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MIAD President Jeff Morin discusses career prospects and supporting MIAD students

A headshot of MIAD's president Jeff Morin

MIAD President Jeff Morin

Jeff Morin, president of Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, represented the college on Spectrum News 1 recently to discuss career prospects for MIAD graduates and the school’s strategy for financially and academically supporting students. 

During the interview, Morin emphasized the college’s focus on both fine art and design. About 25% of students study fine arts. Those students can expect a curriculum designed to help teach them “to problem solve, to think creatively, to communicate well,” all skills vital in developing a career in the fine arts. About 75% of MIAD students “major in the design fields that have a direct connection to the creative economy here in Milwaukee and nationally.” In fact, many of Milwaukee’s top advertising and marketing firms hire MIAD alums, especially in fields like communication design and industrial or product design. 

“I look at an area like product design where, by March of this last years’ graduating class… about half of our students had already lined up jobs,” says Morin. For example, at “one of the great local corporations with an international reach, Milwaukee Tool, quite a few of their industrial or product designers come from MIAD.”

Morin also shares his perspective on student debt and MIAD’s role in supporting and preparing students. “We take the issue of student debt quite seriously at the college,” he says. “It’s why roughly 100% of our students receive some sort of financial aid package, and we work aggressively every year to raise scholarship dollars to support those students.” Morin points to MIAD’s improved retention rate as a contributing factor in supporting student success. About 85% of students return after their first year, a significant improvement from the previous retention rate of 69.5% and an indication of the college’s commitment to helping students graduate and start successful and meaningful careers.

When asked how MIAD saw such a drastic improvement during the uncertainty of COVID, Morin credits “our people, our faculty, and our staff. I have never seen a group of committed individuals work harder for or towards the success of our students.” During the first month of COVID, when students were away from campus on Spring Break, faculty and staff worked to pack up and mail students’ materials back to them, migrate coursework online and safely open MIAD’s labs so students could access them. 

Listen to the full interview with President Jeff Morin here.

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