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PCI Foundation Celebrates 10 Years of Education Programs

2016 marked the 10th anniversary of educational programs sponsored by the PCI Foundation - and had its busiest year ever in terms of dollars granted and students and professors involved in our programs.

The PCI Foundation sponsored 10 studios during 2016. This was our most active year to date, and we had programs that spanned across the US. They also included programs in architecture, engineering and construction management. We worked with 18 professors who had about 200 students in their programs and provided about $235,000 in grants.

In the Classroom

During 2016, we sponsored programs at the following schools.

  • Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

  • Minnesota State University at Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota

  • Rhode Island School o f Design, Providence, Rhode Island

  • South Dakota State University, Brooking, South Dakota

  • University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado

  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas

  • University of Washington, Seattle Washington

  • Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

The key to making each of these programs successful comes from how the professors works in partnership with a local precaster, engineering firm or region to ensure that the content of the courses meets not only the curriculum requirements of the school, but also the local needs of the local partners. Before the semester begins, the local partner meets with the professor and not only sets up visits to plants and jobsites, but also contributes to the syllabus and comes into the classroom to ensure that students understand the design requirements of precast concrete.

At the Convention

An important part of our program is to offer opportunities for PCI members to interact with students and professors at all of our programs. Students from most of the schools we work with came to the PCI Convention to share their projects and meet with PCI members during the Precast Show at a poster session. Students display both architectural projects they have designed, but also have information on materials research or digital fabrication techniques being explored in the classroom.

Educating the Professors

Additionally we held our annual Professors Seminar at the University of Southern California (USC) in cooperation with PCI West where we spend three days teaching professors how to teach precast concrete. About 20 attendees spent time learning more about precast concrete industry and resources. Our time included education from professors already teaching in our programs and a “field day” where we visited precast concrete plant, received a tour of the Broad Museum project, visited Gensler Architects and spend time at the University Village project that was under construction at USC.

Internship Template

The other major project underway at the PCI Foundation is a joint project with the National Precast Concrete Association Foundation. We are working to create an internship program template that will be available for use from members of PCI and NPCA. During 2016 the content was mapped out and a consultant was hired to write the program, which will be released in 2017.

As always, funding for the PCI Foundation is made solely through donations to the PCI Foundation. It does not receive funding from the PCI Budget. To learn more about these programs or to make a donation to the PCI Foundation, visit the website at 

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