Please continue to check this page for ongoing updates.
Dear RMCAD Community,
From our newest students to our longest-serving faculty members, I welcome you all to 2021! We begin this year with the largest student population in RMCAD history, and I know that it will be a year of hope, optimism, and health for our college. Our community faced many challenges in 2020, from studying or teaching from home to everyday occurrences of being compliant to new health requirements, we stand together, united in creativity and expression, to succeed, no matter what obstacles we face.
Greatness has always been a part of who we are, but this year we have the opportunity to view it with fresh eyes. Let today mark a permanent shift towards better outcomes. Let us continue to build creative culture, innovate in our approaches, and support each other along the way. Most importantly, let our creativity guide us. We have the power to redefine greatness and redesign our future — and together we will achieve our goals.
In fact, some of you are changing the world already. After graduating from the Illustration program in Fall 2020, Abbey Bryant moved to New York to freelance for Scholastic Inc. She is now an Amazon Best Seller for her work on Hazel Mist, Hypnotist. Interior Design alumnae Brittany Heim stayed closer to home, joining Elsy Studios in Denver. Her work to create a better way to live has received much worthwhile praise. These former students were once exactly where you are now, facing their own unique challenges.
What will your success story be?
As a college, our greatest successes serve our students. For our online students, we continue to build collaborative and innovative approaches to virtual learning. For our campus students, a return to Blended+ is on the horizon, and we look forward to offering access to facilities by appointment. Have optimism, stay hopeful, and trust that we will welcome you back as soon as we can. You are strong, and your pursuit of greatness will not be slowed by the when’s, where’s, or how’s. Greatness is defined by the why.
So, why are we here? Why do we press on in the face of obstacles? The answer is simple; because every new term is an opportunity to create something extraordinary.
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
As you know, RMCAD is operating in a remote, Blended Learning environment for the remainder of 2020. COVID-19 numbers rise and fall unpredictably, and we want to minimize the stress felt by those students and faculty who have adapted to multiple transitions over the last year. As a result, we have decided that we will continue in a Blended format for the Spring A 2021 term.
This announcement only impacts a small number of student schedules, and those students have been notified.
The COVID-19 Task Force has made this decision in line with their action plan, which was developed to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community. Your ability to return to campus by appointment is dependent upon Jefferson County’s COVID-19 Dial Status. We will consider reinstating Blended+ facilities access if the county status changes to Orange (or safer).
We hope that our transparency will encourage patience as we all do our part to stop the spread of this virus. RMCAD’s plan will ensure that your academic experience can continue safely without interruption. If you feel challenged by the distanced environment, know that you are not alone. The Student Learning Center (SLC) is ready to help you overcome these academic obstacles and stay on-track. Schedule an appointment today.
Thank you for your patience as we work to preserve the health and safety of our RMCAD family and the larger community. Take care, and please continue to visit rmcad.edu/covid19 for ongoing updates, resources, and answers to your questions.
*Schedules are subject to change based on enrollment, COVID-19 outbreak updates, or other factors.
Dear RMCAD Community,
In response to the increased cases of COVID-19 in Colorado, the direction of Governor Polis and the Department of Public Health, and Jefferson Country’s escalation within the Orange Zone status, the COVID-19 Task Force committee has decided to return to a remote, Blended Learning environment beginning Monday, November 16.
This decision is made out of preparedness. The COVID-19 Task Force developed this action plan with the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community top of mind.
As with previous Blended Learning terms:
We are grateful for your understanding as we work to preserve the health and safety of our RMCAD family and the larger community. This plan will ensure that your academic experience can continue safely for this term. Take care, and please continue to visit rmcad.edu/covid19 for ongoing updates, resources, and answers to your questions.
Who to Contact
Dear RMCAD Community,
While we prepare for the Fall A term, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: despite the distance between us, our community has never been stronger. Even through a screen, our faculty and staff have provided a superior educational and personal experience for every one of our students. That’s how RMCAD became one of only two art and design colleges accredited by NASAD to offer BFA degree programs online. We have been a leader in online education since 2009, which shows in the continually incredible work being created by our students.
To continue providing our students with quality services, RMCAD has been working to reopen for modified in-person instruction. But, many members of our community have expressed understandable concerns. It isn’t always easy being honest, and we appreciate your commitment.
In response to new and developing information regarding the pandemic, your feedback, and the success of our students in the virtually-adapted Blended learning format, the COVID-19 Task Force committee has decided to delay fully reopening through the Fall A term. Instead, we will offer online instruction paired with increased on-campus resource access by appointment through a Blended+ learning environment. This decision will provide the highest quality and safest educational experience for our students, faculty, and staff. Please monitor your email closely for additional communications.
As cases in Colorado rise, we’ve learned that there is still much that we do not know about this virus. The RMCAD COVID-19 Task Force is ready to adapt our plan in response to any new recommendations from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, other institutions of Higher Ed, and the CDC. We remain optimistic about returning to campus for on-campus instruction in 2020.
