Since Fall of 2013, I have been teaching Advanced Web Design at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester, NH. The course program is designed for students to have a real world experience by working with an actual client.
I’m always on the look out for companies or organizations that are willing to participate by letting the students build them a website. We ask a representative from the business or organization to attend a class so that the students can learn about their organization and its goals, and to ask them questions they may have. At the end of the semester, the representative comes back and the students present their websites to them, and the “client” then has the option to choose a website for their organization.
Our goal is to help this new generation of digital designers get their hands dirty with code, and so they can see the bigger picture when it comes to website design and development. Students will look for an internship to gain some real world experience. Why not bring the internship to them?
Girls at Work Inc, empowers at-risk girls in New Hampshire and throughout New England by teaching them woodworking skills and how to safely build using power tools. Elaine Hamel, director and founder of Girls at Work, and Rob Grimmett, Board Chair, volunteered to give the SNHU students the opportunity to build them a new site.
Through this experience, the students are also able to get a first hand look into how a non-profit organization works, and all the great work they are doing for our community. The semester ends in May, and I can’t wait to see what my students come up with.
SNHU also has a Social Media class that does a similar project. The students get to choose from a group of non-profit organizations and create a social media plan for them. Through interviewing the organization and their own research done throughout the semester, they deliver a complete social media plan that the organization can then execute.
As it turns out, a student in my Advanced Web Design class is also in this Social Media class, so her group chose Girls at Work as their non-profit. Now this particular student has the opportunity to create an even more complete digital strategy for Girls at Work.
Stay tuned to see what the students come up with, and check out all the great work Girls at Work does for girls in the area.