August 15, 2023

Forsyth Tech’s Chief Officer of Student Success and Strategic Innovation, Paula Dibley, has been selected as one of six Designers in Residence for the Education Design Lab.

Designers in Residence 2.0: Accelerating Pathways, is the second cohort of Designers in Residence and will seek to quicken access to associate degrees for historically underserved populations, including learners who are Black, Latino or from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Over the course of 18 months, the Designers in Residence 2.0 will learn equity- and human-centered design and gain valuable insight from mentorships with the previous Designers in Residence Cohort.  Additionally, each designer receives a $75,000 grant award for their institution.

“The first Designers in Residence cohort made significant strides in identifying the transformations necessary for higher education systems to build a more equitable future for all learners,” said Bill Hughes, president and CEO of Education Design Lab. “We are excited to see how the second cohort builds on this work to co-create an actionable roadmap for institutions seeking to build and scale equitable, learner-centered pathways and partnerships that adapt to an evolving economy.”

In addition to working to ensure equitable access to associate degrees for all members of their community, each designer will also focus on dual enrollment programs that provide students with college credit while they are still in high school. The designers will further narrow their focus with the goal of ensuring students can earn enough college credit while in high school to complete an associate degree aligned with high-wage, high-growth careers by their 13th year of education (or one year post-high-school).

Earlier this month, the Education Design Lab released Accelerating Pathways: Early Process Insights from Designers in Residence 2.0. The project’s first brief offers three insights into the design choices for the planning process and how program success will be evaluated. You can view the brief by clicking here.

“Paula’s trailblazing work since her arrival at Forsyth Tech has been nothing short of exemplary. I can’t wait to see how our college community – and the community at-large – will benefit from what she will learn and implement as a part of this prestigious cohort with The Education Design Lab,” said Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech.

Dibley has more than a decade of experience working in higher education at community colleges within North Carolina, and has been at Forsyth Tech for nearly four years. She holds an MPA from UNC Chapel Hill and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education at New York University.