Rethinking Graphic Design Education

Matthew Monk
Academic Dean
Vermont College of Fine Arts

After teaching graphic design for twenty years at a prominent institution for art and design education, I was given an opportunity to build a new graphic design MFA program from scratch in the context of a growing, up-and-coming arts college that is known for its successful student-centered pedagogical model through a unique and effective low-residency format. I led a team of faculty and administrators to build an exceptional and unusual program that is proving in a short amount of time to be a remarkably effective and satisfying educational model for design. In the process of developing the program, we challenged many assumptions about design and education to devise a structure and philosophy unlike any other program I know. This presentation traces the challenges and successes in developing the program, as it outlines the curriculum and pedagogical model, the educational philosophy, program logistics, academic content, assessment, and results of this unique model for teaching and learning.