Assessing the Impact of a Graphic Design Internship Program: Outcomes for Students and Communities

By Kathryn Weinstein.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 9, 2015 $US5.00

This paper describes an on-going design internship program that was developed through a partnership between a public college and a regional economic development intermediary. There were thirty-two students participating in the study, all majoring in graphic design from a large, urban public college in New York City. This paper describes the design components of the internship program and the detailed results obtained from the first three years of tracking students after completion of the internship. Retention, graduation rates, and career paths former interns have followed are presented, with the updates indicating that former interns find employment within their degree field at a higher rate than the national average and exhibit a greater resiliency to stay within the field. Community outcomes are assessed by the growth of participating businesses and the creation of new jobs. Both student and community results are encouraging and suggest that this combination of program elements in an internship program has promise for adoption into undergraduate design curricula. Several topics are given for the purposes of further research.

Keywords: Internships, Experimental Learning, Graphic Design Curriculum

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 9, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 332.880KB)).

Kathryn Weinstein

Associate Professor, Art Department, Queens College, CUNY, Queens, New York, USA

Kathryn Weinstein received her MFA from San Francisco State University. She began her career as an exhibiting artist with a focus on installation, image and text, and photography. Her work in Graphic Design has been widely exhibited, and she received two public art commissions from the San Francisco Arts Commission. One of her designs is in the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society. Her design projects include logos, posters, books, websites, and web-based applications for nonprofit organizations, including the Fund for the City of New York, the Center for Court Innovation, The Havens Relief Fund Society, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Brooklyn Community Services. She has been teaching at Queens College as an Adjunct Lecturer in Graphic Design since 2004, appointed Instructor of Graphic Design 2010-2011, followed by appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor 2011-2012 and Associate Professor of Graphic Design, 2012.