A New College Model? Design it with Students.

July 9, 2020

When I got a phone call from the Provost of Catholic University three years ago, I did not know why he wanted to meet. But that meeting led to a design sprint, which led to a groundbreaking pilot that launches this fall, COVID notwithstanding. Catholic University wanted to return to an original mission in its 130-year history, to serve those who could not afford its private college sticker price and not only those who could travel to Washington, DC, to live on its storied campus. They were the first university to ask the Lab to help them create a much more affordable version of themselves, and one designed with first-generation Latinx students in parts of the US that have no Catholic colleges. As Provost Andrew Abela, who is now Dean of the Business School, describes it, “We wanted a program that was low-cost and high tech, but also high touch.”

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DCPS and Education Design Lab Team Up with Employers to Offer Remote Summer Internships

June 18, 2020

Education Design Lab, the national nonprofit that pioneered the concept of learner-centric design in education, today announced the launch of a paid remote internship program with District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) that will offer students hands-on work experience through real-world projects submitted by employers. More than 100 local high school students will participate in the Creativity for COVID remote internship program, an immersive, six-week experience that will culminate with students presenting their plans to employers and earning an industry-supported digital credential in creative problem-solving.

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Two Pathways, One Purpose

June 18, 2020

Over the past 15 months, the Lab has worked with partners in San Antonio, Texas, to design and launch two upskilling pathways to expand career opportunities for frontline workers. So far, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, our employer partner, has seen substantial gains among program participants in productivity, collaboration, and leadership, skills essential for positioning frontline workers for middle-skill jobs.

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More News and Events

A New College Model? Design it with Students.

When I got a phone call from the Provost of Catholic University three years ago, I did not know why he wanted to meet. But that meeting led to a design sprint, which led to a groundbreaking pilot that launches this fall, COVID notwithstanding. Catholic University wanted to return to an original mission in its 130-year history, to serve those who could not afford its private college sticker price and not only those who could travel to Washington, DC, to live on its storied campus. They were the first university to ask the Lab to help them create a much more affordable version of themselves, and one designed with first-generation Latinx students in parts of the US that have no Catholic colleges. As Provost Andrew Abela, who is now Dean of the Business School, describes it, “We wanted a program that was low-cost and high tech, but also high touch.”

DCPS and Education Design Lab Team Up with Employers to Offer Remote Summer Internships

Education Design Lab, the national nonprofit that pioneered the concept of learner-centric design in education, today announced the launch of a paid remote internship program with District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) that will offer students hands-on work experience through real-world projects submitted by employers. More than 100 local high school students will participate in the Creativity for COVID remote internship program, an immersive, six-week experience that will culminate with students presenting their plans to employers and earning an industry-supported digital credential in creative problem-solving.

Two Pathways, One Purpose

Over the past 15 months, the Lab has worked with partners in San Antonio, Texas, to design and launch two upskilling pathways to expand career opportunities for frontline workers. So far, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, our employer partner, has seen substantial gains among program participants in productivity, collaboration, and leadership, skills essential for positioning frontline workers for middle-skill jobs.

Now is the Time for Systemic Change

The Education Design Lab stands in solidarity with the Black community against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others whose lives have been stolen by institutional racism and injustice. In this moment of collective mourning, we lift our voice to join with those gathered in peaceful protest to demand an end to white supremacy and anti-blackness, ideologies upon which this country and its institutions were built.

Engaging Learners Online in COVID-19: An Actionable Framework

A year ago, the Lab had just released The Learner Revolution, a whitepaper sharing learnings from five years of work with 125+ institutions on how higher ed leaders must position their institutions to improve learner outcomes, support learners’ economic mobility, and ultimately thrive in a rapidly changing landscape of learning options. Fast forward, and today COVID-19 has accelerated the forces necessitating these changes, most acutely impacting those students—like low-income learners, parent learners, first gen students, and others from historically underserved and underrepresented groups—who were already in need of a redesign of higher ed to enable their success.

Why Micro-pathways

We didn’t need the coronavirus to get us pondering the question “Is college worth it?” But it certainly speeds up our need to find the alternatives. At the Lab, we argue that Micro-pathways will be an important bridge to the future in this new agile and uncertain age.

Higher Ed’s Learner-centered Responses to the Pandemic

We continue to be inspired by the ways higher ed is responding to this moment on behalf of learners and communities. And we are hearing from our network how the design tools and methods we’ve shared over the years have helped them respond and adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. Many had already begun to pivot toward a fast-changing future, and now they are demonstrating resilience in the face of change. We’re heartened to see our institutional partners that have embraced student-centered solutions double-down on their values and commitment.

We’re Asking Our Education Designers: How Might We Future?

At the Lab, we’ve long talked about the fast-changing learn-to-work ecosystem. In this series, we asked our education designers to share their thoughts on the dramatic shifts forced by the COVID-19 crisis.

Resources During COVID-19: Supporting Single Mother Learners + Other High-need Students

In support of our Single Moms Success Design Challenge partners, we’ve compiled a short list of immediate relief resources that may help institutional leaders better support single parent learners and other high-need students during this especially difficult period.

In Response to COVID-19

One of the few things we can feel certain about is that your inboxes and social media feeds are overwhelmed by COVID-19 statements from schools, businesses and service providers. What can we add? We are feeling a sense of hopefulness based on the outpouring of care and ingenuity we see around us.