Westlawn's future

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

  1. cmckesson
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    cmckesson Naval Architect

    Good article in the latest ProBoat (April/May), page 12...
     
  2. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    My main comment regarding Westlawn is the issue of "academic incest". If an institution only has instructors who only trained there, there is always a possibility of recycling incorrect concepts and loss of new outside input. This is why many universities won't hire their own grad students as professors.

    In order to address this concern and those of Alik and others who are wondering about Westlawn's content this might be a good time to have the courses reviewed by people who have backgrounds other than Westlawn such as uni degrees in NAME or the Landing School, etc.
     
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  3. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Indeed. Fully concur.
     
  4. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    I would not call it 'academic incest' but 'correspondence-learning onanism'. Sorry to say that :)

    Why? Just look at this:
    http://westlawn.edu/who/faculty.asp
    All the staff - the 'Professor' and 'Assistant professors' - have got no any recognized bachelor degree, in naval architecture in particular. Thus, the word 'academic' is not applicable here. Look at how they describe the experience of faculty without reference of any recognized degrees (Westlawn does not count as such), but they 'built family catamaran' or 'lived on boat' - good but not enough to qualify as academic staff. They do not mention any research publications of these 'professors' either...

    Also would be interesting to know what is 'Lloyds certified marine surveyor'? Another marketing title?
     
  5. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    Westlawn's current staff and advisers are not university academics. These are largely people who have gone through the Westlawn courses and became very successful in the industry.

    The list of companies they have been successful at means more in the USA probably. Here the company names are familiar at every marina: Ted Brewer, Tom Fexas, Kadey Krogen, Choey Lee, Philip L. Rhodes, C&C Yachts, Atkin, Chris Craft, Viking, Four Winns, Carver, OMC, and on.

    My impression is most potential Westlawn students are looking to follow in these recognized people's career paths rather than have a substitute for a full university NA education or go on to an advanced degree or phd.
     
  6. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    I have no doubt on that; the alumni proved to be very successful and Westlawn trained many great designers. But Westlawn guys do not need to pretend being more than they are, giving 'professor' titles and using sometimes misleading marketing.
     
  7. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Let me please present some thoughts.
    When a professional is sure of himself, rather than speaking the title he has, talks about things he has done. When someone is not sure of himself seeks to cover what is not pretending, with titles and words, what he is not.
    Nobody would ask his academic certificates to Le Corbusier. The person who has nothing to offer, no matter that relates the qualifications he has, is not going to wow anyone.
    Many training centers have lists with some students achieving renown. But that only means that very smart people, who before the courses was already smart, studied there. Nobody explains that a clumsy student, after making his studies, has become a successful professional. Anyway, have 20, 30 or 100 outstanding students, a total of "more tan 50000", it is not a record.
    Perhaps that kind of "misleading" advertising is more aimed at people who pretend to get what they can not.
     
  8. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Agree, well said. Bruce Farr has no formal degree as well...

    About this 50,000 students, I believe it is evident fake, it just sound ridiculous. No established university with full faculty and support staff will have so many graduate naval architects per year. Divide at least by 10!
     
  9. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    It may be a anomaly, but over the past few years, every time I have been contacted by a headhunter (usually looking for a lead for someone younger) or gotten a notice from a job board for a rec boat or similar small craft opening for builders one requirement was a university degree.

    This may be because I don't get sent offers that don't require a degree, but it is interesting.

    It is also worth noting that some people on the list also have uni degrees. Gary Mull was a friend and a fellow UCB NAME alum, for example, and I worked for years with a Westlawn dropout who subsequently went to U Mich (before I met him) and then worked in rec boat firms and yacht builders (Bertram and Burger for instance) as well as shipyards and design firms.

    I am not sure what this means but the only way I know to be sure of being able to be a yacht designer is to go to the Navy or Coast Guard academy and retire as a Captain. Then you can survive drawing boats.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  10. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    What a surprise !, I thought there were some other possibilities.
     
  11. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    I think Chris is saying this, "tongue in cheek". Of course there are far more ways too become a yacht designer. However, the Coast Guard Academy and Naval Academy do offer degrees in Naval Architecture. But in my 34 years with the Coast Guard I cannot think of a single Captain who retired and became a yacht designer. (Of course there may be some because I certainly do not know all the Captains form the Coast Guard) I do know few who became surveyors.
     
  12. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    Gary Mull once suggested that the only way to be able to survive as a yacht designer was to marry well. Unfortunately, this career path can be interrupted by divorce, whereas it is very hard to lose a military pension.

    The point is that some sort of alternative income stream is vital to success as an independent yacht designer. One IYD I knew had a card that said "Yacht Design / Crude Oil Washing Diagrams" (the latter a requirement for tankers). I am not sure which was the major profit center for his firm, but...
     
  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    This is very true; BUT yacht designers can survive designing super and mega yachts.
     
  14. vkstratis
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    vkstratis Marine Designer

    as well as workboats!
     

  15. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    I doubt any single individual is designing super or mega yachts, including the naval architecture work. Even when one designer's name is associated with the design a team of individuals will be involved.
     
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