Summer Institute for Teachers

What is the Summer Institute for Teachers?

The Summer Institute for Teachers is a five-day, intensive program to teach the Doreen Nelson method of Design-Based Learning. At the SIFT, teachers learn practical techniques they can immediately use to inspire, involve and energize their students and help them develop reasoning and problem-solving skills.


At the SIFT training sessions for administrators, and training for a new group of DBL Fellows occurs concurrently.

Who Teaches at the Summer Institute for Teachers?

The faculty of the SIFT is made up of public school educators who have earned a master’s degree in Design-Based Learning from CalPoly, Pomona, and have successfully put this innovative methodology to work in their own K–12 classrooms.


It is led by Jen Sorbara, a Math teacher and program coordinator at Walnut High School in Walnut Valley Unified School District, and assisted by Daphne Chase an Elementary School teacher in the San Gabriel Unified School District.  

When and Where is the Summer Institute For Teachers Happening in 2019?

This year the Summer Institute for Teachers will be celebrating it's 17th year! It will take place on July 24–26 & 29–30! The Summer Institute will take place at the ArtCenter College of Design, located at 1700 Lida St, Pasadena, CA 91103 

How do I apply? Is there financial assistance available?

Teachers who complete the SIFT’s five-day program earn three semester units of professional staff development credit. A number of full-tuition scholarships, grants and group discounts are available.


To apply visit:

DBL Summer Institute.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.7 MB

* The Doreen Nelson Method of Design-Based Learning (DBL) is protected by copyright and trademark law. Do not publish or make commercial use of any DBL materials without prior written permission. For details, visit