Westlawn's future

Discussion in 'Education' started by DCockey, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Dan Spurr, in Professional Boatbuilder No 152 December 2014 - January 2015 pp 8-9, reports that ABYC is seeking a new home for Westlawn, the boat design distance learning school. Westlaw has been hosted by ABYC since 2003. Enrollment averages between 130 and 160 students with over 45% from outside the US. It claims an 81% completion rate. The school is estimated to require about $140,000 per year to continue operations.
     
  2. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    I know little about Westlawn. I assumed they had their own HQ, like most.

    If they fail to find a new 'home'...what does that mean..the end of Westlawn?
     
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Dan Spurr in Professional Boatbuilder implied that Westlawn may have to close without a new source of financial support.

    Westlawn's offices moved to Bath, Maine in 2014 from Eastport, Maine. Previously they were in Mystic, Connecticut. They are separate from ABYC's offices in Annapolis, Maryland.

    My understanding is Westlawn started as a proprietary (privately owned) correspondence school in 1930. It was taken over in 1968 by the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers, a trade association. Westlawn was acquired in 2003 by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC). ABYC is a non-profit organization involved in developing safety standards and other technical activities.
     
  4. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    They better rise tution fees and upgrade the programs to different level. Look at so called Lloyds maritime academy - their short courses are priced 2000 GPB and up. Compare to Westlawn with 300-500 USD. They should also make their courses more inline with NA training in Universities, so graduates would be interested to take them as addition to NA degree. For this, they should teach more on ISO standards and engineering methods, not the sorcery they teach right now. This is just my opinion, I know Westlawn guys might not like it, but at the end of the day it might help.
     
  5. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I have no connection to the NA school, but I would think UNO here in New Orleans might be a pretty good new home. It has a huge NA department, and is building a lot of distance learning programs.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I think an annual 150K write off is just what some companies might need, meaning they could give the course away. Hell a 150K annual budget isn't anything, so I think they'll find someone.
     
  7. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    My interpretation of "the school will require about $140,000 a year to continue operations" is that amount is required on top of the revenue from course fees. But $140,000 does not seem to be a large sum of money in the world of yachting, particularly large yachts.

    The yacht design program has four modules and costs slightly over $3800 a module. The Elements of Technical Boat Design course is also slightly over $3800. Shorter "continuing education" courses range from $380 to $700 dollars each. (Costs are for US students. International student costs are slightly higher.)
     
  8. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    I might sign my staff into FRP course to support the school...
     
  9. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    Kickstarter?
     
  10. joz
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    joz Senior Member

    One would think that the tax office in the US would encourage more companies to donate money to worthy causes in order to reduce their tax bill whether that be schools, medical, etc etc

    Since the US Governement was bailing out US Companies at one stage why cant they help such institutions stay in business and provide a service to the community considering there are 55% American students at the school are they going to be on the scrap heap?

    Its the exchange rate at the time will determine how expensive or cheap it is
     
  11. ABoatGuy
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    ABoatGuy Member

    National Marine Manufacturing Association (NMMA) sounds like a logical new home except that 45% of the students are outside the US (per the article in PB). That makes it a hard sell for a US based company that may not benefit from the expenditure. And the NA programs at the universities are engineering schools that teach at a different level so I don't know if that would work.

    It would be sad to see them go under. The Westlawn program combined with an engineering degree make a sound education in small craft design and a very employable person.

    Dave Geer pops in here every now and then. It would be interesting to hear what he has to say.
     
  12. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Maybe an annual $20 donation by all living graduates and other interested parties.
     
  14. joz
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    joz Senior Member

    A Boat Guy

    Interesting comment that you made about US companies not benefiting I think they can benefit by the following listed below

    1. Boat Builders, Design Firms throughout America needs trained designers, boat builders etc to which such schools as

    * Westlawn
    * The Landing School
    * Mc Naughton’s

    Which specializes in small boat design not counting universities that specializes in large boat design throughout the US or schools like

    * The Landing School
    * Cape Fear Community College
    * Honolulu Community College
    * The Wooden Boat School
    * Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building
    * Great Lakes Boat Building School
    * International Yacht Restoration School
    * The Boat School
    * The Apprentice Shop
    * Seattle Central College
    * Chesapeake College
    * Washington County Community College
    * Also Museums and other groups that has boat building programs for locals and foreigners

    which runs a boat building programs in either wood, fibreglass, composites etc (theses schools/organizations specialize in small boats) all these schools mentioned have both US and Foreign students in its ranks (to which it teaches) to which these students will end up at some point working for American companies or the US Government at some stage in either designing or building boats for Americans and Foreign customers, all these schools are US Registered so therefore by definition are US Schools so by investing into US Schools that serves the people wouldn’t that be a better alternative.

    2. What company (boat/commercial/defence related or not) in America would not want to lower there tax bill or pay tax at all by not donating to such schools etc which can be written off as a legit ament claim, and also at the same time they can place it on their website, pamphlets etc that the support US Schools and jobs for potential employees. who does not love a company that supports it potential employees. Also some schools/museums etc have donation link on their website for people to donate financially or in kind (boats etc).

    So it’s basically a win-win situation
     

  15. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    A contribution to a charity in the US costs the contributor, even if the contribution is "tax deductible". The amount of the contribution is deducted from the income used to determine the amount of income tax, not directly from the income tax. So if a US company makes a $1000 tax deductible contribution and their tax rate is 35% then their income for income tax purposes is reduced by $1000, the amount of income tax paid is reduced by $350, and the net cost of the contribution to the company is $650.

    Taxes in other countries may work in a different manner.
     
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