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Department Policies

Vision, Mission and Values

  • Building on its strong history of excellence, the Architecture Program at KSU continues to create an environment supportive of a multidisciplinary approach to learning, creativity, scholarship, application, and engagement. We believe that these components are integral to a strong educational foundation, the creation of an environment that fosters our students' drive to achieve excellence and to contribute to their profession and their communities, which encourages a greater appreciation of architecture and good design.

  • The Architecture Department at KSU attracts and retains a strong faculty committed to professional excellence and recruits and supports qualified students who desire to learn, achieve and excel in their field. The mission of the Architecture Program is to be a prominent leader in architectural education at the national and international levels. It fulfills its mission via a strong commitment to:

    • Create and continuously improve a multidisciplinary curriculum that nurtures critical thinking; embrace new technologies and encourage creativity and innovation through the integration of the theory, art, technology and science of the built environment.
    • Apply learning methods that emphasize hand-on exploration designed to provide the student with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to be productive, contributing leaders in the architectural profession and civic community.
    • Encourage outreach programs designed to maintain vital connections with the architectural community, improve effective communication, support continued professional development and build future leaders of the profession.
    • Advocate an appreciation of good design and the benefits of responsible architecture though the education of its students and the civic community.
  • In addition to the core values identified in the strategic plans of KSU and the College of Architecture and Construction Management, the Architecture Program holds the following core values as important:

    • Professionalism: The Architecture Program values its strong relationship with the professional community and the active role its members play in the Architecture Program, as colleagues with its faculty, participating on design juries and the advisory committee and serving as mentors and role models to its students as they strive to develop design expertise, aesthetic competency and sound contextual responses in their work. We believe that this serves to strengthen our pursuit of the Program’s goal to develop and nurture a culture of professionalism and a strong sense of ethics within the program and the profession.
    • Balancing Theory and Practice: The Architecture Program places great value on balancing theory and practice in its curriculum. We believe that an emphasis on applied learning and hands-on experience combined with theoretical exploration contributes to higher design standards that are evidenced in the quality and technical prowess of our student projects, the challenging studio and community projects we pursue, and the intellectual dialogues that our students and faculty engage in. We believe that this contributes to our student’s proficiency and preparedness in addressing issues of professionalism, a commitment to improve the man-made environment, an awareness of environmental issues and sustainability, urbanism, etc.
    • Diversity: The Architecture Program values diversity in its student body, faculty, supportive interdisciplinary climate, commitment to teamwork, and learning environment. We believe that this encourages collaboration and strong professional relationships among students, faculty, alumni and professionals and strengthens our commitment to encouraging critical thinking, creativity and innovation.

Studio Culture

  • The Department of Architecture at KSU is committed to instilling and reinforcing a studio culture that provides an innovative, creative and well-rounded education for all of its students. The Studio Culture Policy calls for the promotion of 5 values and reads as follows:

    Optimism

    • Design faculty should make efforts to foster a positive confidence among students to generate a strong sense of optimism in them.
    • Design faculty’s candid feedback to students during desk critiques and formal juries should be focused toward developing self-reliance in students to successfully finish their projects.

    Respect

    • Design faculty should offer constructive critiques, the value of time management, and should instill a democratic decision-making atmosphere in studios.
    • Design faculty should encourage diversity of ideas among their students.
    • Having a quality workspace is critical to successful studio work; the Architecture Program should maintain sufficient studio space and allied resources.

    Sharing

    • Design faculty should foster collaboration in design studios that can help students later in their professional career.
    • Design faculty should encourage exploring interdisciplinary connections that go beyond the studio settings to enrich the design process.
    • Faculty should encourage students to play a larger role within university communities, student and professional organizations.

    Engagement

    • Faculty should encourage students to make critical decisions as leaders in their design projects.
    • Faculty should make special effort to develop design projects that foster interaction with architectural practitioners and experts in allied disciplines.

    Innovation

    • Faculty should foster critical thinking among students to explore innovative ideas with confidence.
    • Faculty should offer alternative design approaches relative to each student’s design strengths that instill innovation.

