COD Students Selected for Prestigious U of I 'Versailles' Program
Each year, the University of Illinois Architecture Program selects approximately 40 students to travel to Versailles, France, to study architecture for a full academic year before returning to the Champaign campus to finish their degrees. This year, five students chosen for this prestigious program are from College of DuPage.
Students Jairo Ortega, 21, of Plainfield; Phil Svetich, 20, of Downers Grove; Khushboo Shah, 20, Naperville; and Jeff Nemcher, 39, of Aurora, are recent graduates of the College of DuPage Architecture transfer program. Fellow traveler, James Lenahan, Glen Ellyn, attended COD for one year before transferring to University of Illinois as a sophomore.
"Architects have a centuries' long tradition of traveling the world to study architecture," said David M. Chasco, director of the University of Illinois Architecture program. "The students who participate in our Versailles program are a select group of intellectually accomplished individuals. This is a rigorous program for those who want to challenge themselves intellectually in a foreign environment – it's an experience that students will take with them throughout their educational and professional careers."
The University of Illinois Versailles Program is the second-oldest study abroad experience in the country and is one of the few international programs that lasts for a full nine months.
"Our students mature tremendously over the course of this program," Chasco said. "They complete the same courses as junior-year Architecture students in Champaign; however, they are also thrust into the French culture and have the opportunity to experience other cultures in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe during travel breaks interspersed throughout the curriculum."
College of DuPage students Nemcher, Ortega, Svetich and Shah said they are "more than ready" to begin their travels due to the skills they acquired at COD "I would definitely recommend College of DuPage to students who are considering studying architecture," Ortega said. "We designed a small multi-purpose building in Chicago during our second year, which is something that doesn't usually happen in other programs until much later."
Nemcher said the COD Architecture transfer program fully prepares students for junior standing at a four-year institution. "Anyone who completes the COD program is not going to have to take extra classes once they get to a four-year school," Nemcher said. "The curriculum here has really prepared us to go to Versailles and study on the same level as the students who have been at U of I for two years already."
Founded in 1867, the U of I School of Architecture has been regarded as one of the nation's leading institutions in architectural education. According to coordinator Jane Ostergaard, full-time Architecture professor Mark Pearson is a graduate of the Versailles program, as are half a dozen of the College's adjunct faculty.
"This is yet another example of the superior value we offer at College of DuPage," said Jane Ostergaard, who noted that the program will host an informational meeting about the Versailles program in October for others who may be interested. "These students have been able to seamlessly articulate into one of the country's finest architectural programs. We are a desirable but affordable alternative for the first two years of a student's education."
DuPage Habitat for Humanity, ComEd and College of DuPage Partner to Help Consumers Go Green, Save Green
DuPage Habitat for Humanity, ComEd, and College of DuPage announced a green partnership in the development of a $3 million Habitat for Humanity residential subdivision in DuPage County. The new homes, built in the Pioneer Prairie neighborhood of suburban West Chicago, will allow 11 limited-income families to purchase attainable, sustainable homes.
ComEd is playing a central role in providing energy efficiency expertise for construction of the homes of Pioneer Prairie and the working families who will occupy them. Through an innovative new class called Sustainable Design Initiative taught at College of DuPage, architecture and construction management students worked alongside industry professionals and technical experts, like the ComEd Energy Doctor, to evaluate green building strategies for the 11 Habitat homes; and for DuPage Habitat for Humanity in the long-term.
"ComEd is committed to helping all our customers become smart energy consumers, especially in the current economic climate. That's why we're suggesting simple steps our customers can take to shrink their carbon footprints – and their energy costs," said Anne Pramaggiore, executive vice president of Customer Operations, Regulatory, and External Affairs, ComEd. "This creative collaboration allows ComEd to expand our energy efficiency education efforts by providing technical expertise to DuPage Habitat for Humanity and the students of Sustainable Design Initiative."
At the semester's conclusion, the students of Sustainable Design Initiative presented a plan to DuPage Habitat for Humanity detailing money-saving green solutions available to all homeowners and home developers. The plan offered a complete cost-benefit analysis of energy efficiency recommendations for home construction, recycling, and landscaping.
Later in 2009, DuPage Habitat for Humanity, ComEd, and College of DuPage plan to publicize the students' findings through a series of free community events designed to inform area residents of low- and no-cost options for managing energy costs and reducing energy usage.
"This has been a great opportunity for our students to see the real-world applications of sustainable design principles," said Jane Ostergaard, Architecture Coordinator, College of DuPage. "Working with Habitat has pushed the students to look carefully at the cost benefits and consequences of the recommendations they are preparing."
In June, DuPage Habitat for Humanity broke ground on Pioneer Prairie, a three-acre residential subdivision of 11 detached, single-family homes. The neighborhood is located at the intersection of Sherman and Pomeroy streets in West Chicago. In addition to the new homes, the development will provide many benefits to local residents and the surrounding community, including new infrastructure, increased home values, and enhanced aesthetic appeal thanks to new sidewalks, parkway trees, streetscapes, and an expanded, revitalized Pioneer Park.
"DuPage Habitat offers families a hand up, not a hand out. Habitat's model for community-centered development of affordable homes offers community benefits, infrastructure improvements and now energy efficiency solutions through partnerships with local families, donors and volunteers that increase the supply of much-needed, sustainable, attainable homes in DuPage County," said Sarah Brachle, executive director of DuPage Habitat for Humanity.
In August, several of the COD architecture students spent a day working on the homes at the Pioneer Prairie job site.
DuPage Habitat for Humanity builds and sells homes to qualified hard-working, limited-income families. Families must earn sufficient income to pay their 30-year mortgages to DuPage Habitat. In addition, homeowners complete 250 "sweat equity" hours building their own home and their neighbors' homes, and participating in finance, budgeting, and home repair classes. All Habitat homeowners pay local property taxes and utilities.
DuPage Habitat for Humanity has raised $2.5 million in philanthropic, government, and community support for the 11 Pioneer Prairie homes and five scattered-site rehabbed homes. The donors are not only funding the development of 11 new energy-efficient homes, they are creating a 30-year annuity that continues to help fund affordable home construction in DuPage County for years to come. Donors include: ComEd, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Ambitech Engineering, Matrex Exhibits, Tyndale House Publishers, Air-Rite Heating and Cooling, Goldman Sachs, Painters and Allied Trades Union, Mark Fessler, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and Showalter Roofing.
Supporting the development of Pioneer Prairie contributes to Exelon 2020, the comprehensive corporate strategy of ComEd's parent company, Exelon, to reduce, offset, or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020.
COD, Benedictine University Offer '2+2 Transfer Agreements
A unique "3+1" transfer agreement between College of DuPage and National-Louis University (NLU) will allow COD students who earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Management to take a third year of coursework at COD before transferring into NLU's Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration for their senior year. All credits earned at COD will transfer to NLU.Classes in the final year of the bachelor's degree program will be offered at NLU's Lisle campus, which is located about five minutes from COD, near the I-88 and Route 53 intersection.
"This is a great program for COD students who want to stay in the area and finish their bachelor's degree," said Karen Randall, COD associate dean, Business and Technology. "There is an enormous cost savings for students because of the ability to take three years worth of coursework at COD."
Jane Ostergaard, Coordinator
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1048, (630) 942-2331
Alison Greene, Program Advisor
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1047, (630) 942-2969
Kim Groesbeck, Program Support Specialist
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1054, (630) 942-2599
Business and Technology Division
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1034, (630) 942-2592
2014 College of DuPage