Feb 22, 2024  
Course Catalog 2021-2022 
Course Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LEAPS: Design and Fabrication

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LEAPS (Liberal Arts and Professional Success)

The LEAPS programs are an optional component of the Compass General Education Curriculum.  Please see the LEAPS (Liberal Arts and Professional Success) section of the Compass Curriculum for more information.

Design and Fabrication

The way things are made is changing.  Whether they’re designing works of art, creating new products, or developing scientific apparatus, Wheaton graduates are entering a world where computer-aided design, rapid prototyping, and advanced manufacturing techniques are the norm.  At the same time, core principles of user-centered design, ergonomics, and design thinking have become more important than ever, and employers are increasingly seeking graduates with experience in iterative design and the ability to manage complex projects. The Design and Fabrication LEAPS will give students the skills they need to turn revolutionary ideas into working prototypes. By completing this LEAPS, students will be able to work toward careers in industrial design, product development, creative arts, and social entrepreneurship, designing solutions for a better future.

Potential Careers

Product Designer, Artist, Mechanical Engineer, Human Computer Interaction Engineer, UX Designer, Industrial Design, Fab Lab Director, Makerspace Technician, Instrument Designer + Engineer, Architect, CNC Machinist, Fabrication Technician, Aerospace Engineer, Innovation Director, CE

Completion Requirements:

5 credits needed to complete.  Will be a minimum of 3 semesters but more likely 4 or 5.


Students must complete one on one machine and process trainings in order to gain access to certain digital fabrication tools and processes. Currently, these micro-credentials are certified by the Coordinator of Innovation Programs & Spaces and students must show mastery of tool/process via Training ID program.

Experiental Component

Experience must include:

  • experience with a company focused on design and fabrication (engineering, architecture, product design, rapid prototyping technologies)
  • OR student plays an active role in experience primarily focused on design
  • OR student plays an active role in exp experience primarily focused on fabrication
  • OR completion of a student-driven independent project utilizing design and fabrication skills. This experience is subject to pre-approval and post-evaluation and must include an outward-facing component (i.e. exhibition, community partnership, etc.).

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