SBA is in the perfect place to capitalize on the following three trends:

• Green building is accelerating at a dramatic rate

• There is a lack of educated workforce in green building

• On-line courses and short non-certification courses are not translating into opportunities

The market is huge and growing

The SBA program prepares  graduates for work in the green building market in many different areas of the built environment; architecture, construction, policy and planning, real estate, interior design, and consulting, etc.  The group projects prepare students for real world scenarios, working with a team of professionals on a project with budgets and constraints.   The local Guest Lecturers, who are currently working in the industry, open the doors to potential employers in the area.  It is very common for Guest Lecturers to give students their business cards and offer their assistance if needed.   The student community is diverse and students come from companies already working in green building to those trying to get their foot in the door.   The relationships that grow among  the students offers another strong opportunity for job searchers.  We have instances where Instructors have hired students and students recommended classmates for positions in their companies.    In addition,  employers find certificates important.  The SBA is a nationally tested program and exam with high standards.  This is supported by the approval of the GBCI for LEED continuing education as well as the AIA and Canadian Architects Associations.

Analysis

There are many local, regional, and national green-building education programs – private sector and government initiated – that provide general to specific sustainable building education, but not all of the programs are true competitors to SBA.   For example, we would not be competing with a full-time degree program, or a two day energy modeling course.  Therefore, our competitive landscape is comprised of courses that offer a comprehensive green building certificate for those who cannot attend school fulltime.

Benefits

• The SBA is a nationally tested program and exam with high standards.  This is supported by the approval of the GBCI for LEED continuing education as well as the AIA and Canadian Architects Associations.

• Guest Lecturers are local professionals who’s knowledge is up-to-the-moment in green building technologies, and applications.  They know the local environment and have specific local projects that students can tour.  They may become employers, business associates or employees at some point.

• The student community learns from each other.  Students come from a diverse background and each has something to add to the class.  One Architect said, “I appreciated the non-architects in the class because I learned a whole new perspective from them.  I am used to just talking to architects about design”

• The group projects prepare students for real world scenarios, working with a team of professionals on a project with budgets and constraints.

• Tours of local buildings.  Students get to touch and feel what they have learned.  One class spent a day in the mud making cob, then the next day in a LEED Gold office building.

• The relationships that result from the program are as important as the content.  Students graduate with a community of like-minded people from all areas of building: design, construction, policy, real estate, etc.