Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. William Charland

Second Advisor

Dr. Christina Chin

Third Advisor

Dr. Cat Crotchett


Design, art, curriculum, education, careers

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Design education, as distinct from art education, has been overlooked as an area of student learning, creative expression, and career potential. This thesis explores the benefits of design education for students at the secondary level, when identities are being formed and areas of future study and work are considered. Guided by the newly published National Core Arts Standards, this paper provides a model design curriculum that introduces secondary students to a design-oriented view of the world, explores design principles through real-world applications, and calls attention to professional career options.

All lessons in the curriculum encourage creative approaches to solving design problems. Topics include traditional and contemporary applications of architecture/environmental design, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design and product design.