Having produced design curriculum for four different institutions (Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago, Bloc, Thinkful), I know something about the pitfalls that plague both designers and design education. With that experience in mind, I’ve crafted New Pragmatic to address some of those issues — which means this program operates differently from other offerings. Because of that, the differences will trigger both obvious and less obvious questions you should ask before continuing forward.
While I’ve outlined many in the document below, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any that I have not directly addressed below.
What is this?
New Pragmatic is a site dedicated to design education. The curriculum and associated supporting material are intended to be open for designers to use, while mentorship for designers seeking specialized guidance and daily feedback on their work is available for a fee.
Do I have to pay to use the curriculum
No. While New Pragmatic does ask for your email so we can periodically update you regarding curriculum changes and additions, there is no fee to access the curriculum.
What does mentorship include?
When a designer signs up for mentorship, they unlock access to weekly workshops, the daily standup, and daily feedback. Each designer will receive a weekly, 1-hour meeting with Chris Courtney in addition to the weekly workshop and daily feedback time.
How are courses structured?
Designers have the option to enroll in a course that is either in a time-restricted cohort (four-week course) or self-paced individual learning (up to eight weeks). Cohorts work best for people who enjoy a classroom dynamic, while self-paced learning is the best option for people who require greater flexibility over their schedule. For more information regarding how the courses function, please see “How New Pragmatic Works”.
How long is a course?
Each course at New Pragmatic is 15-20 chapters in length and intended to take between four-to-eight weeks to complete. How fast or slow it take a designer to complete a course depends significantly on their experience level, the ability to dedicate time to the coursework, and the other responsibilities they have in their lives.
Is there a physical location where I need to go?
No. Aside from activities conducted during field research, all workshops, feedback sessions, and other associated meetings at New Pragmatic happen online.
Are their standard hours of operation?
As New Pragmatic is based in Chicago, Illinois all times posted are for the central time zone (CST +6, CDT +5). As New Pragmatic is a small operation, the weekday hours of 9 am - 6 pm Central should be considered the standard hours of operation. However, activities for evening and weekend workshops will stretch beyond that.
What is the refund policy?
Every student is required to go through the free Intro to Product Design course before they are allowed to signing up for a paid course. In our free course, you will learn how the course works, what working with Chris is like, and the basics of Product Design. If there is anything about the course that you do not like, feel free to discontinue the course. You are not obligated to give a credit card when you start, so you’re at no risk of being charged.
Should you decide to continue with New Pragmatic, you’re doing so fully aware of how the course works and the expectations associated with being part of a cohort.
Therefore, once you have enrolled in a course, there are no refunds.
Is there a tuition reimbursement guarantee?
No. Tuition reimbursement guarantees are structured bets made by institutions who use them to inflate course prices. Institutions can cover any potential losses by charging higher tuition costs to all students.
I worked with the team at Bloc to create one of the first tuition reimbursement guarantees offered in design education, so I know quite a bit about how they are structured and the mechanics needed to make them work in favor of an institution. (ISAs are a similar pricing bet, see below.)
Additionally, New Pragmatic is structured to help designers become better designers. That’s why we offer several short courses rather than a single long one.
Also, a tuition reimbursement guarantee would require that you have to learn UX or you have to code. It’s okay if you want to do all of those things — or none of those things. I want you to be a badass designer, whatever that type of designer happens to be. Having a TRG would get in the way of that.
That said, for new designers just getting into the field and looking for new jobs, New Pragmatic makes it easier to get started offering all of our curricula for free AND by charging significantly less than any of the competition. $8500 or more for a course from one of those other bootcamps or $500 bucks for a New Pragmatic course.
Do you offer an income share agreement?
Nope. Income share agreements are predatory.
Most bootcamps that offer an ISA can claim up to $30,000 of your post-education earnings. So you either pay somewhere between $8500 to $20,000 up-front or up to $30,000 after. That math is never in your favor.
Oh, and New Pragmatic charges $500 per course. Take the courses you want to take and don’t give anyone $30,000 of your money. Ever.
Are their scholarships available?
None at this time, although I am open to discussing that possibility with organizations that would like to sponsor designers. However, you will always be able to access the curriculum and videos for free.