Our team developed a semester course on Graphic Design and Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for University of Virginia students. The course met twice a week for 12 weeks on the regular university schedule.

Summary of Results:
60 students participated in the course during the first year, the program saw continued growth by 20% each semester
Future instructors were sourced from program graduates
Our team received a 94% NPS from students in the course

Lead Graphic Design Instructor
Allison Garrett (Lead Graphic Design Instructor)
Emily Yun (Graphic Design Instructor)
Sophia Woods (Teaching Assistant)
Maddie Boehnlein (Teaching Assistant)
Fall 2017 & Spring 2018

In the 2017-2018 school year, there were no graphic design courses offered at UVA.
77% of employers believe hard and soft skills are equally important for students.
Only 34% of current college students believe their education is preparing them for work.

Potential Solutions
Hard Skill Training
Students at UVA hoping to pursue careers in graphic design must learn industry standard tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite.
Design Principles
Students at UVA hoping to pursue careers in design need to master foundations of design like design and gestalt principles, color theory, and typography.

User Research
The Learner
  • Our team interviewed 10 University of Virginia students who participated in an a trial version of this program.

We discovered that students were seeking more structure for the semester program, more Adobe Creative Suite workshops, and more foundational design skills.
The Learning Outcome
  • At the beginning of the program, we surveyed student participants to discover their desired learning outcome.

Many students valued generating an income through graphic design freelancing, gaining hard skills they could add to their resume, and building a design portfolio.

Design and Development
Skill Principles
Students finish the program with a solid foundation in design including gestalt principles, color theory, and typography.
Adobe Workshops
Instructors lead weekly Adobe Creative Suite workshops to help students master the design software.
Group Critiques
Students practiced giving and receiving feedback on their work through weekly group critiques on projects.
Careers in Design
Students participated in group discussions with instructors about the careers they could pursue in design.
Students participated in one on one check-ins with instructors to help them stay on track during the program.
Portfolio Projects
Students worked on design projects throughout the program that they could add to their personal portfolio.

Key Insights
28 students participated in the first cohort of Vector
Students Value 'Real World' Projects
During the first cohort of the Vector program students completed personal design projects. After receiving feedback from students, we collaborated with businesses to incorporate client projects into the curriculum during the second cohort.
Students Value Group Critiques
During the first cohort of the Vector program students participated in group critiques where they received feedback from their instructors and peers. These group critiques helped students to feel more comfortable giving and receiving constructive feedback.
1:1 Check-ins Provide Key Insights
During the first iteration of the Vector program instructors met with students once a month for one on one check-ins. Students and instructors valued the key insights from these sessions and increased these check-ins to biweekly sessions in the spring.

Summary of Results
Continued Program Growth
Vector program participation continued to grow by 20% each semester after our team left the organization.
Source of Future Instructors
The team was able to source future instructors and teaching assistants from students who graduated from the program.
94% Net Promoter Score
We received an overall 94% Net Promoter Score from students in the Fall and Spring cohorts of the Vector course.