Pre-college Art Programs

December 5, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Pre-college Art Programs

During the summer, the typical student spends their time watching back-to-back episodes of the newest series on their favorite streaming platform, idly streaming music, and methodically completing the most recent video game, all while doodling on whatever blank spot is closest to them. However, for those students who are very ambitious, pre-college art programs give students further opportunities to explore their artistic interests and passions. These programs can also assist participants to augment their resumes to broaden their depth of experience.

We searched high and low for some of the most prestigious art programs for high school students, and we identified them just for ambitious youngsters. After looking through literally hundreds of different programs offered by educational institutions all around the United States, we finally settled on these. On our list, you’ll find a wide selection of program categories.

In some pre-college art programs, the emphasis is placed on a particular type of art, while in others, students are given the opportunity to express their creativity using a number of different mediums. Putting aside their individual distinctions, each of the art programs that we’ve included on our list virtually ensures a joyful, artistic, and action-packed vacation.

Why take a Pre-college Art Summer Program?

So, why take a pre-college art program? Students in the last years of high school who are creatively inclined would benefit greatly from participating in art programs. Students get additional opportunities to investigate their artistic interests and passions when they take an art studies course during the summer.

a male student inside a library smiling to the camera

Participants in the pre-college art programs can also receive assistance in enhancing the breadth and depth of their experience. Students’ chances of finding work can improve if they take art classes over the summer. They make it possible to build up one’s artistic talents and develop one’s portfolio at the same time. A student might take a class during the summer and find out that they have a passion for a different academic field; this could steer the student’s career in a completely different path.

What are the Best Pre-college Art Programs?

What are the best pre-college art programs in the country? Summer art programs are an excellent way to make the transition between academic years more meaningful, particularly if you want to investigate new topic areas or hone particular knowledge and abilities that you normally wouldn’t have time to develop during the school year.

There are many different summer art programs available for students who have an interest in different types of art. These pre-college art programs allow you to explore your passion while being surrounded by other students who have the same interest.

City Art Lab

Teenagers are encouraged to participate in City Art Lab, a free art program that is housed at City College of New York (CCNY). For the purpose of collaborating on community-based art projects, the program brings together art education graduate students from CCNY with young people from the surrounding area.

In this program, high school students from all over New York City can meet other young people with an interest in the arts, learn about college life on a campus in Manhattan, develop their own artwork for a portfolio, and explore new materials and methods with working artists.

Two people talking in front of a laptop while sitting on the couch of a living room.

All of this can take place while the students are interacting with one another. At the end of each programming session, there is a celebration of the high school artists that participated that year with an art display.

Academy of Art University Pre-College Art Experience

Academy of Art University offers high school students an art and design education program called the Pre-College Art Experience (PCAE), which does not cost the students any tuition. San Francisco, California is home to a prestigious private art institution known as the Academy of Art University.

The Pre-College Art Experience is a scholarship program that provides financial support to high school students so that these kids can acquire confidence in their creative abilities, explore various artistic professions, and get a head start on their artistic careers. Students who submit an application for the Pre-College Art Experience and are selected to participate in the program are given the opportunity to take classes in a variety of artistic fields.

Students at the Academy of Art University will get a credit in the amount of $1,000 off their undergraduate tuition for each course that they are successfully complete and pass. The PCAE is offered during the winter, spring, and summer semesters of the academic year.

MOCA Teen Program

Teens who are juniors and seniors in high school can participate in the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Teen Program in Los Angeles to get a behind-the-scenes look at the museum and learn more about contemporary art, artists, and other creative occupations.

The program is a paid position that lasts throughout the academic year and enables teenagers to learn about the work that the museum does by directly incorporating them into the museum’s administrative and operational processes.

This group gathers at the museum on Thursday evenings and occasional weekends to collaborate with museum staff, study and create art in response to current exhibitions, host Teen Night, and provide mutual support to one another on their individual paths to self-discovery. Students are expected to devote a total of two hours each week to the program.

