CCAD’s Top 10 for 2017–2020

CCAD Art Sign

At Columbus College of Art & Design we’re a community of creative problem solvers, artists, designers, and visionaries. For more than 140 years we’ve been leaving our mark on Columbus and the world. We’re the creative force behind the art you are inspired and challenged by, the brands you love, the shows you binge, and the businesses you buy from.

For the past four years, our priorities and initiatives have been driven by our 2017–2020 Strategic Plan. Our President, Dr. Melanie Corn, engaged the entire CCAD community—faculty, staff, board members, alumni, students, and other community stakeholders—in a collaborative and transparent process that resulted in the ambitious and bold plan for CCAD’s future. The past year taught us to pause, pivot, adapt … you name it. But despite the challenges, we made big strides toward reaching the objectives laid out in our plan.

Here are some of the things we’re most proud of:

guys in front of ribbon


student thinks in animation center


Building the Cloyd Family Animation Center. With generous support from the State of Ohio, the Cloyd Family, and many other donors, the $1.75 million center opened in the fall of 2018 to house our growing Animation program. The program quickly became our largest major and also began incubating a new major, Game Art & Design, which launched in the fall of 2020.

Launching CCAD’s Core Values of Respect, Positivity, Inspiration, and Accountability. Through new programs like the President’s Lecture Series, which brings in renowned guests to speak on topics connected to our values, and the Core Values Awards for staff, these tenets have become part of our DNA.

Creating an Institutional Engagement division, which brings together the college’s external-facing departments as a way of solidifying CCAD as the region’s creative economy engine. We reinvigorated CCAD’s Corporate & Community Partnership program, which creates outstanding collaborative learning partnerships. In the 2019–2020 academic year, we developed 28 projects working alongside organizations like Airstream, Cardinal Health, the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System, and more.

Ampersand Emporium at CCAD

Opening Ampersand Emporium, CCAD’s store that features swag designed and conceived by the creative minds of the CCAD Student Agency as well as work from CCAD alumni.

Launching a new long-range Campus Framework Plan to guide what CCAD’s campus footprint and facilities will look like in the future.

Increasing our internal communication efforts through the creation of new centralized channels like the MyCCAD student portal and Faculty & Staff portal.

bagpipe led progression


person at podium


Bringing back key CCAD traditions like Convocation, a way to mark the start of the academic experience for first-year students and welcome our new class of creatives. From a parade of students and faculty led by bagpipe to cheering CCAD community members lining the sidewalks, Convocation has become an annual favorite.

Making major advancements in our online education capabilities. A silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to adapt quickly and creatively to remote teaching and learning. Our Library & Information Technology Department stepped up to the challenge developing CCAD Createaway, a hub for resources for faculty and students, shifting to Google’s G Suite for Education, enhancing digital access to library resources, and adding a new position dedicated to furthering the meaningful integration of technology, teaching, and learning in an art and design setting.

Focusing on enrollment growth. Prior to the  pandemic we increased overall enrollment by about 10%. One of the ways we accomplished this was by increasing the number of recruitment events we participated in from 65 in the fall of 2015 to more than 200 in the fall of 2019, with most events occuring outside of Ohio.

CCAD's Healthy Creativity initiative

Launching the Healthy Creativity initiative, which embraces the notion that successful artists and designers need more than technical skill and conceptual prowess—they need balance and a sense of wellness. We piloted new programs such as the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction workshop series for faculty/staff and students and expanded the Counseling & Wellness Center.

These are just some of the many highlights from the past four years. While there is much to celebrate we also know we have plenty of work to do. We’ll continue to prioritize enrollment growth and retention, risk assessment, alumni engagement, operational efficiencies, and preparing students for fulfilling lives as creative professionals. Many of the objectives from the past plan will be carried over into our new 2021–2026 Strategic Plan, which we look forward to sharing with you in February 2021.