For three weeks in July, high-school students from all around the world come to SVA to attend its Pre-College Program. Serving as an advanced introduction to various disciplines, the program gives students the opportunity to develop their skills, build their portfolios and earn as many as three college credits. Courses are varied and include screenwriting, graphic design, animation and painting, among others. They are taught by SVA undergraduate and graduate faculty.
“The goal is to plant seeds and open their minds,” says Kevin O’Callaghan, chair of 3D Design and a Pre-College Program faculty member. “Some of the students’ work, and I mean this genuinely, has been as good as some of my third-year students. These students haven’t been taught any of the ‘rules’ of design, so the work is coming from their gut or their heart.”
Other features of the program include the option to stay in a SVA residence hall, providing a preview of college life, and field trips around New York City, including trips to Broadway shows, Brooklyn, museums and more.
“Seeing paintings and sculptures that I’ve only seen in books is incredible,” says Serbian student Stefan Gajic. “There’s no place better for design than New York.”
Additionally, a group of high-school teachers participated in a workshop over the last two days of the program. The teachers were able to network with faculty, sit in on courses, hear portfolio presentations from SVA alumni and current students, and see what Pre-College students had been working on over their three-week courses.
The Summer program culminated with a major exhibition that includes all 28 Pre-College classes. The exhibition gives students the opportunity to share their work and experience with the public and fellow students. This year’s exhibition was the largest yet, showcasing almost 400 students and attended by over 1,000 guests.