Student Gallery Guides at The Getty Museum

The Student Gallery Guide program is one of the numerous programs for high school students that are presented by The Getty Museum. This program is an opportunity for teenagers interested in studying the principles of museum education to participate in a paid internship during the summer.

During their time at the Getty Center, interns get training that prepares them to lead K-12 school groups on guided tours of the collection. Students in high school who have an interest in art should definitely take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to hone their skills in public speaking and event organization.

On the final day of the internship, each intern who has successfully completed the program will receive a stipend of around $1,800 as well as transportation to and from the Getty Center. This is contingent on the intern’s having met the requirements of the program.

New York State Summer School of the Arts

The New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA), which is a prominent program that occurs annually and is part of the New York State Education Program, provides a program in the visual arts that lasts for a total of four weeks.

Through daily workshops, lectures, and critiques, the program gives students the opportunity to engage in conversation with active artists from the professional arts community. Every studio workshop will have a single gathering every week.

Workshops typically consist of group critiques, during which students get the opportunity to exhibit their work and receive comments from both the instructor and their fellow classmates. In addition to providing financial aid for tuition, the New York State Education Department contributes some of its budgets to the NYSSSA program.

California State Summer School for the Arts

The California State Summer School for the Arts, also known as CSSSA, is a rigorous pre-professional training program for high school students that is held each summer at the California Institute of the Arts. The program focuses on both the visual and performing arts and lasts for a total of four weeks.

Through the use of required classes, the Visual Arts Program is committed to assisting students in meeting the problems posed by the creation of contemporary art. Students fill out an application form that asks them about their interests, and their chosen major is then used to determine which studio classes they attend.

The department provides students with the opportunity to take studio programs in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, digital media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

University of Michigan Stamps Pre-College Program

High school students (grades 9–12) who are interested in acquiring new abilities for their creative pursuits during the spring and summer terms can participate in the Stamps Pre-College Pro­grams at the University of Michigan. These programs are offered to high school students.

Students at Stamps Academy receive individualized instruction and guidance from the instructors and staff of the school on how to put together an art portfolio that will be successful in a competitive environment.

There are a variety of studio classes that can be taken, some of which include drawing, 4D animation, 3D exploration, and portfolio preparation. There are scholarships, both partial and full, that can be awarded to students based on their level of financial need.

RISD Pre-Collegiate Program

The Rhode Island School of Design Pre-Collegiate Program is a residential program that lasts for six weeks and gives high school students the opportunity to experience life as an undergraduate at RISD. This program is offered by one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the United States.

Students participate in a curriculum designed for college-level study, which includes daylong studio lessons, critical reviews, and culminating projects. Each year, tens of thousands of students from all over the world take part in the competition, and those who are interested must submit an application that includes written responses.

Scholarships are available to permanent residents and U.S. citizens who can demonstrate severe financial need, a passion and dedication to art and design, and an interest in and commitment to the program. However, there are only a limited number of scholarships available.

Oxbow Summer Art Institute

The Oxbow Summer Art Institute is a visual art residency program that lasts for six weeks throughout the summer and is open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors as well as those who are taking a gap year following high school.

The program is located in Napa, California. When an authentic high school transcript is obtained from Oxbow, students are awarded the equivalent of a complete year’s worth of studio art credit.

The curriculum is based on the notion that there is no limit to what can be created by adolescents when they are provided with an open-minded atmosphere that includes high-level training, personal and communal accountability, as well as support.

Parsons Summer Intensive Studies NYC

Rising juniors and seniors, as well as recent high school graduates, are given the opportunity to participate in the three-week, three-credit art and design program at Parsons, which places them in the New York college atmosphere of one of the most prestigious design institutions in the country.

Young woman talking to a principal and a teacher in a room.

