Five reasons to look forward to an online fall

A fully remote fall semester has a few silver linings for first-year CCA students.

In late July, CCA received word from state and local health officials that would prohibit our return to in-person instruction at this time. We made the decision to adapt and proceed with an entirely online curriculum and instruction for our fall 2020 semester.

~Deep breath.~

Yes, at first we were disappointed (we were really excited to meet you), but then we decided to accept this reality and approach it from a new angle. Complex challenges require creative solutions, and, hi, that’s what we do every day at CCA! We’re distinctly equipped to handle a change in plans, and we’ve been preparing for an online semester for the past four months, imagining creative possibilities for studio work from anywhere.

Education is going to be universally different—and probably a little weird—this fall. But why be afraid of that? We embrace different. We love weird. Whatever happens, we’re glad to be in this together and look forward to your collaboration as we build a future full of possibilities. Here are five reasons why we think you should, too.

Education is going to be universally different—and probably a little weird—this fall. But why be afraid of that? We embrace different. We love weird.

1. A faculty mentor will be your personal guide

You finally get out of high school and, boom, the whole world changes and everyone’s looking at you like, “Well, what are you going to do?” and you’re all, “idk, this is not what I expected?” and we’re all, “Use this cardboard box as a framework to weave a basket from ripped bed sheets.” Maybe not that task exactly, but we’ll have so many course projects that ask you to creatively rise to the challenge of a society that changed almost overnight.

And, best part, we’ll be here to help you navigate it, all semester long. First-year students will be paired with a faculty mentor for one-on-one check-ins where you can ask anything. They’ll be available to answer questions, help you find resources, connect you to virtual events to attend, and do whatever they can to support you as you settle into this totally unpredictable adventure.

2. This is an opportunity to lead the future of making

If you think about it, college students less than 20 years ago didn’t know what social media was. Zoom didn’t even exist. There was no way they could have predicted the professional world they entered after graduation would soon be brimming with job opportunities in these online spaces.

We predict the same overhaul of professional expectations and environments will be true for Gen Z. Collaborative, interdisciplinary online production is the future of professional work and creative practice. Because you’ll be in college during this time, you’ll have a head start in testing this type of teamwork and communication and be in a safe space to experiment as the whole world works together to find what works best.

3. The “why” of college is more important than ever

At CCA, we’re big on the “how” of college: the act of physically making art that matters in our workshops, labs, and studios. But since we’ll have to put campus’s coolest tools on pause for the moment, this fall presents an incredible opportunity to lean into the “why” of college: access to a wider network of people, industries, and careers.

Our small size and tight-knit community have always been some of the best features of CCA, and we rely on these benefits now more than ever. Our faculty come from all over the globe, and because they’re teaching in virtual classrooms, they can reach out to sprawling worldwide networks they’ve built over decades of professional practice and invite guest lecturers from anywhere to join your classes and deepen the offering of each lesson. This means your classrooms this fall are going to be truly international spaces, and you’ll share and learn and make personal connections with expert practitioners in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Plus, consider your peers. This experience may be unique, but you aren’t alone in it. You’ll be sharing your ideas through your art, design, and craft with other students who are going through the same thing, from all around the world. You’ll be making and networking in a brand new global community! Students who attend college this fall will be forever bonded by this experience. Don’t miss out on that.

4. This is top-notch training for the rest of college (and life after it)

For first-year students, a decision about fall 2020 is also a decision about May 2024. In other words, your decision isn’t just about this semester, it’s about the next few years. Attending CCA this fall will keep you on track to achieve your goal. Though your first semester may be different than you dreamed, you’re on the path to graduate in the timeframe you hoped for. The pathway is totally new but the plan is still achievable.

As college faculty, we’ve been put in the position of creating resilient solutions right now—and fast. So have you. If you can persevere through the obstacles of this ~unprecedented~ moment, if you can practice your ideal work-life balance despite the unpredictability, if you can find motivation to grow and learn despite the disappointment, if you can build a habit of personal and creative exploration despite the constraints, if you can show up to connect to a community despite the temporary distance… if you can do all of that, you will be transformed by the trials and forge a positive spirit that’s set up for a lifetime of creative practice.

You will be so ready for whatever’s next.

Your decision isn’t just about this semester, it’s about the next few years.
Attending CCA this fall will keep you on track to achieve your goal.

5. We’re prepared, and our curriculum’s on point

Eventually, life will get back to “normal” but it’ll be a new normal. The idea of “normal” is a relic of the past. Our approach to the curriculum this fall keeps that in mind. We don’t want to compare what was to what could be. Dreaming up what could be is at the very heart of art and design creativity. We’re used to trying new methods to express ideas, connect people, and build things, so we see online instruction modules, virtual mentorship, and critiques via chat as simply new media to work with. This is a genuinely exciting time for CCA to lead and to learn.

You're ready for this.
You're ready for CCA.
You have plans and we want to help you realize them.

Since our spring semester unexpectedly went online in March, every academic division at CCA has been training its faculty for online instruction. We’ve spent summer putting our heads together, reaching out to our networks, and repackaging our curriculum while maintaining its quality. The caliber of faculty, the quality of thought, and the level of dedication to our students has not changed, even though we can’t meet in person.

Taking CCA online doesn't just stop at the end of class either. Our First Year Core Studio faculty specialize in teaching first-year students, and we know how to help you transition into college. It’s an incredibly life-changing passage, and we’re ready to translate this experience into online opportunities for our new students as effectively as possible.

TL;DR: You're ready for this. You're ready for CCA. You have plans and we want to help you realize them. You’ll work together on projects, attend student social events, and get one-on-one time with mentors who can help you amplify your voice in your work. You will feel like you are a part of CCA—wherever you are.

Now, let’s make history, shall we?

Find out what it’s like to be a First-Year student at CCA

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