Why should your student attend?

Parents and students viewing art & design portfolios

This experience is designed to help your student prepare to apply to leading art and design programs and to give them a first-hand understanding of what will be expected of them at the college level. Competition among applicants is significant and a diverse, professional portfolio improves your student's chances of being accepted into the college of their choice.

The focus of the design work in this course will be on portfolio creation and refinement, but it is also our intent to help each student discover their passion for learning, expand their horizons, and transition to a college learning environment that will position them for a career they will be excited about. Your student will have the opportunity to:

  • Expand their skills in  creating and presenting their artwork
  • Develop their visual and oral communication skills
  • Build confidence in their ability to thrive in a college environment
  • Earn three college credits from Champlain College, transferable to other regionally-accredited institutions
  • Enhance their college applications--college admissions staff will recognize completion of this pre-college course as a significant academic accomplishment and a sign of a motivated learner
  • Meet with a Champlain College admissions counselor to get personalized advice about presenting their work with their applications

Parents and student viewing artwork from portfolio course

The Human Touch

Students in this portfolio course benefit from a high degree of personal attention and support. Instruction is provided by industry-experienced college professors and class size is limited, with an average of one faculty member for every nine students. This is supplemented by current students majoring in graphic design, digital media and film, who act as coaches and mentors as well. Our experienced Resident Assistants (RAs) will spend each night in Hill Hall with the students and coordinate the experience of living on campus. The program will culminate in an exhibition of students' works with a closing reception and awards ceremony on the last day of the program. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Keeping Students Safe

To ensure a high level of personal attention, Champlain College meets or exceeds industry-standard staffing ratios for instructors and resident assistants (RAs).  Campus Public Safety officers are on 24-hour patrol and available by cellphone to any student that may need assistance. Students are escorted by an adult when taking part in off-campus activities. Electronic keys are issued to each student to provide individual access to their residence hall and individual bedroom.

Quotes from Parents of previous summer institute attendees:

"The faculty and RA's were fantastic and she was blown away by how smart and nice they were... It was inspiring to see all of the cool projects these superb kids were working on all week."

"This course made my daughter feel secure and confident that graphic design is what she wants to do. The entire experience for her was amazing and gave her great confidence in moving on forward on what she wants to do."

"We can't thank you all enough for the amazing program this past week. Our son gained so much, in so many facets of his life... Along with the knowledge that is gained from interacting with new people, all with different ideas and ways of processing information, he also made strides in his confidence to organize and present a complicated subject to a group in an unfamiliar setting."

"You will not be disappointed. It is an opportunity for your child to see what the college experience is about, increase their knowledge of the subject and meet a diverse group of students who are now friends."

"The program truly did exceed all of our expectations. Our daughter is now very motivated and focused on her college path as she heads into her Senior year and we owe a large part of that to this course."

"It's a great way to see whether or not your child is ready for college."

"In my opinion, one of the keys to the success our child had was the size of the program. Had it been a lot larger, I'm not sure that she would have emerged with quite the same depth of friendships, nor the same depth of learning."

"The interactions with college professors/community gave her new insight into what higher learning 'feels' like, and she appreciated and made several noted differences. It always touches a parent's heart to see their child flourish."

"It was an absolutely amazing experience that our son will remember forever. Thank you so much for making it so special."

The Champlain College BFA Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Lake Champlain sunset from campus