Actually, I do NOT love spreadsheets but one of my daughters does; but why does her love of spreadsheets matter to you.

Well, let’s explain!

Imagine that you desire to be an architect and are deciding upon the myriad of architecture programs available to you.  By the way, NAAB reports that there are currently 181 NAAB accredited and candidate programs at 144 institutions.

Back to spreadsheets.  My daughter is currently a college student with a desire to pursue a graduate degree in library science.  From the ALA (American Library Assn.), she learned that there were over 60 programs to research.  But rather than use some arbitrary criteria, she decided to create a SPREADSHEET of each library science program.  Yes, she researched every single program.

Over the course of nearly a month, she entered critical information from each program from the ALA database; as well, she would review the entire website to gain valuable insight.  Program information including institution, degrees offered, areas of concentration, location, tuition costs, application requirements, scholarships, website, and notes.  The notes field was a catch-all allowing her to react to what she learned from the research.

After this process, she was able to reduce the 62 ALA accredited programs down to 21 yes and maybes.  Next, she reviewed her spreadsheet of those 21 programs and again reduced her list down to nine.  She further reviewed again to narrow it down to six.  Come fall, she will apply to her top six programs.  In a discussion with her, she admitted that the process was quite helpful in selecting the BEST programs for her – plus, some of the programs that made her final list would NOT have been there through the normal process.

Now, you can do the same but with the architecture programs.  Granted, it might take some time to research the programs (about 10-15 minutes per program), but this process will help you learn about the programs available.  Ultimately, it will help you make the best decision for you.

As you might have been told, deciding on the institution / program to which you will attend is one of the most important decision in your life.  Plus, about 40% of current college students change their institution.

So, why not give this process a try – also, you do not need to love spreadsheets, but it does NOT hurt.



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