You’re know you’re really back in school when one of you is elected class “Milk Monitor” and for the first time on our Post Graduate course, we’ve appointed a Class Liaison officer who we affectionately refer to as our Milk Monitor.
Joking aside, its proved a genius move for the students currently studying with us for their diplomas in Residential Landscape Architecture (garden design) because this is a fast-paced course and keeping up with the schedule can prove tricky unless you are super-organised or have someone who is.
That’s where our milk monitor comes in. She’s the link between the tutors and the students and because she comes from an IT background, she’s got the whole class on Skype so they can keep in touch in between lectures which we run on Thursdays and Fridays.
The reason I mention this is that I’ve noticed this out-of-school support has played a key role in helping the students this year achieve the highest marks of any intake over the last 10 years. Of our 17 students, we have just one male who I was concerned might feel out-of-the-loop amongst so many women but instead, this group has really bonded and in no small thanks to their Skype connections.
Another reason I think this particular intake is doing so well on the course is that all of them attended one of our “taster” four-day courses before signing up for the year-long Diploma course.
I run these courses at regular intervals throughout the year (March, May, July and again in September) to give prospective students a real taste of what to expect once they commence training and for anyone even thinking about garden design, either as a first or second career, I cannot recommend doing the four-day course first highly enough.
Firstly, it gives you the chance to dip your toe in the water and see for yourself whether you have any aptitude for design. This is especially important for those prospective students who are not coming to the course from an art or related background.
It also means that those students who have taken the taster course and confirmed for themselves they have some design ability can really hit the ground running once we start the full-time course which, as I mentioned, really is very fast-paced.
We admit we cram a lot into our diploma course but that’s because I want to be sure we are given our students the very best training in a highly competitive field; in other words we give them the “edge” and the careers that our previous students go on to forge for themselves bear testimony to that.