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Career Designs

CEDIAs Designer College Sets Curriculum for EXPO 2007

Beyond the how and why electronic systems designers should enroll in CEDIA University, Designer coursework offers vision, which is something that professionals cant often achieve from field experience alone.

Smart design elements are only going to get you so far, said Joe Wallace, general manager for Peak-to-Peak Systems, and chairman of CEDIAs Education Content Action Team. CEDIA-Certified professionals are more prepared to deal with changing technology because the Designer College teaches problem solving and concept comprehension instead of tricks or gimmicks.

According to Dr. Floyd Toole, the often-published acoustics expert and a Designer College course developer and instructor, arming yourself with the knowledge to face challenges should be the goal for anyone investing in education. It is not mysterious, and its mostly predictable and easily understood. It has been my lifelong challenge to interpret hard science for the layman, Dr. Toole said. And it can be done if students abandon learning by rote and focus on understanding broader concepts.

The Designer College core curriculum courses are different from design seminars offered by the association because the curriculum has been professionally developed and all best practices explored in the courses are independently verified. Included in the price of each core curriculum course are presentation and case study materials as well as textbook resources for future reference and review.

CEDIA Universitys deans or education volunteers ensure that the courses are interactive and engaging, though Wallace acknowledges it can be challenging to conduct interactive elements during a 90-minute course with 200 professionals. Most courses have a mixture of theory, case studies, and interactive exercises.

Mario Leone, one of the Designer College deans, said the core curriculum courses are designed to aid in note taking. Each of the core curriculum participant guides, provided only within the classroom, offer notes section on each page. Leone believes this allows for a higher level of engagement with the instructor and with others in the class.

The direct feedback I have received from CEDIA University students is that the core curriculum course participant guides and other materials are invaluable, Leone said. People keep them and refer back to them all the time.

Quality instructors are critical to the success of each class. No one wants to sit in a room and listen to a guy with a monotone voice who stands behind a podium the whole time. The CEDIA Certified Instructor program (CCI) was developed to make sure that all instructors have a common sense understanding of how to instruct adults, as well as how to interact with a crowd. According to Leone, CEDIA University is constantly evaluating every instructor to ensure that the highest level of professionalism and educational value is maintained. Additionally, Leone said, the professionals taking the courses play a big part in their quality.

Dr. Toole explains that the best studentsthose who get the maximum valuecome into the core curriculum courses with the attitude that they are there to learn. Just a few hours of instruction can have a huge impact on an electronic systems professionals daily activities and career.

The best compliment I have ever received is when a student has come back to attend my class four or five times, Dr. Toole said. Because I update my class to cover the changing technology and strategies, students say that every time they come back they understand so much more and feel connected to the solutions.

Joshua Hall serves on the public relations team for CEDIA in Indianapolis, Indiana.