What Do Design Educators Need? The AIGA DEC has Data.

The AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) set aside time during the fall to collect data around the needs of design educators and better articulate the value proposition of the DEC. I co-chaired this important organization from 2013 -2015 and now work to advocate for design educators through my role on the AIGA Board of Directors

Below are select slides. The final presentation includes data design educator personas and pain points, as well as DEC initiatives to meet those identified needs. Many thanks to my awesome grad student, Alysa Buchanan, who volunteered her time to design the presentation. Download the full pdf here: AIGA_DEC_Educators

AIGA DEC mission: The AIGA Design Educators Community seeks to enhance the abilities of design educators and educational institutions to prepare future designers for excellence in design practice, design theory and design writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels while supporting the fundamental mission of AIGA. Objectives: AIGA DEC was established in 2004 to support hte unique activities and responsibilities of the design educator at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels in a wide variety of institutional settings.


AIGA DEC Value Proposition: AIGA DEC connects a diverse group of design educators to one another and to industry so that they might generate and receive guidance, support and vision via pedagogy, scholarship/research, and career advancement/pivots.


Types of Institutions: Research Institutions, Independent Art Schools, Liberal Arts Colleges, Community Colleges


Types of Faculty Positions: non tenure-track professor, adjunct professor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, administrative position


AIGA DEC Educator Personas


Persona: Susan, 45 years old, associate professor at an independent art school, 3/3 teaching load, degree offered: BFA in Graphic Design


Persona: Zeke, 31 years old, tenure-track assistant professor at a liberal arts college, 3/3 teaching load, degree offered: BFA Fine Arts with design concentration


persona: Kayla, 37 years old, tenure-track assistant professor, Tier 1 research institution, 3/2 teaching load, degree offered: bachelor of graphic design


Persona: Nate, 40 years old, tenure-track assistant professor at a community college, 3/4 teaching load, degree offered: AAS Degree in graphic design


persona: Julia, 51 years old, tenured full professor at Tier 2 research institution, department chair for graphic design, 1/1 teaching load, degree offered: BFA in Graphic Design


In sum: What main service is the AIGA DEC providing? Access to a community of design educators facing similar challenges and high quality opportunities. What is the end-benefit of using it? Participation in an active community as both experts and learners in the areas of pedagogy, scholarship/research, and career advancements/pivots


What makes the DEC's offerings unique? The DEC serves as a hub for the man sub-specialties of design education. As a part of a professional association AIGA DEC helps forge contacts and partnerships between industry and education. The DEC enables faculty to engage with the same organization, AIGA, which strengthens the synergy between education and industry.