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Cassandra Genc/Nicholas MillerFor freshman Jacob Platt, MIAD’s new First-Year Experience, especially the Research, Practice and Methods (RPM) curriculum, was “inspirational and made me want to do something astounding, something that bridges media.”

Platt selected “Design and the Elastic Mind” from among 12 theme-based RPM courses that also include “Daily Media Feeds,” “The Visual Language of Stories” and “Chance and Improvisation.”

Through all the RPM courses, students investigated strategies for effective oral and visual communication to promote development of their own studio practice and a deeper understanding of their personal creative process.

The first-year program gives students more choices than ever before. They have the opportunity to explore media and disciplines, to take a course in their major or to explore a possible major. The open format of “Design and the Elastic Mind” allowed Platt to experiment with new media. That led him, he said, to an interest in Integrated Studio Arts, a multidisciplinary major for students interested in a variety of media.

The courses let students work in any medium and dimension, and they learn to think critically through their ideas, with one-on-one guidance.

Brandon Baer, who also took “Design and the Elastic Mind,” said the class was his first encounter with conceptual design.

“In high school we never focused on the meanings behind design or how to use those meanings to affect your audience,” he said.

Baer said the course contributed to his interest in Illustration, Printmaking and Drawing.  It allowed him to work in a medium he was comfortable with and to polish his skills. 

“It’s not about mastering a medium or technique. It’s about refining ideas and applying them to your work – taking what you already do and pushing it even further,” Baer said.

William Rodriguez“MIAD’s new understanding of visual courses, and the re-inventing of its First-Year Experience, came in direct response to what current students said is most important to their education,” said David Martin, Vice President of Academic Affairs.  “The first-year program gives students more choices than ever before. They have the opportunity to explore media and disciplines, to take a course in their major or to explore a possible major.”

“Focusing on integrated learning to strengthen the connection between skills and ideas helps to spark our students’ creative and professional formation, to challenge them to be thinkers and makers – a process that begins in the first week of their first year.”

“The excitement surrounding the new curriculum, which the faculty worked hard to create, seems to be reflected in the growing number of applications to MIAD, which are at a five-year high,” said Stacey Steinberg, Director of Admissions. “MIAD’s first-year program is about dynamic interaction between students and faculty, ideas and media.  It’s also about linking first-year students to the contemporary art world, which students have told us is a driving factor in their decision to attend MIAD.”

Tony Hernandez“Word about the exciting changes is spreading, and we welcome the opportunity to meet with students interested in attending our college,” said Steinberg.

To culminate their fall semester, first-year students across all 12 RPM courses displayed their work in a comprehensive exhibition. Platt said the exhibition reflected what the new curriculum is all about.

“It’s about trying new things and learning from experience.  If you’re interested in art, it’s definitely the best way to go,” Platt said.

Click here to learn more about MIAD’s First-Year Experience, which will continue spring semester with new courses and a professional symposium featuring acclaimed author Linda Weintraub.

To apply, click here.