The American College of the Building Arts merges art, craft and science – Sponsored Content | Post and courier

By Barry Waldman

Are you a recent graduate but you still don’t know what you want to do? Or are you creative and artistic, with little desire to be stuck behind a desk job? Looking for a career whose practitioners are in high demand?

If so, why not get a bachelor’s degree from the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA)? Here, you’ll find the nation’s only four-year liberal arts college that offers an emphasis on traditional building trades, including blacksmithing, carpentry, classical architecture, stone carving, carpentry, and the one you might not easily think of – plaster.

The benefits of learning the trade of plasterer at the American College of the Building Arts are many and start with jobs.

1. Graduate with a marketable skill

Plaster expertise is in high demand in cities around the world, especially here in Charleston. Most people think of plaster as a flat job like walls and ceilings, “but plaster encompasses so much more, including the decorative elements of crown molding, ceiling medallions, and other ornamental additions,” explains the Professor Steve Kester, Chairman of the ACBA Plaster Department. The opportunities have widened in recent years as builders and designers opt for more decorative elements, such as Scagliola and Venetian plaster, which create a fascinating marble effect. The above, coupled with other elements such as sculpting and model making, creates limitless opportunities for highly skilled professionals – and cannot be obtained from traditional liberal arts colleges.

2. Work outside in a creative business

Why sit behind a computer all day when you can work anywhere in an intellectually stimulating and creative environment? Working with plaster marries art, craft and science – ideal for anyone who wants to make a living doing work that inspires them, producing beautiful things on display for the world to see every day, for generations to come!

3. Make the most of a trade school and college education

The American College of the Building Arts is more than a four-year liberal arts education and more than a trade school. It’s the best of both. ACBA builds on the university degree by adding journeyman-level business expertise and a broad portfolio of real-world projects. Students receive a liberal arts curriculum integrated with traditional crafts. (ACBA is accredited by ACCSC, the Accrediting Commission for Professional Schools and Colleges.)

4. Enjoy a college experience in an amazing historic city

Take classes in a restored carriage barn that once housed the city’s electric streetcars and enjoy the most charming city in the South, ranked #1 by a host of travel websites, blogs and magazines. Historic downtown Charleston, SC is a canvas for the skills taught at ACBA, allowing students to deploy to the area each summer for internships in their fields.

5. Get a college degree without breaking the bank

The American College of the Building Arts has never raised tuition since 2005, when the cost of attending colleges across the United States rose an average of 58%. With affordable tuition of $10,000 per semester and scholarships and loans available to those who qualify, students can attend ACBA without ruining their future.

6. Visit an open house and see for yourself

The ACBA encourages interested students to experience the college first-hand at an open house. Here you can see the beautiful campus of Charleston’s dynamic NoMo section. Watch presentations from all craft specializations, meet current students and alumni, and chat with outstanding faculty. You are sure to be inspired! The ACBA encourages all prospective students to attend. The next open houses in 2022 will take place on Saturday January 15, February 19, March 26 and April 23 from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information and to register, visit or call 843-266-7835.

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