Course Organization and Schedule

Mentored Distance Learning:
The First Six Months

The program gets underway each year in late August (FOPP 30 began in February 2021 due to COVID-19) with self-study assignments and a research project. See the top ten projects FOPP 28 participants selected.

Participants receive a copy of John Bachner’s Practice Management for Design Professionals, along with access to a variety of other materials they need to download. FOPP advises participants to create or select a research topic early in the process; a proposal to develop the project is due six weeks after the program begins. The draft final report is due four months later. Each participant is required to select a mentor who should provide guidance throughout FOPP's distance-learning portion. FOPP gives each mentor specific guidance. FOPP staff responds promptly to mentors’ and participants’ questions and concerns.

Capstone Seminar

The seminar is held each year, about six months after the program starts, at a conference facility in the United States. As most FOPP participants’ attest, the seminar wraps up everything taught in the distance-learning portion of FOPP. Highlights of the seminar are:

  • Meeting fellow participants who are also committed to professional performance.
  • Delivering a critiqued self-introduction and research-report summary.
  • The Joseph S. Ward Memorial Lecture, delivered by the FOPP Laureate, typically a high-achieving professional.
  • A review of a tragic case history that exemplifies the bad attitudes displayed by many FOPP participants…when they began the course.
  • An evening workshop that gives participants an opportunity to work together and, later, play together.
  • The presentation of two actual case histories by the individuals who suffered through them.
  • A highly regarded active-listening presentation.
  • A role-playing, dispute-resolution workshop that most participants find to be one of the highlights of their overall FOPP experience.
  • Presentations that alert participants to the potential for their own success as ambassadors of their professions in the community.

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