Design Lab moves creativity into action.
In a paid internship setting, students learn to solve complex problems. Inter-disciplinary teams use human-centered design to uncover new perspectives and understand the experiences of others. From the data collected, insights are synthesized and inform recommendations for early prototypes. Working with Design Lab centers people in the problem-solving process, getting us closer to the most desirable, viable, and feasible solutions.
Our Spring 2021 project is in full swing! We need your help.
Make career support more accessible just by sharing your story. We want to learn from your experiences. Get on Zoom with our team for 30 minutes and we will pay you for your time through your Bursar account. Click the button below to sign up.
Spring 2021 Project
At the University of Arizona, we see that involvement in Student Engagement and Career Development (SECD) programs and offerings leads to better career outcomes for undergraduate students compared to students who do not engage with our programs and services. This is particularly true for participating in career fairs, which facilitate job and internship placement opportunities for students.
- Students who engaged in at least one SECD offering were more likely (p<.05) to report full time employment in the 2019-2020 Career Destination Survey than students who did not engage in any SECD offering (50% v. 44%). Further robustness tests using logistic regression show that students who engaged with SECD had 1.32X increased odds of reporting full-time employment after accounting for other factors known to impact student engagement in SECD and post-graduation outcomes.
- Students who participated in at least one SECD offering reported an 8% higher starting salary in the 2019-2020 Career Destination Survey than students who did not participate in any SECD offering ($58,983 v. $54,289). Among SECD participation indicators, career fair participation was a primary indicator to a higher starting salary.
- Students who engaged in at least one SECD offering within the year were more likely (p < .01) to report being accepted into a program of continuing education in the 2019-2020 Career Destination Survey than students who did not engage in any SECD offering (67% v. 54%).
The Design Opportunity
Rather than asking, "Why don't students participate in SECD services when the outcomes are so great?" this project seeks to ask "What barriers exist that prevent students from participating in the programs, and how can we remove them?"
Design interns conduct primary research through stakeholder interviews, creative intercepts, and surveys to gather first-hand accounts and experiences. Then, the team leads a collaborative synthesis session. The results from this project will then inform program and service design in SECD.
Our driving question is: How might we remove barriers to participation in SECD programs for historically minoritized on-campus Arizona students?
Women in the College of Science
Design Lab partnered with Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) to better understand the experiences of women in STEM majors on our campus. Design Lab interns developed recommendations through synthesizing real student stories to inform University decisions.
Student Support and Development
A team of interns studied how students learn to solve problems and become leaders. The results of this project informed the re-design of the Blue Chip Leadership First Year Experience.
Getting Connected with Trellis
Design Interns partnered with Trellis to understand where students feel like they belong on campus and what belonging means to us at Arizona. These insights have informed the design and development of student-facing offerings like Trellis Advise.
Redesigning Park Student Union
The first cohort of Design Interns partnered with UA Global to further understand the wants and needs of international students on campus. The team's findings informed the redesign of the Park Student Union space and the program offerings of International Student Services.