Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Creative Mind Academy, Where Imagination Meets Education for High School Students

SDSU introduces a new summer institute for high school students where academics and creativity jumpstart extraordinary lives. Students in grades 11 and 12 earn college credit for theory-based, hands-on courses, and get a taste of the SDSU student life.

Creative Mind Academy, Where Imagination Meets Education for High School Students

by Gabriela Romero

February 1, 2021

Trailblazing high school students who are looking for an opportunity to learn about and bootstrap their shining, creative interests have a new summer opportunity. Over four weeks, prospective students can complete six college credits at San Diego State University in specialized, experiential studies at the Creative Mind Academy.

Creative Mind Academy students take two 3-unit SDSU classes in one of eight core tracks, including: acting, musical theatre, leadership and debate, comics and graphic novels, music production, coding creatives, filmmaking, and social media and digital entrepreneurship.

Space is capped at 40 students maximum in each of the eight core areas offered in 2021. The Creative Mind Academy runs July 5 - 31, 2021. Registration opens in March 2021.

Each of the eight core tracks offers unique opportunities for students to catapult their experience in these fields.

Acting: Be part of a dynamic and passionate group of #dramakids, industry professionals, and dedicated professors in collaborative classes and hands-on workshops.

Musical Theatre: Master being a #triplethreat in the Musical Theatre specialization with hands-on training in acting, singing, and movement.

Leadership and Debate: Learn to make articulate and reasoned arguments. Access resources, one-on-one coaching, and hands-on opportunities to practice your craft.

Comics and Graphic Novels: Be part of a cohort of international artists passionate about comics and manga. Collaborate with industry professionals and get hands-on.

Music Production: Make, mix, and master your own tracks in the Music Production specialization that has hands-on collaborations and non-stop opportunities to create.

Coding for Creatives: What do gaming, web design, and virtual reality have in common? Code. Create dynamic projects with industry leading tech and professional mentors.

Film: Want to make movies? Be a cinematographer? You’ll fit in great with hands-on training and opportunities to make your own creative portfolio.

Social Media and Digital Entrepreneurship: Have you ever wondered how memes and influencers become viral? Join and explore the nuances of social media from digital cultures, to ethics, and entrepreneurship.

When students apply, they will be asked to choose one core track. Each track requires a slightly different application, and some may require a portfolio submission, an audition reel upload or other materials that will help the Creative Mind Academy (CMA) admissions team make decisions on where students are placed.

When Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, Dr. Peggy Shannon, arrived at SDSU in August 2019, she voiced her desire to “create a high school academy that could grow into something spectacular not only for PSFA but for all of SDSU.”

Dean Shannon hired a researcher to collect data on summer programs happening in North America and globally and studied the collected data to create a team to found CMA.

Consisting of on-campus leaders in the PSFA Dean’s Office, Global Campus, housing, admissions and upper administration along with consultants in Toronto, and Athens, Greece, the team is both extensive and international.

“We worked in three time zones, three mornings a week, to build the academy’s academic footprint, its digital content, music, marketing plan, and brand,” Dean Shannon says.

Director of CMA, SDSU Professor Kurt Lindemann brought the framework of CMA to PSFA and the university, to create courses and workshops that the CMA team believes will appeal to high school students.

“I’ve previously worked at several summer high school speech and debate academies, and I’ve seen first hand the effect an experience like this has on students’ personal and academic lives. We’re excited for our first cohort and all the memories they’ll create together,” said Lindemann.

“Students will get an exciting, dynamic experience, a sense of what it’s like to be a student at SDSU [and be] excited to begin their college experience, hopefully with us here at SDSU. They’ll be able to develop and hone their skills and knowledge. And we hope they’ll make lifelong friends and connections with other students and industry professionals.”

“Students may have a particular interest in science, in the arts, in engineering, in architecture, in media, but regardless of their primary interest, we believe that all students have a creative mind. The Creative Mind Academy exists to support them on their paths to extraordinary lives,” Dean Shannon says.

By the end of students’ time attending the academy, Dean Shannon remarks students will gain, “Confidence. Joy. Pride of accomplishment. New knowledge. Hands-on experience and a network on new friends and industry connections.”
Learn more about what CMA will offer rising students, on its website and connect with CMA’s Facebook.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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