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February 19, 2013

How the TFA Professional Standards System Helps Develop Job-Ready Grads

Professional-level project work meets professional-level integrity at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, where an innovative Professional Standards System inspires students to become effective communicators, problem-solvers, and leaders in real-world work environments.
“You have to take into account the elements of the real world that drive successful project management and successful results,” TFA President and CEO Howard Tullman said. “That comes from working in not a purely academic environment but in a much more real-world environment where you have deadlines and demands and clients.”
TFA founds its system on the professional standards of Communication, Collaboration, Initiative, Problem-Solving, Respect, Accountability, Responsibility, Presentation, Attentiveness and Flexibility.
In the Tribeca Flashpoint Professional Standards (TFPS) System, students are awarded points when they display professional behaviors or participate in personal or career development activities. Throughout the year, TFA’s Office of Academic Affairs honors top point earners with prizes like invitations to exclusive industry events and workshops, or special projects.
Tribeca Flashpoint Academy's Professional Standards
Students may earn points by participating or volunteering in “life skills” events, such as guest speaker presentations, seminars, or the recent Global Game Jam; on-campus events, such as marketing contests, blood drives, or the Thanksgiving Food Drive; academic achievements such as achieving Dean’s List status; and other noteworthy accomplishments, such as competing in film festivals or the Microsoft Imagine Cup.
The TFPS System was developed in accordance with the school’s mission of training responsible, well-rounded, highly-skilled professionals. The school’s leadership believes it will train students to lead passionately yet respectfully, to think independently yet cooperatively, and to express themselves imaginatively yet purposefully.
“We talked to the people we’ve worked with for the past several decades and in the industry to really design an entire program that met their requirements,” Tullman said. “[Employers] are looking for people who can hit the ground running, who can take whatever is thrown at them and react to it—not lose their cool, not run out of time, but know how to be adaptable, flexible and really good problem solvers.”
TFA students earn their Associate Degree in just two years, with real-world project experience, an extensive portfolio, and the professional integrity to make them shine as leaders within their industries. 
“When they get out to the real world, we want them to already have a sense that they’ve been working,” Tullman said. “We want them to think of us in many respects as their first employer.”
A venture with Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy is one of the nation’s most well-respected digital and media arts colleges—offering a progressive training model that erases the boundaries between education and the professional world by exposing students to real-world, industry experiences and state-of-the-art software and equipment beginning their first semester on campus.
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