-Landscape architects looking for continuing education credits recently found a great value in online desktop seminars produced by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The price of continuing education courses for ASLA members was cut by more than 60 percent, from $159 to $69. A new feature is the ability to download previously recorded sessions for only $49. Making continuing education programs more accessible was the reason for the revised course fees.
Continuing education credits are required by 46 state boards for the renewal of landscape architect licenses. While requirements vary from state to state, all licensed landscape architects must earn either Professional Development Hours or Continuing Education Units to maintain their status. All 90-minute ASLA desktop seminars count towards either course credit tracking system and provide attendance and content verification.
ASLA conducted a survey in late March on the usage of its desktop seminar program. "What we found was that most members preferred to arrange educational opportunities for themselves, without a large group," said Sadik Artunc, FASLA. Artunc, a landscape architecture professor at Louisiana State University, serves as chair of the ASLA Continuing Education Committee. "The old pricing structure was based on a group-session, where several members would gather in one office to participate in a single seminar. And those prices discouraged people from registering on their own, the way they wanted to."
"Making the transition from audio seminars to live online desktop seminars called for a re-examination of the existing fees," said Lori Sackett, ASLA manager, continuing education. "It's a new product and people are using it in different ways. A single session used to have lots of listeners from the same office at once. Now, members want to view their sessions on their own. Without the large, office-centered audiences, the prices came down. Now more people can log on from different locations."
Sackett believes the participation of landscape architects from different locations contributes to successful desktop seminars. "Office mates often have very different professional orientations," she said. "The point [of the desktop seminars] is to learn with people you don't see every day."
If the live desktop seminars don't fit their schedule, landscape architects can still benefit from the program. All sessions, complete with audio and image files, are archived on ASLA Online,
, and can be accessed at any time 48 hours after the live online session. Archive retrievals are only $49 per session for first-time users and free for registrants who participated in the live session.
Fourteen live sessions remain in the 2001 schedule, including Managing Risks on May 31, Introduction to Digital Multimedia for the Small Office on June 7, and two sessions of Therapeutic Gardens on July 19 and 26. Courses conclude on Oct. 18 with Land Use and Water Quality. Desktop seminars for 2002 will be announced next fall.
ASLA online desktop continuing education seminars are open to members, non-members and students. For more information or to register for an upcoming session, visit ASLA Online,
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association representing 13,500 members nationwide. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication and fellowship.