Letter to Students: Designing a Design Program

by Gordon Drummond | November 16, 2010

Dear Students,

I’m Gordon Drummond, Chief Academic Officer at Sessions College® for Professional Design. This letter is the third in a series on issues for prospective students.

This week’s topic is academic program design. Scintillating topic, I know! But, if you’re evaluating art/design schools, here are some program design questions you may need to consider: What makes a degree or certificate program effective? And how can I tell whether a program is designed to develop the skills that I need?

Here are some recommendations for your college search based on my experience at Sessions College.

First, look for a program that is designed by designers, for designers. Are the instructors who teach or develop the courses working professionals, experienced pros that you’d be excited to learn from? At Sessions College, course content is designed by our faculty of over 30 artists and designers, working with an in-house production team. Program goals are defined a team of experienced department heads who establish a vision for the program. Each program is designed help students meet certain learning objectives in terms of mastering specific design or software skills.

Second, look for a school with that focuses on what you want to learn. As the first accredited fully online school of design, Sessions College has been focusing for more than ten years on developing art/design programs – and nothing else. At many larger schools, design is just one discipline competing with many others for resources and support. At Sessions College, it’s all we do; our school mission is Preparing Design Professionals.

Third, if you’re looking into online programs, look for one that’s exclusively designed for online delivery. At Sessions College, no textbooks are required. All the course content you need for your program is delivered through the online environment. Instead of poring over textbooks, you are viewing state-of-the-art lectures and exercises supported by illustrations and multimedia, all in your Web browser. You are learning design on your own computer, and liberated to study wherever you and your computer go.

Finally, make sure the program is designed to be constantly updated. Let’s face it, the design industry is changing constantly, and design education should too. At Sessions College, online delivery means that courses are regularly updated to address the latest changes in design technology. Just this year, for example, our faculty and education staff completed a six-month project to update all Adobe software courses to address the latest Our Web design curriculum is evolving right now to incorporate the exciting new technology HTML5. Program objectives are evaluated by external advisory groups and course updates are rolled out to students as soon as they are available. We’re always changing and I can assure you that no textbooks are burned or otherwise harmed in the process!

I hope that this letter was helpful identifying some questions for your art/design college search. If you are interested in Sessions College programs, please contact one of our admissions advisors. They are all design school graduates, so you can expect a knowledgeable discussion about your learning goals.

Best,

Gordon Drummond
Chief Academic Officer
Sessions College

Gordon Drummond is the President and Academic Director at Sessions College. He's passionate about education and the arts and likes to surround himself with more talented people.

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