Ah i'm not sure how much help i can be. My whole method was diy, and just created my own online store. Could she not do this as a sideline to build up her technique and then build up a clientelle and approach places from a experience based c.v rather than achedemic?
These things can build up quite quickly and with places like Etsy :: Your place to buy and sell all things handmade
are a great way to sell your stuff without needing all the kit & kaboodle of your own domain. And also won't take up too much of your time and energy if you're holding down a day job.
If i were her i would just be approaching places regardless, getting out catalogs and building up her base herself. I've not looked into any specialist degrees but i think in this day and age she could probably achieve it all by herself and possibly take short courses specialising in metal smithing if she was wanting to advance her technique.