Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Design Specialist

Beach, Rachel

Coordinator of Interior Design
Instructor of Applied Design
304-367-4367
316C Wallman Hall
Locust Avenue Campus, Fairmont
Image of Rachel Plybon-Beach
Program Purpose: 

The program for design specialist is an emerging career field, often linked to professions utilizing the newest technologies in design. The term design specialist 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 Specialist 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 on-line 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: 
  • Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of design theory and the elements and principles of design through organizing, manipulating, and solving design problems.
  • Students should recognize the history of their field, and maniple the materials, components, and products that are associated with that field.
  • Students should be able to communicate and justify, through written report and oral presentations, the details, inspiration, problems, solutions, and the vision of their design
  • Students should develop and demonstrate a work ethic in their field of design through practicum experience and community service.
  • Students should demonstrate an understanding of business practices and consumer marketing principles as related to the products and services of their field.
Opportunities: 
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 Specialists 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.
 
Upon completion of this degree a graduate has the option to transfer to West Virginia University, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design for an additional 2 years to complete a bachelor degree in the Design Studies Program. All Pierpont credits transfer directly into the program for a seamless transition into a bachelor degree. The offering of an interdisciplinary design major by West Virginia University is unique in the state and within the University.  Design Studies brings together positive aspects of the studio-based design majors and the multi-disciplinary studies major to provide a design-focused program that is flexible and student-centered.  Acceptance into the program is noncompetitive.  Employment in design-related occupations is expected to continue to grow.
Program Total Credit Hours: 
60 CHs
Support Coursework: 
15 CHs

APPD 1151

Design Concepts
3
CH(s)

ENGL 1104

Written English I
3|4
CH(s)

ENGL 1108

Written English II
3
CH(s)

OFAD 1150

Computer Concepts and Applications
3
CH(s)

MTH 1207

Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
3|5
CH(s)

ENGL 1104 Prerequisite(s): 18 or higher on the English portion of ACT; 450 or higher on Critical Reading of SAT; A scaled score of 38 or higher on Writing Skills Set of ASSET; 71 or higher on English portion  of COMPASS; 88 or higher on Sentence Skills of ACCUPLACER. Students falling below the listed scores will be required to take a four(4) credit hour ENGL 1104.

ENGL 1109 may be substituted for ENGL 1108. ENGL 1108 & 1109 Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1104.
Must obtain a "C" or better in all English courses.

Program Specific Required Coursework: 
42 CHs

APPD 1103

Clothing & Culture
3
CH(s)

APPD 1115

Introduction to the Fashion Industry
3
CH(s)

APPD 1116

History of Contemporary Fashion
3
CH(s)

APPD 1130

History of Design Through 19th Century
3
CH(s)

APPD 1131

History of 20th Century Design
3
CH(s)

APPD 1140

Introduction to Interior Design
3
CH(s)

APPD 1160

Construction Details & Design
3
CH(s)

APPD 2210

Textiles
3
CH(s)

APPD 2217

Visual Merchandising
3
CH(s)

APPD 2200

Design Thinking
3
CH(s)

APPD 2220

Fashion Accessories
3
CH(s)

APPD 2235

Design in Social Media
3
CH(s)

APPD 2250

Design in Home Furnishings
3
CH(s)

APPD 2995

Applied Design Practicum
3
CH(s)
Program Specific Elective Coursework: 
3 CHs

PROG ELEC

Program Specific Elective
3
CH(s)
Required Elective (Select one)
BUSN 1102  Introduction to Business
ENGL  1108  Written English II (PR)  -OR- 
ENGL  1109  Tech Report Writing (PR) 3
EVMG  1103  Wedding Planning 3
 
Model Schedule
Fall Semester

APPD 1115

Introduction to the Fashion Industry
3
CH(s)

APPD 1140

Introduction to Interior Design
3
CH(s)

APPD 1151

Design Concepts
3
CH(s)

ENGL 1104

Written English I
3|4
CH(s)

OFAD 1150

Computer Concepts and Applications
3
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
15 CHs

ENGL 1104 Prerequisite(s): 18 or higher on the English portion of ACT; 450 or higher on Critical Reading of SAT; A scaled score of 38 or higher on Writing Skills Set of ASSET; 71 or higher on English portion  of COMPASS; 88 or higher on Sentence Skills of ACCUPLACER. Students falling below the listed scores will be required to take a four(4) credit hour ENGL 1104.

Spring Semester

APPD 1103

Clothing & Culture
3
CH(s)

APPD 2210

Textiles
3
CH(s)

APPD 2250

Design in Home Furnishings
3
CH(s)

ENGL 1108

Written English II
3
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
15 CHs

ENGL 1109 may be substituted for ENGL 1108. ENGL 1108 & 1109 Prerequisite(s): grade of "C" or better in ENGL 1104. Must obtain a "C" or better in ENGL 1108 or ENGL 1109 to graduate.

Fall Semester

APPD 1130

History of Design Through 19th Century
3
CH(s)

APPD 1116

History of Contemporary Fashion
3
CH(s)

APPD 1160

Construction Details & Design
3
CH(s)

APPD 2220

Fashion Accessories
3
CH(s)

APPD 2995

Applied Design Practicum
3
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
15 CHs
Spring Semester

APPD 1131

History of 20th Century Design
3
CH(s)

APPD 2217

Visual Merchandising
3
CH(s)

APPD 2200

Design Thinking
3
CH(s)

APPD 2235

Design in Social Media
3
CH(s)

PROG ELEC

Program Specific Elective
3
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
15 CHs
Restricted Elective (Select one)
BUSN 1102 Introduction to Business 3
ENGL 1108 Written English II (PR) -OR- 
ENGL 1109 Tech Report Writing (PR) 3
EVMG 1103 Wedding Planning 3
 
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