Presidents' Panel Question One: Recruitment. Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA
What are three things the profession can do to increase enrollment in landscape architecture programs?
The power of the structure of ASLA awards each chapter a great deal of autonomy. I suggest the response is shared among ASLA, the state chapters, and the individual programs in landscape architecture. In any case, the members are our best advocates.
Landscape Architecture Programs
Forge stronger links with engineering and architecture programs. Create shared projects between/among classes, so that engineering, architecture, and interior design students interact with landscape architecture students and instructors on projects. The products include: awareness in other programs about opportunities for education; awareness among students of other professional opportunities; and future collaboration facilitation. Many of my current students come from these other programs, almost by chance, as the student becomes interested in options to their current course. This also provides forward looking faculty the opportunity to create bridges between programs and among disciplines.
This element connects with current college students, and is more immediate in return on investment.
Every member is an advocate. Each must send press releases to media for all projects won and completed. The result is a heightened awareness of our works and scope as a viable profession.
Each chapter should create a board position (or responsibility) for outreach. This person will create an agenda for participation in high school career days, parking day events, or pro bono school projects that target all schools. This includes connecting with student chapters to participate together or independently with elementary and high school programs and projects. For remote locations this could be done via a digital connection.
We must include second and third grade outreach to facilitate our future members. This will have a longer return on the immediate efforts.
Generate a boilerplate presentation/format/checklist that becomes a point of beginning for outreach to grade schools, high schools, and community colleges. This could take the form of a punch list that goes from contact methods (who to approach, typically) to appropriate follow-up after the meetings or projects.
Become the strong voice of environmental literacy for youth. This will involve media outreach, collaborations with associations (AMA, Nature Conservancy, etc.), and programs for youth education.