People sometimes wonder, why 10 months? Some programs offer shorter durations. Others offer longer. EDAC is kind of like Goldilocks bowl of porridge because we think that 10 months is just right. 10 months is the ideal amount of time for the kind of intensive, immersive, mentor-based, studio-oriented learning that is core to the EDAC faculty’s core educational philosophy.
Here’s what happens in those 10 months:
Foundations: Every program starts with a Foundations Phase. This is what we look at as basic training. It is intense and it is focused on tools, ideas, vocabulary, and thinking that you need in order to be able to do the thing you want to do. The crazy thing about the Foundations Phase is that most of what you learn is NOT computer-based. We know that computers will make you faster, not better. Knowing that, we need to help make sure you know how to make good stuff, then we can introduce software tools to help you make that good stuff faster. This means gamers make board games, illustrators draw with pen and ink, designers cut and paste actual paper, and animators work on storyboards and scripts.
Implementation: Once you are making good stuff and have started learning to use the software tools to make that good stuff more efficiently, we introduce projects and project process. People remember stories and events better than they remember facts and data. Projects allow us to turn all that information that you learned in Foundations into stories and experience. This means that you are developing your long-term memory of the skills & knowledge from Foundations and really integrating it into your daily discipline. Why is that important? Because to be a professional, you need to be able to complete projects with autonomy. Managers, creative directors, and clients hire you because you can get the job done without them telling you what to do. Becoming autonomous with your projects is vital to your professional practice. There is one last phase that is designed to make you the professional you want to be. That phase is where you determine the projects, their timelines, their costs, and ultimately their final delivery. We call this phase Specialization.
Specialization: You have worked hard to get to this phase and you are ready to self-direct your projects. This is where our faculty shift from being teachers to mentors. They offer feedback and make suggestions, but what you do is up to you. In order to really see if you have the skills and knowledge to be a professional, you must put it to the test. Specialization is your chance to see how well you manage your time, plan your projects, and implement your plans. Once you complete your Specialization Phase, you will know where you stand and you will have a portfolio that is ready for the prime time.
Since 2002, EDAC has been figuring out the ideal amount of time for the skills & knowledge you need. The way we handle our courses, the way that our faculty guides your progress, and the way that we transition you from learner to autonomous professional is a carefully managed cycle that is just right.
Just like a great bowl of porridge.