Since our last update in June (time flies when you’re having fun), we’ve had a lot going on at Center Centre.
In June, we welcomed our first Facilitator and Curriculum Developer—Thomas Michaud—from Michigan. After working as an illustrator and designer, Thomas spent the past eight years developing and teaching the Web Design curriculum at Andrews University. His first book, Foundations of Web Design: HTML & CSS, was published in 2014 through New Riders. Over the past few months, Thomas has developed our curriculum, interviewed student applicants, and even provided IT support. Occasionally he posts his illustrations and learning resources as @coldcoffee on Twitter.
In August, we welcomed our newest Facilitator—Jessica Ivins—from Philadelphia. An alumnus of Happy Cog, Jessica practices, teaches, and speaks about many things UX. She’s now learning how to build a design school and has even presented a talk on UX (Useful, Usable & Desirable: Designing for People) for the Chattanooga Developer Luncheon. To learn more about this amazing UX designer and educator, make sure you check out her website and follow @jessicaivins on Twitter.
Getting the school ready
When starting a new school, there’s never a shortage of to-do items on Basecamp (Thomas’ alone number around 590)! Some things we’ve done so far include: getting the space all spiffy (paint, carpet, chairs, and so much more); lots of curriculum development; securing Partner Companies (businesses that have committed specific resources including mentorship to Center Centre); Getting the word out about the school; and interviewing student applicants.
The design of our space fosters a collaborative and productive learning environment. We’ve already stocked up on sticky notes. (As the UX joke goes, design doesn’t happen unless sticky notes are involved.)
Student applicants and start date
After we opened admissions for the first cohort, we’ve seen great applicants come through. What makes a great applicant? They articulate their UX career objectives, demonstrate a dedication to lifelong learning, and are passionate about technical and soft skills needed in the field. The application process is not quick and we’re choosy about who we accept.
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, [often go awry] -To a Mouse, by Robert Burns
Our plan was to start school in September. We hoped for a full class of students who received the right mix of student loans and scholarships. But we’ve run into some challenges getting student loans and scholarships ready in time.
We’re working to secure more loan and scholarship options for our students. To allow time for this, we’ve rescheduled our start date to January 2015.
Still taking applications
We’re accepting applications from those who demonstrate an eagerness to learn, a prowess for professionalism, and motivation to be a UX designer. If you see yourself as one of those amazing candidates, submit your application today. Also, if you know someone who would make a great candidate, please let him or her know about our school. You can also share the love by tweeting about us.
As most of you know, starting any new endeavor (particularly a school) is never easy, but we’re committed to transparency about our process—including our challenges. We look forward to sharing more good news soon.