Now that the PCI Foundation has some experience starting new programs at different schools, we have seen a process emerge for making the programs happen. A PCI Foundation program take three important components.
The School Champion: At least one champion from the school who will see the process through. Often this is the professor who will teach the course, although it sometimes is the dean of one of the schools. Most often this champion will see the program through from beginning to end.
PCI Foundation Support: The Foundation not only offers support in terms of funding, but also works to communicate with the schools to help improve their programs, connect the professors and students to the industry as a whole, and connect the professors to each other. When sponsoring a Precast Studio or education program at a university, the PCI Foundation typically makes a significant contribution that extends over three to five years. This allows us to plan for the future, but also allows the students and professors at the school to get to know the local industry and understand how the school and its industry partner might work together.
The Local Partner: That local relationship has been key in making our programs successful. In some cases, it has been a regional åorganization and members from several producers, and in other cases, a single producer will take on the role of "local partner." What this means is different for each studio, and should be mapped out in advance to the studio.
How these three come together varies from school to school. Sometimes the local partner has a relationship with a school it wishes to strengthen, and other times the school will seek out the local partner.
Once all three of these components are in place, the school submits a preliminary proposal along with supplemental material from the local partner. Information on these proposals can be found on the PCI Foundation website: pci-foundation.org.
If the PCIF Board of Trustees feels the proposal is good, it sets up an advisory committee made up of a Foundation Trustee, local partner representative, the PCIF executive director and the school champion. The advisory committee provides guidance as the school puts together its final proposal including information about the school, the degree program, the faculty taking part in the studio and the expected syllabus of the course or courses. The process is never exactly the same, because each school and each local partner bring a variety of skills and experience to the table. This variety is part of what makes the programs funded by the PCI Foundation exciting and new.
If you have questions about how to launch a program at your favorite school, contact Marty McIntyre.