- What are Gateway projects?
- How do I learn about and sign up for Gateway projects?
- What kind of work do students do on Gateway projects? What will I learn?
- Who gets selected for a Gateway project?
- What are the Gateway policies and requirements for students?
- acquire professional skills and experience working on design projects that help make them more marketable in the field;
- develop portfolio-quality work; and
- engage in meaningful work with non-profits and community organizations.
Students can earn Practice hours for their work on Gateway projects. At the beginning of each semester, the Practice Department launches new Gateway projects, which take several forms. Most projects involve direct engagement between a team of students and the community organization, for whom students are designing something, doing a feasibility study, or doing research. All of these activities are supervised by design professionals or Practice faculty members.
These activities are open to all students and are structured to allow both advanced and beginner students the opportunity for unique and exciting Practice-based learning. The time commitments and individual projects offered each semester vary; students who are interested should watch for announcements at the beginning of the semester for the Gateway Open House, or contact the Practice Department directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[back to list]
Q: How do I learn about and sign up for Gateway projects?
A: The launch of Gateway projects occurs twice a year at the Gateway Open House: once at the beginning of the fall semester (August) and once at the beginning of the spring semester (January). Students will be notified of the location, date, and timing of the Open House via BAC email. The Open House provides students with the opportunity to learn about the semester's Gateway projects. Students will also meet and speak with client representatives from nonprofit organizations involved in Community Projects, as well as instructors and faculty supervisors. During the Open House, interested students will an application selecting their preferred projects.
Following the Open House, Practice staff review student applications and consider each student's preferred projects along with their experience, expertise, Skill Level, and needs/requests of the client, and form project teams. These teams often blend students from different disciplines and varied skill sets so that students learn from each other as well as from faculty.
Teams are announced at the Gateway Orientation, which takes place week or two after the Open House. At Gateway Orientation students learn who is on their team, meet their instructors, and conduct their first team meeting.
[back to list]
Q: What kind of work do students do on Gateway projects? What will I learn?
A: Gateway students are working on real projects for real clients. The clients have signed a Letter of Understanding with the Practice Department outlining the deliverables for the project, and students must deliver those items at the end of the semester. Because the Practice Department, our community clients, and our instructors are committed to student learning, students' personal learning goals and goals for acquiring new skills are included in the deliverables of the semester. Students must work collaboratively on a team both to produce the client's requested deliverables and to further their own learning, just as if they were working in a design firm.
Therefore, students learn everything from time management, to group dynamics, to project delivery and scheduling, to design concepts, to community process, to how to advocate for their own learning. We expect, and support, student learning in the following areas:
- Develop critical thinking, design, and collaborative leadership skills;
- Learn about the phases of a typical design project: planning, design, and implementation;
- Understand and appreciate the operational side of design and project management;
- Learn and hone technical skills that are needed to work in today's design firms;
- Gain a cross-cultural perspective and cultivate a sensitivity to interpersonal dynamics that are vital in developing effective working relationships between designers and clients;
- Learn about the human and economic impacts of alternative design solutions that are environmentally progressive and sustainable.
[back to list]
Q: Who gets selected for a Gateway project?
A: The Practice Department considers a wide variety of factors when determining who gets placed on which team. Students in all degree programs, regardless of skill level, are encouraged to apply! Generally foundation undergraduate students are not accepted into the program; this is to allow them to become acclimated to the school before jumping into a Gateway project.
[back to list]
Q: What are the Gateway policies and requirements for students?
A: Please visit the Gateway Student Information page.