That optimism is not unwarranted. RMCAD’s faculty and staff don’t just overcome the challenges we face — they lead other universities by example. Our largest Summer B cohort to date is succeeding virtually, and the Blended+ environment will provide those students with necessary access to resources and workshops that supplement the virtual classroom while keeping our campus as safe as possible.
We appreciate your understanding as we continue to navigate this fluid situation. Please visit and bookmark rmcad.edu/covid19 for ongoing updates, resources, and answers to your questions.
To the RMCAD Community,
We’re excited to announce that RMCAD’s campus will officially reopen for modified in-person instruction on August 31, 2020, the start of our Fall A term.
The RMCAD COVID-19 Task Force has developed a plan, supported by specific policies and protocols, to guide our behaviors and prioritize the health, wellness, and safety of our community.
The RMCAD campus will be open for classes and limited student activities as permitted by Colorado regulations and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
The Facilities team is currently in process of modifying the campus to minimize health and wellness risks to students and staff for the fall return.
While we still face unknowns, our COVID-19 Task Force remains focused on helping you return to campus safely so that you can do what you do best — create. That being said, these plans could change based on county, state, and CDC guidelines. If needed, any changes to this plan will be communicated immediately.
We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us at 303.753.6046 if you have questions or concerns.
To the RMCAD Community,
As we work towards the prospective reopening of campus in the fall, RMCAD’s COVID-19 Task Force is focused on the health and safety of the campus community during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We would like to share with you some of the state and federal guidelines and protocols that are shaping our reopening plan. Specifically, we’d like to draw your attention to some key elements of interest:
Like much of our lives right now, these plans are designed to be flexible and subject to change. Additional details and updates will be communicated every step of the way as things change. However, one thing will always remain constant — our commitment to you and the health and safety of our campus community.
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation. For additional information, FAQ’s, and all previous COVID-19 messaging, visit rmcad.edu/covid19.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at 303.753.6046.
To the RMCAD Community,
In response to recent updates from the State of Colorado regarding COVID-19, we have decided to continue using a remote, blended learning model for the Summer B term. Our campus will remain closed and all events will be hosted virtually. Ongoing updates will be communicated via email, school messenger, the RMCAD app, social media, and rmcad.edu/covid19. If you are a prospective student, please consult these FAQ’s about how these changes may impact your experience.
Our top priorities continue to be protecting the health and safety of our community and maintaining a strong academic experience. We must celebrate our faculty and staff, who have worked tirelessly to create a phenomenal experience for our blended learning students, offering video workshops, one-on-one face time, departmental playlists, virtual social hours, and more.
We are hopeful that the Colorado Department of Higher Education will allow us to return to campus for the Fall term and are already working to incorporate the health and safety requirements and recommendations they have provided to Institutions of Higher Education. Our beautiful campus will see new health and safety enhancements like sanitizing stations, additional health and safety signage, smaller class sizes, and new social distancing protocols. We are especially grateful to our facilities and security teams for their hard work in implementing these new features!
We must thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult times. Never forget that we are all in this together. We are adapting, learning, and succeeding as a college. You should all be proud of our accomplishments over the last few months.
The Executive Team
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.
In response to the developing COVID-19 outbreak, RMCAD has convened a COVID-19 Task Force that is charged with preparing for and managing any possible campus impacts related to the coronavirus outbreak. The Task Force is engaged in daily planning and discussion to share important updates, review the college’s pandemic protocols, and provide guidance and communication to members of RMCAD’s campus community.
Members are in frequent contact with federal, state and local government and public health agencies for the most current information, including the latest guidelines and recommendations issued for colleges and universities.
The Task Force’s central focus is on protecting the health and safety of students, faculty and staff; maintaining RMCAD’s commitment to education and service; and preserving the college’s academic, business and administrative operations.
Vision Statement: Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) maintains a policy of inclusiveness that recognizes, values, and reflects the diversity of the community it serves. RMCAD is, and will continue to be, even in these uncertain times, a community of individuals who act with care and responsibility.
All students will be required to sign this form before coming to campus for any reason. By signing, you acknowledge that you have been advised of RMCAD’s COVID-19 disclosures. You also acknowledge and agree to abide by all policies, procedures, and protocols implemented by Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design for attending campus in the age of COVID-19.
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.
Due to COVID-19, we adapted our traditional on-campus learning modality to a remote environment. That adaptation is called Blended or Blended+ learning depending on current circumstances.
Regardless of modality all assignments must be submitted based on due dates as outlined in the syllabus.
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.
What happens if you or a loved one gets COVID-19? Jefferson County Public Health has created a helpful infographic to explain what happens next. Click here to view.
RMCAD’s Director of HR Jena Sawyer provides an overview of the legislation related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including extended and enhanced unemployment. Access her instructional video here.
Unemployment Contact Information by State – https://docs.google.com/document/d/13W24M8xr0zU5X6_3_NyWK-kJfUpXfq1fBaQ6SPIgVKI/edit
COVID-19 Pandemic Scenarios & Benefits Available – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ASC2T1B8Y7Tr0xbPGUbv5rYoJdJVemlx/view
Colorado Department of Labor & Employment – Assistance Programs – https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/more-assistance
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.