Jul 16, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Design, Design Assistant, A.A.S.

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Rachel Beach, Design Assistant Program Coordinator
316C Wallman Hall / (304) 367-4367

Program Purpose

The program for Design Assistant is an emerging career field, often linked to professions utilizing the newest technologies in design. The term design assistant comes from the research identifying an employment path for individuals with a strong design background that can move into a variety of fields.

The degree has a blend of courses to develop the student into a concept planner and visual designer. The Design Assistant graduate will have a background from two top industries in design: fashion and interior environments. By guiding the student from the past to the present, the applied design courses have a focus on the importance of historical relevance in design and present day tools of project building and communication through technology. This program offers a very flexible delivery options, including both online and hybrid classes. Beginning in 2016, this program will be offered via a total distance delivery option, especially well-suited to non-traditional students.

Student Learning Outcomes

(Fashion Merchandising, Interior Design and Design Assistant options):

Upon successful completion of the AAS degree, graduates will be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of design theory and the elements and principles of design through organizing, manipulating and solving design problems
  • Recognize the history of their field, and manipulate the materials, components, and products that are associated with that field
  • Communicate and justify, through written and oral presentation and portfolio development, the details, inspiration, problems, solutions, and the vision of their design
  • Develop and demonstrate a work ethic in their field of design through practicum experience and community service
  • Demonstrate an understanding of business practices, work ethic, professionalism, and consumer marketing principles as related to the products and services of their field


Demand for graduates with Design Studies degrees has traditionally come from production, sales, marketing, and management firms related to design products and studio-trained designers (fashion, interiors, etc.). More recently, there has been growing recognition that design thinking (the process of design) supports entrepreneurship and innovation in all venues. Internet searches of Business Week and/or Fast Company using the key word “design” will provide a quick overview of the rapidly expanding career potential in this field.

Design Assistants are defined as an employment path for individuals with a strong design background that can move into a variety of fields. Examples of employment in the many related fields of design include; Accessories Consultant, Commercial Sales, Construction Project Support, Design Blogger , Entrepreneur - Physical/Virtual, Fashion Buyer, Facilities Management , Support, Furniture Sales, Exteriorscapes Designer, Interior Decorator, Interior Lighting Designer, Kitchen & Bath Design, Public Relations Assistant, Residential Furnishing Sales, Retail Store Manager, Space Planning Consultant, Style Consultant, Textiles Sales, Trends & Forecasting Consultant, Wedding Planner/Consultant, Wholesale Apparel Buyer, Visual Merchandiser, Web Content Developer, and Window Treatment Designer.

Required Courses Design Assistant 60 SEM. HRS.

Design Assistant Model Schedule 60 SEM. HRS.

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