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The CCAD Way: CCAD launches a new Strategic Plan for 2021–2026

Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) recently launched a new Strategic Plan, The CCAD Way, which charts the course for the college’s future over the next six years. This is the second Strategic Plan launched by Dr. Melanie Corn, CCAD’s President, who started at the college in 2016.Included in the plan are eight key objectives, ranging from activating alumni and empowering students to reimagining the college’s campus, which is located in downtown Columbus’  Discovery District. Each of the objectives are supported by numerous strategies, and the college’s progress will be measured by 10 key performance indicators.

As a cultural and educational leader for more than 140 years, CCAD has made a significant impact on our region and our country,” says Dr. Corn. “Over time, we’ve developed a certain way of doing things—The CCAD Way—one of Creative Collaboration, Intentional Inclusivity, and Proven Potential. The CCAD Way is The Columbus Way, and the way of the future. This plan comes at a time of great disruption in higher education and the arts, and it will steer the college to not only survive but thrive.”

Development of the new Strategic Plan got its start in early 2020 with two student-led ideation sessions that included more than 100 faculty and staff members, students, alumni, trustees, and community partners. Planning was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but resumed in the summer of 2020. The CCAD Board of Trustees approved the new Strategic Plan on Dec. 8, 2020. Objectives of the 2021–2026 Strategic Plan are:

  • Empower students to confidently pursue meaningful, impactful, creative lives while in school and after graduation.
  • Activate alumni with a compelling and inspiring strategic engagement plan that connects alumni to CCAD and to each other, supports their continued development, and promotes their success.
  • Transform faculty and staff with greater support for their professional growth and excellence as well as an equity- and inclusion-focused expansion.
  • Amplify educational offerings that build on CCAD’s history of responsive and innovative curriculum and its commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Leverage our expertise and strategic partnerships to support student development and demonstrate CCAD’s unique role in collaborating with community and corporate partners to solve the real-world challenges of today and tomorrow.
  • Commit to our community through thoughtful engagement and transformative actions that reinforce the power of art and design to foster more equitable and prosperous communities.
  • Reimagine campus using the 2019 Campus Framework Plan to guide improvements that better support the evolving nature of an exceptional art and design education.
  • Propel CCAD forward by expanding financial resources to better fulfill the college’s mission and purpose with a focus on access, affordability, and excellence.

To read CCAD’s full 2021–2026 Strategic Plan, visit Learn about the outcomes from CCAD’s 2017–2020 Strategic Plan at

About Columbus College of Art & Design

Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private, nonprofit art and design colleges in the United States. CCAD offers 12 BFA programs and a Master of Fine Arts program that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit