The value of co-ops and thoughts on Miss. State

<p>Hi everyone,</p>

<p>I am closer to deciding on the path I want to take to become an architect and focus on small town/rural town historical preservation and planning. I have done some research and spent a day with a local architect and think that, for now, my plan is to go to school, get my B. Arch and then either try to find work in a firm that specializes in historical preservation, or if I can swing graduate school costs, go onto get my Master's in Hist. Presevation afterward. </p>

<p>I have found that Mississippi State has a focus on small towns and community planning and from what I can tell, would be a good fit for me if I can get the merit/OOS aid that I need to bring the cost of attendance down. One thing they offer is a co-op program. Does anyone know if this is an advantage? I would think it is, but I would like to hear more from anyone who has participated in one. Do they help you to get a job afterward? </p>

<p>I am also looking at Virginia Tech, which is in state for me. I really like the school's environment, my brother goes there and loves it, but I don't know if its focus is in line with what I want to do as much. Can you through your projects involve your passions and interests in any undergrad arch program?</p>

<p>I know I am asking a lot of questions! Thanks for any advice anyone has!</p>

<p>P.S. I am also looking at Univ. of Texas at Austin, but my mom (and dad) are kind of against it bc it is so far from Va. I know it is a great school for arch, though. Just like Miss State, i would need to qualify for enough money (merit-OOS waiver) to bring it down to in state levels.</p>

<p>OK, let me point out the obvious; you live in a state with two of the best undergraduate programs in the country, so I can understand your parents concern with going out of state. Even though you may like the idea of going out of state (my kids certainly did), I cannot imagine that I would ever pick Miss State over UVA or VT. For a different experience I would certainly consider UT Austin an attractive alternative, but not Miss State.</p>

<p>In general you do not get a lot of flexibility to pursue personal interests in undergraduate architecture education. The school is trying to provide you with general skills that you can apply to any specialty you might wish to pursue. However some schools do have a particular focus. If you are interested in small towns then Auburn with its rural studio has the best known program, and the overall quality of the program is such that you might consider it over the in state schools. The architect who made the program famous, Sam Mockbee, has passed away but I think the program remains pretty strong. There are several videos on youtube you might want to look up.</p>

<p>rick</p>

<p>rick12, Thank you for taking time to respond. I have read many threads from this forum and people are so helpful. I know that we have good schools here in Va. and I am planning on applying to VT, but I also want to have a few other schools to apply to as well. I am not interested in UVA because I do not feel I would fit in as well with the overall school environment there. </p>

<p>I am doing my homework, like they say, and have emailed several professors at different schools. I was very impressed with the conversations I have had with the professors at Mississippi State and they have been named a school that is great with small town development and has won several awards that are for rural community planning and design.</p>

<p>"Early and continuing emphasis on the small town, and enthusiastic use of state and local settings as teaching tools, sets the school apart from traditionally urban-based schools and continues to bring it into close contact with the people of Mississippi. The S/ARC’’sfocus has been applauded in the following publications: Architecture (the journal of the American Institute of Architects), Newsweek on Campus, Architectural Record, and The Boyer Report, to name a few. Its graduates have thrived in graduate programs at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Rice, Washington University, and Cambridge
University in England, as well as in firms across the United States. Statistics derived from records ofthe National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) show that S/ARC alumni score higher than the national average for candidates seeking registration as professional architects."</p>

<p>(I copied and pasted from their student handbook that I found online) They have a research center called Carl Small Town Center and a Gulf Coast Center that allows undergraduate students to work on projects with small Mississippi towns- much like the Rural Studio at Auburn. I think Mississippi State isn't as well known as Auburn, but I like what they offer so far! </p>

<p>I am looking at Auburn too. I like the looks of the Rural Studio! But again it is going to depend on out of state merit money and how I do on my SAT's or ACTs. Anyway, thanks again for your help and I will definitely keep learning about all of this! :)</p>

<p>Found one more item about Miss State that looked interesting......For those like me who are interested in small town communities, planning, and helping rural areas, it sure looks like a great possibility. I am planning on visiting this spring :)</p>

<p>Schools</a> that Excel in Community Design - Education, Research - Architect Magazine</p>