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CCAD’s Strategic Plan Sets Collaboration, Inclusivity as Key Goals for Years to Come

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman CCAD’s Strategic Plan Sets Collaboration, Inclusivity as Key Goals for Years to ComePhoto via CCAD.
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This month, the Columbus College of Art & Design launched The CCAD Way, a new strategic plan that sets a path for the college’s next six years.

The plan was designed by CCAD’s Student Agency and launched by CCAD President Dr. Melanie Corn, the second during her tenure. It includes key objectives that focus on empowering students, incorporating alumni and effecting change in the community.

Dr. Corn says CCAD is known for its strong focus on simultaneously providing an art and design education with a business and entrepreneurship curriculum. The new strategic plan builds on that education as the college looks to empower the creativity of students during and post-graduation.

“The CCAD Way builds off this foundation to focus on ensuring all graduates are prepared to launch their creative careers, ensuring all students have access to at least one ‘real world’ learning experience while in school — internships, co-ops, sponsored projects — and better connecting alumni to each other and the resources still available to them at CCAD,” she said.

CCAD’s strategic plan seeks to meet the needs and educational goals of students, including the introduction of new fields, such as user experience design, and the development of alternative career paths, such as three-year programs, co-ops and hybrid learning models.

CCAD will also aim to reach different audiences with non-degree offerings and new degree types, such as the Master of Professional Studies program in Retail Design, which will be offered for the first time next year as a 30-credit degree aimed at helping working professionals lead in retail innovation.

Planning for the next several years also extends toward faculty and staff. While Dr. Corn says CCAD has an “incredible” team of faculty and staff, it should grow and evolve just as the school does.

Using an “equity and inclusion lens,” the college intends to better reflect the diversity of its student body with its staff, by hiring a more racially and ethnically diverse group of faculty and staff members by the end of the plan’s timeline.

The college has not set specifics regarding how much diversity is enough, and rather looks at success as students viewing and experiencing an equitable and inclusive curriculum and campus climate. The college has already taken steps in service of that goal: CCAD’s Presidential Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has created a new Diversity Impact Scholarship, Bias Incident Response Team, and college-wide professional development course on anti-oppression pedagogy and implicit bias.

“We know that increasing diversity and representation is critical to our students’ learning and to the future of art and design more generally,” said Dr. Corn of the strategic plan’s goals, which highlights how creating an equitable institution will help diversify Columbus’ creative workforce, and the country’s creative workforce at large.

And CCAD’s plan does include engaging with the local community. Dr. Corn mentions plans to open a creative hub for creative fabrication and collaboration for Columbus creatives, potential partnerships with area schools and arts organizations to increase access to arts education for Columbus youth, as well as partnered projects and creative workforce development with the Columbus business community.

“Intentional inclusivity is a core aspect of The CCAD Way, and all of our community-focused work should be conducted in a way that promotes equity,” said Dr. Corn.

For more information, visit ccad.edu/strategicplan.

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