Emerging from EHC at the end of this School year, will be the first output of fourth-year graduates. They will begin their careers with a solid skill set. What advice would we give them?
In Life: Believe in and take a stand for goodness (the golden rule). Trust in what you believe in (work your faith). Do what you believe in (practice what you preach – always). Keep friends and family close (they matter most).
In Work: If you have a philosophy and passion for what you do, you’ll work as hard and as long as it takes to accomplish a level of excellence. You will learn and absorb everything. You will look for ways to continually improve. You’ll acknowledge your mistakes and make them right. In truth, if you don’t operate at this level, your clients will not stay or return – which can be soul destroying. The concept of ‘good enough’ is soul destroying too. It undermines everything. No one should accept or offer ‘good enough’ which has become the plague of the 21st century. Where did this come from?
As consumers we have gradually come to accept almost anything really. We just take what is on offer most of the time. But, recently issues regarding success and failure of education at post-secondary formal institutions have come to the forefront of the collective consciousness. This deserves some thought and comment. What works better: traditionally delivered formal education, whereby everyone must follow the same tried and true path, or encouragement of the individual in self-directed learning?
Contemporary thinking is to allow individuals the choice to learn at their own pace, to follow an undetermined path of learning to the point of personal satisfaction. Is making the attainment of personal levels of achievement the best answer? It effectively makes universal education and the outcome of standards irrelevant. Consequently, it is extremely difficult for employers to determine when hiring, whether an individual is sufficiently competent or capable of doing the job – or not. This can lead to disappointment and frustration on both sides. Is this good enough?
Traditional post-secondary formal education held that certain standards must be met. Success was solely gauged by test results and ranked by statistical methods giving employers a reasonable expectation that an individual who had successfully completed a particular program of study was sufficiently knowledgeable and capable to fill a job position. However, this left many capable individuals by the wayside. Almost everyone agrees there is an educational/training gap, that there needs to be a better balance between these approaches.
But what about education standards themselves, many of which have dropped considerably. This has resulted in employers having to train their own staff from scratch (that is, those few companies who can see the benefit and have the inclination, time and resources to do so). Is this good enough? Is it working?
In the end, what has been lost in the debate and confusion is the concept of ‘excellence’. Excellence is the striving to do better, to do something accurately, completely, and as near perfectly as possible. The state of being outstanding and of superior quality where there is no limit. To clarify, excellence doesn’t mean perfect or absolute – one can be perfectly or absolutely proficient, or perfectly and absolutely incompetent.
For those who are attracted to and value quality education École Holt Couture, School of Couture Sewing Tailoring and Design, has deliberately striven to develop standards of excellence, high expectations of proficiency, and of good conduct – for students and instructors alike. The curriculum content is uniform, offering what is considered core foundation qualifications to practice the profession of couture sewing design and tailoring. If a student has difficulty in a specific area requiring more attention to and greater effort by them, concentration is given to help overcome the hurdles. Also, instructors are expected to continually work on their own competences as well as developing suitable communication methods to deliver the curriculum.
In addition, the students are specifically instructed in how to operate a high-end couture/tailoring business. They are given the basics of business practices, and encouraged to explore beyond EHC to learn new best-methods of marketing and handling expanding operations. Business practices evolve quickly and continuously, and as such are outside the scope of EHC’s expertise. However, the most important things that remain constant in business are strongly impressed upon EHC students to keep quality and standards high.
EHC Grading regarding categories is: the mastery of skills, professionalism and personal responsibility.
Mastery of skills
- Good comprehension given a set of objectives
- Showing a high degree of skill and competence
- Achieved desired level of competence through preparation and training
- Conforms to high degree of work ethic
- Skill and competence expected of a member of highly trained professional
- Pursues adequate research, and demonstrates creativity
- Consistently strives to achieve and produce the highest standards
- Regards serving clientele at the highest level of satisfaction extremely important
- Able to be counted upon qualities of conscientiousness and trustworthiness
- Accountable for actions and successful completion of duties
- Courteous and sensitive to client needs and expectations
Wishing everyone a successful 2013! J