Current and upcoming students will be receiving emails with the most recent updates from the Heritage Admin team, instructors and/or school Directors. Please contact your local school Director if you have any further questions.
Creating a high quality learning experience while maintaining the health and safety of our students at Heritage School of Interior Design is our number one priority. To limit in-person interactions, we will utilize a hybrid learning model in which most lectures will be held virtually. For lessons and activities that lose value being taught virtually, we will have in-person sessions to honor the importance of hands-on learning at Heritage.
Our team is dedicated to ensuring that you will feel stimulated, engaged and well-connected with your instructor, classmates, design resources, the Heritage administrative team and the design community. In order to keep you all informed, we will continuously update you with new information regarding safety protocols as we receive it from local and federal governing agencies.
Each course will be structured in a way that is most effective for that course’s learning objectives. You will receive specific information for each course that you are enrolled in prior to the start of the term. Below we have highlighted some of the ways that we will ensure a successful term. Please note that not all of these points below are applicable to every class. Feel free to reach out if you have questions regarding a specific course.
A Variety of Learning Techniques
In addition to live, interactive lectures, we want to keep you active by breaking up the day with individual, partner and small group activities. You will also have the opportunity to learn from guest speakers throughout the term who are experts in the design community. Expect to hear from guest speakers across all three Heritage locations – Portland, Seattle and Denver!
Small Group Learning
In order to build relationships with your classmates, we will have small group breakout sessions via virtual meeting software or in-person. This is dependent on each individual course and instructor. In these small groups you will have time to communicate and collaborate to complete various activities, projects and design challenges.
1:1 Time with Your Instructor
You will be encouraged to schedule 1:1 time with your instructor during set office hours each week. During these 1:1 sessions you will be able to connect with your instructor and discuss anything that you might need extra help with.
Virtual & In-Person Showroom Tours
Field Visits have always been an important part of our program so we are thankful to be able to provide them virtually and in-person! You will get a thorough tour of the showroom while gaining product knowledge, with time for Q&A at the end. These Showrooms will be happy to invite you to come see them in person once business is back to normal. For showrooms that are open and accepting visitors, we will be offering some in-person, small group tours.
Shop at our Expanded Resource Library
Our resource library is well stocked with product samples and materials that you will have access to throughout the term. The Heritage team is ensuring all students are practicing physical distancing when in the classroom, and that each student washes their hands before and after entering the classroom. All materials that you take home will be yours to keep. We will replenish and refresh the resource library as needed throughout the term. Heritage will maintain excellent hygiene practices and sanitize shared spaces according to CDC guidelines after each use.
Communication is Key
We strongly believe that communication will be more important than ever with this hybrid learning approach. Each instructor will set communication guidelines – in general if you email an instructor with a question we require a response within 24 hours on a weekday and 48 hours on the weekends. Please feel free to reach out to the Heritage Team – we are here for you.
Heritage will be providing additional guides and resources in order to prepare you for a successful virtual learning experience and digital participation.
To further enhance your experience, Heritage will also be informing students on other ways that they can stay engaged with the community through virtual events, continuous education opportunities, design workshops, challenges and more!
We want to thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this time of change and uncertainty. The Heritage community cannot exist without you and we appreciate the diverse talents, backgrounds, and world-views you each bring to our school. Together, we can navigate this new virtual learning environment and make it a fabulous term!
Stephanie Thornton Plymale, CEO
Jim Plymale, President
No Tolerance for Discrimination
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, first detected in China, Asian members of our community continue to experience profiling and targeting especially on social media and in public commentary. This racism, rooted in fear and misinformation, is hurtful, unacceptable and contrary to our values at Heritage. As we embrace the changes ahead of us, share your support with friends and colleagues. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Together, we will care for each other and find the silver lining in these trying and uncertain times.
Health and Wellness at Heritage
The health and safety of our community will always be top priority. As we continue to navigate the pandemic together we encourage you all to stay safe, stay physically distant (but socially connected!) and stay informed. As information is changing daily, we will continue to update you as we gain information from the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission and other governing agencies. More information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online.
In order to stay connected while apart, we have a number of options for prospective students to learn more about Heritage! We can set up virtual tours of the school via Zoom or FaceTime, or connect on the phone for an informational interview. All of these options are a chance to learn more about the programs and ask any questions you may have.
If you are interested in a Virtual Tour or call, please use the contact method listed for your location:
What Students Are Saying About Virtual Learning at Heritage
“With the Covid pandemic restricting the way we interact with the world, coming to Heritage has been such a bright spot; I’ve been able to meet and connect with like-minded folks and feel the amazing support of the staff. I am incredibly lucky to be learning under Catherine, who has had such a wide variety of experience and continues to hold high standards for all of us, while making the learning process approachable. Each member of the Heritage staff has had a hand in supporting my growth and I feel so lucky to have found a place where I can reach out for help at any moment and feel invested in.”
-Denver Fundamentals Student, Samantha Leffel
“I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed having class on zoom! I feel like it has been working beautifully and I don’t feel like there are any lessons that I’m not grasping or are falling short because of virtual teaching. The teachers have all been fantastic and I so appreciate all the hard work you and your team have put in to make sure this learning experience is just as good – if not better – than in person!
I am seeing real productivity benefits to learning from home – I’m able to get things done around my house during breaks (walking our dog, changing the laundry, cleaning the kitchen etc.), which in turn leaves more time to dedicate to homework after class ends for the day. Moreover, without a commute, I can squeeze in more time to work on projects, whether it’s before class in the morning, during lunch break, or continuing my work on a project right after class ends without having to pack up my station, drive home and set it up again.”
-Denver Fundamentals Student, Kelsey McDonough
“It’s been awhile since I’ve been in school so I was nervous about getting back in it, but now I feel like I have nothing to be worried about. So far I’m loving every minute of it. I know the virtual world is new and different, but I still feel that I’m gaining all of the knowledge and skills I would’ve had we all met in person, so I appreciate that.”
-Portland Fundamentals Student
“At first I was nervous about a majority of class being online just because I haven’t had the best experiences in the past with online learning, but so far it has all been really natural and has flowed well. I think the Heritage team has done an amazing job with following up with everyone and making sure we have what we need to be successful. Thank you all so much for doing a great job! I appreciate everything about my experience and am truly grateful for your support.”
-Portland Fundamentals Student
Resources for Students
Below are some resources to support Heritage students as they transition to our new hybrid learning approach.