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All the boats pictured on this site were designed by Westlawn alumni.
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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently Asked Questions

about Westlawn

 

Q. When can I start a Westlawn course?

A. All our courses may be started at any time during the year. There are no specific start times. Westlawn sends you your student ID, email address (your.name@westlawn.edu), and instructional material within a few days after the enrollment form and tuition payment are received.

 

Q. Is the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology accredited and if so, is this an advantage for the student?

Westlawn Institute’s Yacht & Boat Design Program is accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), in London England. RINA assesses such courses against the standards required for full membership of the Institution. It considers the content of the course for its scope and applicability to the design and construction of maritime vessels and structures. The Institution considers that the Yacht & Boat Design course provided by Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology meets these standards, and therefore provides good preparation for those who wish to practice of yacht and boat design and construction.

 

Q. Is Westlawn recognized in the yacht and small-craft design profession?

A. Yes. Westlawn had a many-decades-long affiliation with the two leading marine industry groups in the USA: the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), represents approximately 1,400 boat manufacturers and others industry leaders (accounting for 80% of all boating related products in the U.S.); the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), which for over 50 years has been the primary source for boating safety standards in the U.S. In addition, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) recognizes Westlawn graduates for full membership.

 

Q. Is computer-aided design (CAD) used in the Yacht & Boat Design course?

A. Yes. In fact, although acquiring good basic manual drafting skills is required, Westlawn also requires that all students in the full Yacht & Boat Design course become proficient in CAD. Westlawn has developed a unique system to enable students with widely different backgrounds in CAD to master the programs required to graduate.

 

Q. Does Westlawn provide job placement assistance?

A. Westlawn’s history and unique relationship with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) makes Westlawn a primary source for companies seeking technically trained professionals for their design departments. Employers throughout the marine industry recognize the value of a Westlawn education, and Westlawn graduates have been responsible for a significant number of new designs introduced worldwide. Please note that Westlawn does not guarantee employment, nor does the school provide a formal placement service. For advanced students, Westlawn does provide information on job opportunities as they become available, but it is the student and potential employer themselves who come to any agreements.

 

Q. What are the costs of the Westlawn Yacht & Boat Design course?

A. Each of the four modules of the Yacht & Boat Design course cost $4,400 for tuition and books. You pay this amount to start each of the four modules. In addition, students pay $100 per month for access to the online student infrastructure. The online student infrastructure includes an email account (your.name@westlawn.edu), unlimited email and cloud storage, and access to the student forum and the ability to upload your work to the instructors. So the full 4 module course is $17,600 in tuition and books, and $100 per month for as long as it takes you to graduate. Of course you may drop out at any time, you may take as little or as long to complete the course as you like. If you complete in 4 years (a typical schedule), then the total amount for tuition, books, and monthly fees is $22,400.

 

Q. What are the costs of the Westlawn Overview of Naval Architecture for Marine Professionals course?

A. The Overview of Naval Architecture for Marine Professionals course costs $4,400 for tuition and books. You pay this amount to start the course. In addition, students pay $100 per month for access to the online student infrastructure. The online student infrastructure includes an email account (your.name@westlawn.edu), unlimited email and cloud storage, and access to the student forum and the ability to upload your work to the instructors. So the Overview course is $4,400 in tuition and books, and $100 per month for as long as it takes you to graduate. Of course you may drop out at any time, you may take as little or as long to complete the course as you like. If you complete in 6 months (a typical schedule), then the total amount for tuition, books, and monthly fees is $5,000.

 

Q. What is the maximum allowable time to complete a course of study?

A. Each module requires six to twelve months studying full time; however, students studying on a part-time basis may require more time. For this reason, students are charged a $100 per month fee for access to the online student infrastructure. The students can then take as long as they need to complete a course.

 

Q. What are the school’s hours of operation and when is it closed? When are faculty available to answer questions?

A. Students may ask questions of instructors using the student on-line forum and email at any time. Usually, answers are provided within hours. Students may also call instructors during normal business hours. Our instructors are on the US Eastern Seaboard, and in Brisbane Australia. Note that all our instructors are also active in the marine industry, and so from time to time may be temporarily unavailable. For example, Eric Holohan was recently on travel throughout Asia to oversee boats under construction. Also, faculty may be engaged in giving presentations and seminars at other schools, at conferences, and at boat shows, and these duties may temporarily delay responses to questions.

 

Q. How long does it take to complete Yacht & Boat Design?

A. Working on a part-time basis, devoting approximately fifteen hours a week to study and lesson preparation, you should be able to graduate from the full four-module Yacht & Boat Design program in four years. Full time students, working about 30 hours a week, should be able to complete the course and graduate in about two years.

 

Q. How long does it take to complete Overview of Naval Architecture for Marine Professionals?

A. Full-time students should be able to complete the Overview of Naval Architecture for Marine Professionals course in about 6 months. On a part time basis, plan on a year of study. Because students work at their own pace, some will be able to graduate in less time; others will require more time.

 

Q. Does Westlawn grant a degree?

A. Westlawn grants a professional diploma to all graduates of the four-module Yacht & Boat Design course. A certificate of completion is awarded to graduates of the Overview of Naval Architecture for Marine Professionals course. Degrees are not awarded, as the course concentration is specific to yacht and small-craft design and does not include courses in the humanities, arts, or general education.

 

Q. Are college credits given for Yacht & Boat Design if I transfer to a degree-granting college?

A. This should be discussed with the college to which you transfer. In the past, credit has been given for the Yacht & Boat Design course, but each case is evaluated on an individual basis.

 

Q. If I take Overview of Naval Architecture for Marine Professionals and complete the course, can I transfer into the full Yacht & Boat Design course?

A. Yes. Students who transfer are required to complete those lessons of the Yacht & Boat Design course that weren’t part of Overview course. All work done in Overview is transferred to the full course. Students transferring from Overview receive a discount of $2,400 on their Module 1 tuition to reflect the coursework from Overview.

 

Q. May I contact Westlawn if there is something I do not understand?

A. Yes! Students are encouraged to discuss with an instructor any course-related issue. The best way to ask a question is via the Student Forum. Each lesson in each course has a specific topic in the Student Forum. By first perusing the student forums, you may find the question has already been asked by another and already answered. If not, go ahead and ask. The ensuing discussion may be illuminating for you and other students. You may also use email, or call or even fax your questions, but the Student Forum is a much better mechanism. As we all know, email may be lost due to spam filters. When asking a question via any of these options, please allow several hours for a response, as your instructor may be in an unusual time zone. Remember that all Westlawn instructors are practicing professional Naval Architects, and they generally have clients and boats under construction worldwide.

 

Q. Is a Westlawn graduate a yacht or small-craft designer or a naval architect?

A. In many states you would be known as either. Some states have laws requiring that you have a professional engineering license to be called a naval architect. As Westlawn graduates usually are employed within the boating or small-craft industry, they are known as yacht designers, boat designers, or small-craft designers. While naval architect generally implies large vessels, yacht designer or small-craft designer is more appropriate in describing the usual work of the Westlawn graduate. (Small craft are vessels under 200 feet or 60 meters).

 

Q. Are there additional expenses beyond tuition?

A. Yes. Each student pays a fee of $100 per month for the online student infrastucture for as long as they study. Also, a student needs a computer and internet connectivity. CAD software is highly discounted for our students, so the total cost of software is about $400 for Rhino + Orca, with AutoCAD being free while a student. Drafting material is also needed, which tends to cost around $400 in total.

 

Q. Do I need access to the Internet to study at Westlawn?

A. Yes. You need a computer, email, and access to the Internet to: log onto the student forum, keep up to date with course upgrades and event announcements, send in lessons via the Internet, and to exchange ideas with other students.