The creative processes of fine arts, illustration, photography, animation, graphic design, fashion design, product design, architecture, interior design, and design management are some of the areas that students delve deeply into.

Students also have the option to go on field trips focused on art and design and to meet people working in related fields. The creation of strong portfolios to submit with college applications is a primary focus of each and every studio class.

Otis College of Art and Design Summer of Art

Students who are at least 15 years old and want to build and improve their art and design skills are encouraged to enroll in the intense, four-week program that is offered at Otis College of Art & Design. Students are instructed by practicing artists who have won awards for their work.

Drawing studio courses and specialization courses that strengthen abilities in a specific field of creative studies, such as architecture, concept art, digital media, graphic design, and printmaking, are included in the curriculum.

Additionally, the program also offers printmaking courses. In addition to these, there are seminars and final evaluations to attend. There are scholarship opportunities based not only on financial need but also on academic achievement.

Ringling College of Art and Design Pre-college

Ringling College, which is located in Florida, provides students with the opportunity to participate in an intensive 4-week program that not only teaches them the principles of art and design but also enables them to receive college credit and network with other artists from all over the world.

The curriculum is structured around core sessions, which focus on the development of fundamental skills, and immersions, which provide opportunities to delve more deeply into topics of interest. Computer animation, video game art, storyboarding, and digital sculpting are all distinctive immersions that might be pursued.

The Putney School Summer Arts

The Putney School Summer Arts is an arts program for teenagers that lasts for four weeks and does not involve the use of any technological devices. The process is prioritized at the Putney School over output, and the school places an emphasis on its encouraging atmosphere.

In addition to more traditional mediums such as painting and sculpture, students have the ability to select workshops in less common mediums such as ceramics, metal jewelry, textile arts, and fiber arts. Work examples and recommendations from previous instructors are required for applications.

California College of Arts Pre-college

Students who have finished at least their sophomore year of high school by the summer that they attend the program are eligible to participate in the Pre-College program, which takes place on the campus of CCA in San Francisco.

The program lasts for a total of four weeks. Students have the opportunity to earn three college credits by participating in studio-based classes at the college level. These classes are designed to assist students to move beyond basic principles and creating work that is suitable for inclusion in a portfolio.

Students participating in the CCA Pre-College program, which is typically a residential program, have the opportunity to visit San Francisco’s museums during the course of their stay. Comics, industrial design, and game design are some of the prospective fields of study that could be pursued in addition to more conventional artistic mediums such as painting and drawing.

Las Fotos Project

The Las Fotos Project is a community-based nonprofit organization in Los Angeles that encourages self-expression and photography among adolescent girls while also providing mentoring opportunities.

Teenage girls from communities of color have access to professional cameras, quality instruction, and workshops that encourage them to explore their identities, build leadership and advocacy skills, and strengthen their social and emotional well-being throughout the course of the project’s year-round programming.

The programs last for a total of 14 weeks, and participants are expected to devote a minimum of four hours each week to the activities.

Is a Pre-College Art Program Worth It?

You can demonstrate to universities that you are dedicated to pursuing your artistic interests by participating in summer programs as part of your extracurricular activities. In addition, you will most likely emerge from the pre-college art programs with a robust portfolio that serves as a foundation upon which you can expand in preparation for submitting it as part of your college application. Different colleges place varying amounts of importance on extracurricular activities such as pre-college summer art programs.

In the end, the decision of whether or not to participate in pre-college art programs lies solely in your hands. Learners who are apprehensive about attending college might benefit from these chances since they provide them the chance to socialize with others and become accustomed to the college environment before committing to a certain curriculum.

Group of students standing next to a building.

If you are in serious need of financial assistance, you may discover that the expense of some of the pre-college art programs may be exorbitant, especially when you consider the revenue you would lose while you are unable to work. In addition to seeking advice and assistance from your family members, you should schedule a meeting with the guidance counselor at your high school.

Want to learn more about pre-college art programs? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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