CCAD President's Report

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This President’s Report—CCAD’s first of its kind, created in fall 2021—reflects our nimble approach to the significant challenges of the last year-plus. It is a roadmap detailing where we've been and where we're headed next. 

Dear Friend,

We are three months into 2021–2022 academic year, a year we hope brings us closer to our pre-pandemic “normal”—or perhaps something we should all be striving for, a new post-pandemic “better than normal.”

This inaugural President’s Report is intended to summarize key information from the 2020–2021 academic year, as well as our near-term plans. Last year was one of the most challenging in our 140-plus-year history, and yet, we found ways to thrive and to look ahead. We shifted to a primarily remote mode for many of our classes and public programs, which opened our offerings to more people in more places. In July 2020, we formed the Presidential Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, whose resulting action plan is guiding work throughout the college. And spring 2021 saw us launch a new Graduate Studies program—a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Retail Design—and introduce our new Strategic Plan,
The CCAD Way, which sets our path for the next six years.

You’ll hear a lot about “The CCAD Way” over the coming months and years. Frankly, it’s in our DNA. It encompasses three key characteristics that together help our students flourish in their careers and make us a top art and design college: Proven Potential, Creative Collaboration, and Intentional Inclusivity.

This past year pushed us to be more innovative and creative than ever, and even as we celebrate the joy of having our studios and classrooms again filled with conversation and creative activity, we’ll work to retain the best of what we learned. We have many reasons for optimism as this academic year unfolds. I’m proud of where we are, and I appreciate your partnership as we move forward together.

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Dr. Melanie Corn, President

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Who we are header
1009 number

  Total undergraduate and graduate students 
during the 2020-2021 academic year


Qualify for Pell Grants (federal need-based aid available to low-income students)



Identify as female, with 24% of students identifying as male & 16% not identifying as male or female on the gender identity spectrum



  Identify as students of color



Full-time faculty members, plus 130 adjunct faculty members and 108 full- and part-time staff
during the 2020-2021 academic year


Top 3 majors*

24% Animation
23% Illustration
12% Advertising & Graphic Design

*Based on fall 2020 enrollment


Best Value Colleges in America
—Best Value Schools

Top 10
Illustration degree programs
—Animation Career Review

Top 15%
Design programs in the U.S.
—College Factual

Student body

Students hail from 36 states and U.S. territories and 13 countries

213 undergraduate degrees granted 14 graduate degrees granted

$19.6M worth of scholarships and grants awarded by CCAD

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Presidential Commission on Diversity,
Equity & Inclusion

President Melanie Corn established the Presidential Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in July 2020. This diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and trustees aims to ensure that the college fulfills its commitment to being an intentionally inclusive community.


CCAD Create Away

We proved our resilience during the pandemic and found ways to stay connected and creative despite being remote.



Introducing The CCAD Way

In January 2021, CCAD launched a new Strategic Plan, The CCAD Way, which charts the course for the college from 2021 to 2026. 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 objective is supported by numerous strategies, and our progress will be measured by 10 key performance indicators.


CCAD creates outstanding collaborative learning partnerships for talented students and alumni, expert faculty, and forward-thinking organizations to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Last year we partnered with:

  Real-world learning

 ​​​​CCAD creates outstanding collaborative learning partnerships for talented students and alumni, expert faculty, and forward-thinking organizations to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Last year we partnered with: 



What we accomplished

After five semesters of collaboration with 99P Labs, CCAD premiered Meraki, a shared mobility concept vehicle designed to be fully autonomous and support the wants and needs of millennials, baby boomers, and rideshare service providers. The multimedia presentation included a research presentation, documentary video, marketing campaign, ride-hailing and attendant apps, and a VR experience. We also celebrated our eighth concept vehicle project with Airstream by developing a full-scale prototype and process book for a new exploratory design.



Finally, Re-story: Transforming Veteran Stories into Art, a feature-length film of short films, animations, and podcast excerpts from our spring 2019 project with the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System, earned two silver Telly Awards.


  Top 5 employers



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Pie Charts


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In fall 2020, CCAD’s Alumni Office launched a three-year strategic plan focused on:

  • Cultivating deeper connections with alumni

  • Establishing event and programming opportunities that offer value and engagement

  • Cementing the Alumni Office as the central hub for alumni engagement

    Questions? Want to get involved? Contact [email protected].


Photo courtesy of Angela Sapp
(Advertising & Graphic Design, 2021) 


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Jack Hopkins Picture

Jack Hopkins (Film & Video, 2024) parlayed a first-year class project, a found footage documentary, into the Telly Award-winning Joy Division: The Voice Remains, which was accepted into the Rock this Town Film Festival in Pau, France.

Dan Scanlon Picture

Dan Scanlon (Illustration, 1998), Vice President, Creative at Pixar Animation Studios, earned an Academy Award nomination in the Best Animated Feature Film category for Onward, which he directed and co-wrote, and was an executive producer on Soul, which took home the Oscar in the animation category. 

Lalese Stamps' Picture

Lalese Stamps’ (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2017) Lolly Lolly Ceramics caught the attention of tastemakers far and wide, including Vogue, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Architectural Digest, and POPSUGAR.  

Kazamira picture

Kazamira Walker (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2021) took home top honors at the national American Advertising Awards, winning a first-place Addy for her project featuring the Black Lives Matter movement in Columbus.