Conestoga news

May 17, 2024 12:08 PM

Conestoga ranked among Top 10 design schools in Canada based on student awards

Conestoga was named among Canada’s best design schools by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), ranking number 4 out of 10 based on the highest student awards in the competition hosted annually by the national professional association.

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Conestoga was named among Canada’s best design schools by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), ranking number 4 out of 10.

Conestoga had four winners and two honourable mentions from 34 students who submitted a total of 96 entries in the 2023 RGD Student Awards, scored by more than 100 judges. More than 1,150 entries from students across Canada were submitted.

“This ranking by the RGD is based on award entries and wins, but it definitely reflects the hard work that students and faculty put into the process,” said Molly Hill, Graphic Design professor.

“There has always been something really unique and special about the Graphic Design advanced diploma program at Conestoga. This honour reinforces an already strong national reputation for educating designers.”

Hill also pointed out that Conestoga’s advanced diploma program is consistently in the Top 5, even while competing against degree-granting programs.

Entering competitions is part of the third-year curriculum with an assignment to research, review and refine projects, and two contests must be entered to complete the assignment that’s part of their final grade. Students, including those in the program’s second year, are encouraged to look for and enter contests that appeal to their passions, including national and international competitions.

“The faculty team collaborates to design robust non-siloed projects that meet curriculum, but also anticipate upcoming challenges in the industry,” Hill said.

RGD executive director Hilary Ashworth pointed out the encouraging environment at Conestoga that fosters confidence in the students to pursue industry-sponsored awards.

“Conestoga’s standing in the 2024 Student Awards is not only a testament to the top-notch education their students receive, but also their ethos that encourages students to believe in themselves and engage in the design industry early on in their careers.”

Both Conestoga students and faculty are actively involved with the association.

“Conestoga's design students are consistently some of the most active within the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD). Year after year, we regularly see them participating in student initiatives and applying for leadership positions,” Ashworth said.

“Many of Conestoga's design educators have been long-time RGD members, modelling back to students how important it is to be lifelong learners, belong to their professional association and ultimately contribute towards the advancement of the design profession.”

The article on RGD’s website included comments from student Alli Thompson, who graduated from Conestoga’s Graphic Design program in the spring. The program’s stellar reputation for graduating talented designers drew Thompson to Conestoga - a choice confirmed during her studies.

“By my third year, while crafting my thesis project, I found confirmation that my choice to join this program was correct. Opting to create an illustrative children's book for my project, I discovered a balanced fusion of my lifelong passion for illustration and my newfound love for design,” Thompson said before thanking her professors. “Their dedication, guidance, and knowledge have equipped me with the essential design skills for this craft.”

Conestoga's three-year Graphic Design advanced diploma program is recognized as one of the top design programs in the province. It employs a project-based learning approach that addresses design, digital content creation, communication, inter-personal, technical and enhanced employability skills.

The program is part of the college’s School of Creative Industries, which offers dynamic programs spanning all aspects of media, communication and design.