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DBIA Milestone: Charles Pankow Foundation Bootstrap Grants

As design-build project delivery continues to grow, it is essential that students entering the building industry are not only exposed to design-build best practices, but are fluent in them. DBIA has always been committed to this principle and in 2012 we partnered with the Charles Pankow Foundation (CPF) to improve student learning and entry-level success in the construction industry. CPF generously provided three $10,000 grants to qualified universities to help them improve their design-build curricula. To further emphasize the importance of design-build best practices, we selected the grant recipients through a best value, or two step, process. We started by making a “request for qualifications” from the schools.

We received letters of interest from 12 schools across the country. In order to be considered qualified the schools had to meet the following criteria:
  • The program was known and respected by DBIA member firms who hire their graduates.
  • At least one faculty member was already knowledgeable and passionate about DBIA principles and practices and about enhancing student learning; preference was given to faculty who had received DBIA training or education.
  • The school could identify faculty who were qualified, or could readily prepare, to teach design-build curriculum topics.
  • Students in the school’s current program were not as proficient upon graduation as they could be in the knowledge and abilities they will need to perform successfully in design-build assignments.
  • The department head (or an equivalent) was committed and willing to enhance their program’s curriculum content in design-build topics.

DBIA worked with CFP to narrow the list of applicants to seven schools and sent them a “request for proposals.” Then a team consisting of DBIA volunteer leaders and CPF representatives reviewed the detailed proposals and ultimately chose three schools which received $10,000 each: Colorado State University, University of Florida and California State University – Fresno. 

DBIA continues to work with students today through many different channels. We have 26 student chapters at schools across the country, a reduced membership rate for students, a student design-build competition and our Design-Build University program. All of these serve to prepare the next generation of design, and construction professionals for a future where design-build is a standard delivery method.

 

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