As part of the Studio Culture Policy, the Department of Architecture also notes the following conditions and policies relative to the use of studio space:

  • The Department of Architecture provides desks, seats and side storage cabinets for your individual use throughout the year. Studio furniture is a valuable asset to you and to the school. You are responsible for maintaining your assigned studio furniture, and the surrounding areas, in good condition and you will be penalized for damages resulting from negligence or poor usage. Get into the habit of picking up your trash (soda cans, paper, etc.) after each review or work session in the public areas of the building.

    • Desktop Surfaces: Desktop surfaces are fragile; please take good care of them. Do not use cutting knives on the desktops as they will damage the drawing surfaces permanently. Instead, always use your cutting mat; this will protect the desk surface, help you to keep your cuts straight, and make your blades last longer.

    • Furniture: Studio furniture and equipment cannot be removed from the studio space without instructor permission.

    • Storage: Always clean and maintain your work station. Loose cardboard and paper on the floors present a tripping hazard and may cause someone to slip and fall causing injury. Do not store excessive amounts of foam around you desk. Foam is an easily flammable material keep it way from outlets and electric cords. Storage cabinets and swipe cards must be returned to the Facilities Manager upon withdrawal from or completion of the course.

    • Painting and Aerosols: Use of all aerosol products – spray paint, spray mount, fixative – is strictly prohibited in the studio, and in the building. Please use only the designated spray areas outdoors to use these products.

    • Pin ups and Presentations: Please use shared pinup areas responsibly. Unless directed otherwise, remove your drawings and models promptly after finishing a review or pinup in order for the area to be used by other classes. Building staff have been informed that such work left in classrooms, in the pit, hallways or pinup areas can be discarded, and will be discarded as trash. 

    • Small Appliances: University safety policy prohibits the use of small kitchen appliances in the studio area (coffee makers, microwaves, refrigerators, toaster ovens). The reason for this is the electrical wiring. Excess plugs and extension cords present potential fire hazards particularly when surrounded by paper products and foam.

    • Sleeping and Sleeping Paraphernalia: University policy prohibits students from sleeping is classrooms or other educational or recreational spaces. This means studio! Having sleeping bags or cots, blankets and pillows will be interpreted as intention of violate the policy. 

    • Safety Goggles: ANSI rated safety glasses must be worn at all times when in the wood and digital fabrication labs. No exceptions. 

  • The power tools are not permitted in studio and must not be used or stored in the building. However, you may use the N Building shop throughout the semester once you have completed the required shop training. 

    • Design studio is a shared space and must be treated differently than your personal space. Music in studio is allowed only with headphones. 
    • Regardless of the time of day, be mindful of the work environment of those around you. 
    • Please keep noise and conversation to a minimum while class is in session and respect the working environment of others when class is not in session.
    • Portable stereo equipment cannot be used without headphones at any time.
    • Portable stereo equipment may not be used during class, unless noted otherwise. 
  • Design Studio is both a course and a space. From 2:00pm to 5:50pm, class is in session and a more formal work environment is expected. Turn off all phones at the start of class each day. Phone calls, texting, and other distractions are not allowed during class. Laptops may be used for research related to course content only.   

Facilities

  • The Department of Architecture maintains a zero tolerance policy on vandalism of state, university, college, department or personal property. We will take action against any student identified for vandalism and/or theft up to and including seeking expulsion from the University.

    This action falls under the following section of the Student Handbook:

    Non-Academic Misconduct

    5. Damage to Property:

    Malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction of items of University property, items rented, leased or placed on the campus at the request of the institution, or items belonging to students, faculty, staff, guests of the University or of student groups.

    Disciplinary Measures identified within the Student Handbook include the following: 

    • Expulsion
    • Disciplinary Suspension
    • Disciplinary Probation
    • Reprimand and Warning
    • Restrictions
    • Fines

    If you see it, stop it or report it.

