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Wanted: Examples of Landscape Architecture Mentor Programs

Are you a student enrolled in a landscape architecture program looking to become involved in a mentor program?

Professionals, does the firm, university landscape architecture program, ASLA chapter, public agency, or nonprofit organization where you work have a landscape architecture mentor program?

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The ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee is preparing a guide to help tomorrow’s professionals who are seeking landscape architecture mentor program opportunities and to assist those interested in developing such programs.

ASLA will maintain and update an online reference list of landscape architecture mentor programs. We are looking for examples of current mentor programs to include on the reference list and want to know about your program. Is it organized through a school or university, ASLA chapter, business, government agency, nonprofit organization, or collaborative effort?

What is a landscape architecture mentor program? Who benefits? How does it work? Here is a shining example.

North Carolina State University
Landscape Architecture Mentor Program
Blogsite: shiftncsu
Tags: Martha Eberle, John Watts, Stephanie Coble
Contact: Gene Bressler

The NCSU Landscape Architecture Mentor Program pairs practitioners with students based upon student needs and interests as well as professional skills and experience. This relationship enables students to better understand professional expectations while giving practitioners a window into the academic world. Participants determine the amount of time to commit and are encouraged to be actively engaged in order to get the most benefit from the program. Activities include informal meetings, networking, inviting mentors to critiques or asking for feedback on work, and attending educational events, conferences, or office tours.

Over the last school year, the mentor program had the highest numbers ever of involvement of both students and mentors. There were 45 mentors active in the program, matched with 60 students (almost half of the total number of landscape architecture students). According to a recent survey conducted among mentors and mentees, the program offered a variety of experiences, and most of the responses were very positive.

Please share your landscape architecture mentor program story during National Landscape Architecture Month. Send a brief summary of your program to ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee member Robin Gyorgyfalvy, ASLA, at by April 30.

Comments April 13, 2011 11:31 AM
My boys have been in the ACE Mentor Program while in high school. It has been outstanding for them. My oldest boy was a national finalist in their design competition and was awarded a college scholarship. He currently goes to Colorado School of Mines, strict engineering college, majoring in mechanical engineering, he is quite talented, wind and solar his interest. My younger boy loves ACE as well. He seems to be tending towards structural engineering at this time. I have spoken to the class a few times as a landscape architect and regarding sustainability concepts. April 13, 2011 12:42 PM
ACE is indeed an excellent program, and many landscape architects are involved across the country. ASLA is a national sponsor. This particular request is for programs that match LA students in college with LAs in the field. Congratulations on your sons' accomplishments, and thank you for taking the time to represent the profession! April 17, 2011 7:35 PM
I believe that sometimes sowing the seeds early is effective. Although I have a certificate in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley, I decided to keep my job as a teacher until the economy looks more stable. So besides small projects, I have been teaching my elementary school students(4th and 5th graders)site measurements, drawing to scale, basic drafting, SketchUp, and some art techniques. They have designed a nice area for a third of an acre on our campus and will present to adults next week. Their work is surprisingly good. In the fall, we go to the district and to parents with a final design to get approval and funds to start the work. What a thrill for the children when they see their work realized! Who knows how this will affect their decisions in college?
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