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School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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The Early College Program Summer Institute at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago offers two- and three-week sessions beginning in June and July. Read More!

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Ideas matter. At SAIC, we believe meaning and making are inseparable. Our studios are laboratories, where conceptual thinking, art making, and design skills are developed and strengthened. The Early College Program (ECP) Summer Institute provides high school students the necessary creative freedom to develop a structured dialogue between ideas and process. Mirroring the methods and practices of contemporary artists and designers, students choose courses within focused disciplines, yet retain opportunities to freely explore media in order to build a strong portfolio. Students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of materials and processes to discover new ways of defining their creative practice.

Why ECP Summer Institute?

• Students who complete the ECP Summer Institute receive college credit and have the portfolio requirement of their SAIC undergraduate application waived.

• ECP Summer Institute students receive college-level instruction from SAIC’s outstanding faculty with additional support from student Teaching Assistants.

• Individual portfolio review sessions are available.

• Students have access to SAIC’s extensive resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum.

High school students who have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year are eligible to enroll in the ECP Summer Institute. Housing, merit scholarships, and need-based aid are available. Two- and three-week sessions begin June 24 and July 8, 2013.


Q & A with SAIC's ECP Summer Institute

Q: What makes your camp or program unique?

A: SAIC’s ECP Summer Institute is designed to have students focus in one area, allowing in depth exploration of a particular discipline. Experimentation and critical feedback from renowned faculty and peers promote discovery and refinement of skills. As a result, ECP Summer Institute students leave the program with higher confidence and innovative, portfolio-quality work.

Q: Describe a typical day in your camp or program.

A: Typical ECP Summer Institute students spend most of their time producing work. In addition to all-day classes, students are expected to attend evening workshops and lectures, and complete homework assignments over the weekend. The ECP Summer Institute is first and foremost an intensive academic program for serious high school students.

Q: What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?

A: Students enrolled in an ECP Summer Institute course should be prepared to make an active and intensive commitment to the study of art, design, and writing.

Q: Where do your participants come from?

A: In 2012, 49% of ECP Summer Institute students came from the Midwest. 27% were from the East Coast, 14% were from the West Coast, and 10% were international students representing 15 countries.

Q: What is the housing like and what can you tell us about the meals?

A: Housing is available for all students at Jones Hall, one of SAIC’s residence halls conveniently located a few blocks from the academic facilities. Jones Hall is a recently renovated facility that has been designated a National Historic Landmark building. All rooms are double occupancy with private bath and kitchenette.

The SAIC meal plan, required for all residence hall students, provides approximately 10 meals per week. Dining facilities are located in the LeRoy Neiman Center and Columbus Drive building.

Q: Any other information you think teens should know about your program?

A: Interwoven into the fabric of vibrant downtown Chicago, SAIC’s campus provides the ideal platform for ECP Summer Institute students to explore new artistic domains. Chicago, home to one of the country’s largest concentrations of working artists, is a city of unparalleled architecture, innovative public art, and world-class museums and galleries. SAIC’s faculty of practicing artists, designers, scholars, industry influencers, and innovators, connect students with all of its amazing resources.

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