  • To ensure security of the facilities and personal safety of students, faculty and staff, access to buildings N (Architecture), I-1 and I-2 (Design) will be limited during certain hours. Effective Sept 26, 2015, the operational hours for the architecture studio buildings will be as follows:

    • Open Access: All three buildings will be open to the public 7:00am- 8:00pm Monday through Friday.
    • Restricted Access: Swipe card access only, limited to faculty, staff and registered architecture students (studio registration)
        • 8:00pm - 3:00am Monday through Friday
        • 7:00am - 3:00am Saturday and Sunday
    • Why are there limited operational hours for the architecture studio buildings?
        • Security: buildings N (Architecture), I-1 and I-2 (Design) contain valuable university and personal equipment. Limiting access after hours to designated personnel ensures that only those who should have access are allowed in. It's about minimizing theft.
        • Safety: Students and faculty have the right to work at their desks knowing that only those who are designated to be in the building have access. Allowing others to enter the building exposes us to those who may want to do harm.
        • Personal health: The Department of Architecture highly recommends that all students get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that a minimum of 6 hours of sleep each night reduces stress, improves learning and improves overall health. Pulling that all-nighter might make you feel like you are getting more done, but really how much are you accomplishing between 3:00am and 7:00am? Is this really going to change your project or improve your grade? What about the classes you miss the next day? What are you learning when you are falling asleep in class or at the jury?

    Manage your time, be safe and stay healthy! Always remember to close the doors behind you. NEVER PROP OPEN THE DOORS. When you do you are threatening your safety and those of your classmates.

Grading and Attendance

  • The Department of Architecture maintains the following policy relative to grades and grading.

    • KSU requires all students to maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain in good standing.
    • Students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative ARCH GPA to remain in good standing in the Department of Architecture.
    • Students should maintain a minimum grade of C in all ARCH courses. Students who receive a grade of D or lower must retake the course to ensure they have the necessary skill sets to succeed in subsequent courses and maintain the required 2.5 cumulative GPA.
    • Students who are not in good standing (ARCH GPA below 2.5) will be issued a letter of warning and placed on probationary status for the following semester. All students should work to improve their GPA during the probationary period. Students whose GPA does not improve at the end of the probationary period will:
        1. Not be allowed to register for advanced ARCH courses until their GPA has risen to the minimum required 2.5 GPA,
        2. Be encouraged to repeat ARCH courses in which a grade of D was issued.
        3. Develop an action plan for the following year that includes identifying which courses they will repeat as well as, GA core courses, minor and/or elective courses to be taken. The student’s advisor must approve the action plan.
  • Grades and accompanying point values are determined according to the following criteria:

    • Column Title 1
      Column Title 2
    • A (95+), A- (90+)
      Exceptional work, exceeding the requirements and exhibiting advancement beyond level of expectation of an undergraduate course
    • B+ (88+), B (85+), B- (80+)
      Good work, exceeding the requirements and communicated clearly
    • C+ (78+), C (75+), C- (70+)
      Work meeting all of the requirements of the course as stipulated by the syllabus and professor 
    • D+ (68+), D (65+)
      Marginal work, meeting some or all of the requirements but exhibiting inconsistency, and or lack of clarity generally understood as below level in sophistication and competency
    • F (64-)
      Failing work, meeting less than minimum requirements, work done below level in sophistication and competency, failure to fulfill the obligations of the course as set out in the syllabus
    • INCOMPLETE
      A grade of incomplete is only granted when the student has submitted evidence of a serious matter pertaining to the health of the student, or a member of the immediate family or dependent children. It is the student's sole responsibility to request an incomplete and provide documented evidence for such a request. Incompletes are granted by the faculty issuing the grade and must be negotiated prior to the last week of classes for the semester.
  • Students are required to attend all classes and attendance is part of the course grade. Absences are noted and will result in reduction of the grade. Actual grade percentages may vary between courses but policies and grading percentages will be listed in course syllabi.

    Class will begin promptly. It is the student’s responsibility to arrive on time. Students arriving 10 minutes after the start of class will not be given credit for that day’s attendance. 

    Sample Attendance Policy and Grading Scale

    All students will begin the semester with 100 points for attendance. Two (2) points will be deducted for each of the first 5 absences from the class. Five (5) absences would thereby result in an attendance score of 90. Three (3) points will be deducted for each additional absence such that 8 absences would result in a score of 81. Grade calculation will be based on the following chart.

    • # Absences
      Score
    • 0
      100 A
    • 1
      98 A
    • 2
      96 A
    • 3
      94 A
    • 4
      92 A
    • 5
      90 A
    • 6
      87 B
    • 7
      84 B
    • 8
      81 B
    • 9
      78 C
    • 10
      75 C
    • 11
      72 C
    • 12
      69 D
    • 13
      66 D
    • 14
      63 D
    • 15+
      0 F
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