and return later to any community college in the state to work toward a higher-level certificate or degree.

In addition to technical courses, the new energy credentials include “employability competencies,” such as working in teams.