Our team developed two 5 week intensive programs: a graphic design program and a user experience design program. Students spent 40 hours per week for 5 weeks learning skills and then were placed into internships.

Summary of Results:
30 students participated in Launch Design programming
100% of design students were placed into internships

Summer 2018: Graphic Design Instructor
Summer 2019: User Experience Design Instructor
Summer 2018: Allison Garrett (Graphic Design Instructor), Sarah Dodge (Videography Instructor) and Sophia Woods (Teaching Assistant)
Summer 2019: Allison Garrett (UX Design Instructor), Andy Page (UX Design Instructor)
Summer 2018 & Summer 2019

40% of college students graduate without an internship experience.
20% More
Students who complete an internship are 20% more likely to have a job offer.
Only 34%
Only 34% of current college students believe their education is preparing them for work.

Potential Solutions
Internship Preparation
Preparing students for internships by training them in skill and professional development will help them to succeed during the internship.
Internship Placement
Working directly with employers to place talented students into internships will increase employer and student satisfaction during the internship.

User Research
The Learner
  • Our team analyzed survey data from participants of the first cohort of the Launch program in the Summer of 2017.

We discovered that students were seeking more structure for the summer program, earlier announcement of internship placement, and more experience with client projects.
The Learning Outcome
  • Our Launch team spoke with employers to learn what they expected from their summer interns.

We discovered that employers were seeking more specialization for the hard skillsets that summer interns possessed and an emphasis on professional skills.

Design and Development
Skill Practice
The program works to consistently reinforce student's knowledge of industry tools and hard skills.
Client Projects
Students work on mock client projects during the program to prepare for real client work during their internships.
Weekly Presentations
Students practice their speaking and professional skills during weekly presentations and critiques.
Industry Professionals
Industry professionals are invited to come speak to students during the program and give them valuable insight.
Group Work
Many of the projects during the program involve group work so students can practice working on teams.
Portfolio Development
Students work to develop their personal portfolios during the program by completing project work.

Key Insights
60 students participated in the first cohort of the Launch program during the summer of 2017
Students Value Project Work
During the first iteration of the Launch program instructors experimented with lecture and project based curricula. Students valued 'real world' project work with constraints and structure more highly than traditional lecture based learning.
Employers Value Specialization
During the first iteration of the Launch program instructors did not work with students to specialize their skillset according to internship placement. Employers gave feedback that they valued more specialization for their intern's knowledge of hard skills.
Professionals Provide Key Insight
During the first iteration of the Launch program instructors brought in a handful of subject matter experts to teach specific skills. Students valued the incorporation of these professionals highly and were interested in more interactions like these.

Summary of Results
30 Student Participants
15 students participated in the 2018 summer Design cohort and 15 students participated in the 2019 summer UX cohort.
100% Internship Placement Rate
100% of Launch Design students were placed in exciting summer internships in the design field.