I am often asked how long does it take to get a PCI Foundation program started. We have developed programs with 14 schools ... and each of them are different. From the time frame to get them started to the content of their programs no two are alike. However, experience has taught me some of the steps that a program can expect to take in order to get a PCI Foundation grant started.
The first thing needed is always the local partnership between a school and either a PCI region or a PCI Member who will work with the school to ensure that there is always good collaboration between both partners, and help the school navigate PCI meetings and programs. Typically, the time frame looks something like this prior to students being the the precast classroom.
1-3 years prior
Begin working with school and professor to learn more about their curriculum and how the partners might work together to establish a new PCI Foundation Education Program.
Confirm the school administration support for program.
6 -18 months prior
Enlist the support of other companies, suppliers, and regional groups in the area to work together on the program. Ensure that local companies and individuals are financially supporting the PCI Foundation sufficiently to establish a track record of interest.
Contact the PCI Foundation Executive Director or Academic Council Chair to establish an Advisory Committee who will help guide the school and local partner through the application process.
Attend the PCI convention or the PCI Professors Seminar (together if possible). Meet with other professors in the program and take home ideas from which to write your proposal. (The PCI Convention takes place in March of each year, and the PCI Foundation Professors Seminar takes place every 18 months at various times and locations).
If appropriate, line up faculty who can help integrate multiple disciplines into the program (for instance, if it is an architecture program, how might engineering students be involved?)
In many cases, schools have found that it is helpful to have a precast concrete module taught as part of a reinforced concrete or materials class prior to any students taking the PCI Foundation sponsored course.
6-12 months prior
Collaborate on first draft of preliminary program proposal. Talk about the needs of all partners and ensure that a quality educational component is included.
Submit preliminary proposal. If no professor or local partner is available, a member of the advisory council may present this proposal to the Trustees.
Get comments back from Board of Trustees. Make changes if needed.
Submit final proposal
2-6 months prior (assuming proposal is approved)
Negotiate and sign Memorandum of Understanding (this process takes between 3 weeks and 3 months depending on university). No grant checks will be sent until an MOU is executed. Feel free to request an example MOU from the PCI Foundation prior to applying for the grant.
Funding is received following executed MOU
More information on what is entailed in the application process is available on our guidelines page.