Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents,
As we continue to navigate the current environment surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we want to inform all of you of the adjustments and improvements being made to our college. Although our campus closure was initially scheduled to continue through April 26, 2020, for the health and safety of our students we have decided to extend the remote experience through the Summer A term ending on June 30, 2020.
We are making this decision in advance of the beginning of the term to minimize the impact of this transition and ensure the best possible learning experience. To assist with this extension, we are pleased to be able to offer all of our transitioning campus students a $400 COVID-19 RMCAD Grant. This grant will be automatically applied to students who are attending the upcoming Summer 2020 terms. Questions about this grant can be directed to Student Advisors or the Business Office.
You undoubtedly have questions about this change, which we are available to address at your convenience. Most urgently, you’ve been asking us how this online environment will impact the education of our students.
Our on-ground/hybrid student experience has been converted to a blended learning experience, which is uniquely different from the standard online student experience even though they are both utilizing remote learning.
Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.
By comparison, our previously utilized hybrid approach to course delivery combined face-to-face classroom instruction with online activities, reducing the amount of individual attention and moving more of the course delivery online.
To clarify, our blended learning courses may have the same course description and learning outcomes as online courses, but the manner in which they achieve these outcomes is tailored to the needs of the students based on how the students respond to learning activities during the course of the term. Blended learning courses are completely written by our expert Faculty with the assistance of their Program Department Chairs. Online Courses are developed by a Subject Matter Expert who develops the entirety of the course with an Instructional Designer and is then customized by Online Instructors.
Advantages of Blended Learning:
To provide more perspective, two of our students have provided their own candid testimonials about the transition below:
“Being a [blended learning] student to me means I get the full arsenal of the school in a time like this…I would implore all to be in the [blended learning] system. You actually get a prime amount of resources and time from your school and professors. I’ll be honest with you, if we moved to a purely online situation as in the discussion posts and no meetings and just LMS I would be in a completely different perspective…Others should realize their loans are purchasing an environment of peers and professionals. An experience you can’t really put a price on.”
— Bryan Perry, Game Art Student
“The transition has been pretty manageable. A lot is being offered considering the limitations of not being on campus…My experience with instructors has been amazing. Each teacher is working non stop around the clock to make this transition and the course schedule as accurate as possible. I am quite surprised at the synchronization and communication that has been managed.”
— Spencer Parsons, Graphic Design Student
You can always reach out to Admissions, Advising, Business Office, Program Chairs, Counseling, or the Student Learning Center for assistance working through what these changes mean for you. This transition has not been easy for all of our students, but we hope that our explanation above provides you with confidence in the value of education that we are providing. We are continually assessing the issues our students are facing in this situation and doing everything we can to ensure an effective and positive learning experience.
Chris Spohn, President
Dear RMCAD Graduates,
Dear RMCAD Community,
I want to congratulate every single one of you — we’ve made it to the end of our first remote week! Thank you all for your patience, perseverance, and creativity in executing this transition. This has been no easy feat, but we are over the first big hurdle.
To Our Students:
Your response in this first week is proof of your resilience and adaptability — qualities that all professional artists and designers must have to succeed. This is indeed a challenge, but you have inspired me by rising to the occasion. I am proud to call each of you RMCAD students. Our community is strong and will remain strong through online events, virtual connections, our new #RMCADPSA design challenge to share words and images of creative encouragement.
For those of you who are still struggling with uncertainty, you are not alone. If you are wondering, “Will this be too hard?” please know that we are here to help you. The hardest part is getting started. So, approach your new online setting with an open mind. Talk to your classmates about how they are adjusting. Reach out to your advisor or a counselor to talk it through. You will get through this.
We will be hosting a live, online Q+A session next Friday, March 27, 2020. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with not only our Dean of Students, Financial Aid, Student Services, Student Life, Student Affairs, the Learning Commons, and Health and Wellness, but also each other.
To Our Faculty and Staff:
Your commitment and enthusiasm in making this a seamless transition is incredible. Beyond that, you’re maintaining our vital community. You’re keeping us connected through standing meetings, creative problem solving, emotional relief, and online support. You have all gone above and beyond, from additional tutorial videos like Amber Cobb’s “The Cobb Connection” to curriculum adaptations like Todd Dobbs and Julia Mead’s darkroom transition.
We should all be especially proud of our Fashion Design department, who are sewing masks for the community. Your assistance to our city in this time of need is beyond admirable.
Additional thanks to Jay Hollick, Michael Maldonado, Jim Reiman, Daniel Levine, Dr. James Rodriguez, Andrea Slusarski, Sara Hiris, Ian Southwell, Julie Puma, all the faculty mentors, and the instructional design team for their dedication. To the Learning Commons and Health + Wellness teams, you have been working overtime to support our students’ needs and we thank you.
Please remember to check rmcad.edu/covid19 for regular updates on information and resources that will help you during this time.
RMCAD will effectively close our Denver campus and Florida offices at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18 until further notice. Regular operations will continue remotely.
Dear RMCAD Community,
I write to share a new update on our response to coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and our plans for the remainder of the Spring B term. Beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design will migrate all on ground classes to online and our campus will be closed to students. These changes will remain in effect until the end of the term, April 26, 2020, at which point we will reassess the situation. All events have also been canceled. This is a temporary, proactive measure to protect the health and safety of our students and community. Ongoing updates will be communicated via email, school messenger, the RMCAD app, social media, and rmcad.edu/news.
Important Information for Specific Groups
Who to Contact
These are obviously significant steps, and we regret that they will certainly cause some concern and disappointment. However, we feel compelled to take this proactive approach in light of the most recent facts. The virus continues to spread in Colorado and around the nation, although no case of COVID-19 has been reported from anyone in the RMCAD community.
We have been in touch with the local Health Department and will continue to follow necessary precautions and recommendations as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). As the evidence of the virus spreading grows more profound, our Executive Task Force concluded that the safest course of action is to take the above approach. The best time to take action is now, before circumstances escalate.
Our top priorities are 1.) to protect the health of our students and minimize the spread of this virus throughout the community and 2.) to maintain a strong academic experience and keep students on-track. By reducing the number of people on our campus, we can actively mitigate our risks and maintain these priorities.
I would also like to thank all of you for your patience and understanding. While RMCAD has never encountered something like this we have a strong, supportive, and creative community. I thank you all for your patience and your ability to make the most of this situation. Keep yourselves and others safe and remember, we’re here to support you.
Further resources and assistance are available through the following outlets:
Christopher Spohn, President
If you are still unsure of who to contact, please reference our Department Services Directory.
Please be patient during this time and give our hard-working staff appropriate time to respond.
The State of Colorado has launched a new website with a breadth of informational resources and improved data visualization for COVID-19. The website will be the state’s primary resource for information related to COVID-19 and will feature statewide coordinated response information.
We are here for you to provide mental health support. Counseling is still available via phone and email.
RMCAD is relying on the Federal and State offices of Public Health & Environment for testing, reporting, and responses for COVID-19. RMCAD cannot confirm self-reported suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases nor can the institution reveal these results for students, faculty, or staff.
We do encourage individual students, staff, and faculty who are feeling ill or are concerned about being infected to seek medical attention.
This is a time for artists to come together and inspire each other to stay creative.
We know you have been working on some special projects since switching to online and we want to share it. Spread words of encouragement, uplifting images, or whatever is keeping you creative with #rmcadpsa. You may even be featured on our page!
Artists always overcome – we’re in this together.