Faculty Feature: Architect-turned-teacher transfers skills to classroom
Lisa Compton discovered a talent for teaching while working as an architect.
“I was working in private practice when computer-aided drafting (CAD) was introduced,” she says. “I ended up being the person to teach others in the firm. I found out I was good at explaining how CAD works, and I thought that teaching was fun.”
Helping students succeed
Lisa, who has been teaching at the FRCC Westminster Campus for more than 15 years, finds satisfaction in explaining complex skills to students.
“The best part of teaching is definitely seeing students’ faces when they accomplish something,” she says. “I just love seeing ‘the light bulb’ go on. I like seeing them succeed in figuring things out and being excited about the possibilities of what they have learned.”
Lisa has a five-year architectural degree from Arizona State University. She still maintains a small architecture practice, mainly in residential construction, but also some light commercial work, too. With more than 20 years as an architect, she has a wealth of real-world experiences to bring into the classroom.
Maintaining industry standards
“Teaching hasn’t changed,” Lisa says, “but the software has.” So FRCC – and Lisa – keep up to date on the latest software used in industry.
“The new buzzword is ‘sustainability,’ which relates to all things ‘green’,” Lisa says. “We have two certificates that focus on sustainability. One of our required classes for all students is Sustainable Building Systems. We also incorporate sustainability in our other classes.”
Best time to learn skills
The Architectural Engineering and Construction Technology Program encompasses two tracks:
- Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Architectural Engineering Technology
- A.A.S. degree in Building Construction Management
Certificates in the program are:
- Architectural Drafting Certificate
- Building Science and Sustainable Design Certificate
- Structural Drafting Certificate
- Sustainable Building Construction Certificate
Lisa is optimistic about the future for graduates with either degree and for those who earn certificates.
“The job market is coming back,” Lisa says. “We know the construction industry will turn around. The best time to be in school is now, so you’ll be ready for the job market.”