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Academics . Engaged Practice . Engaged Practice Courses 

Engaged Practice courses


There are over 40 courses that are designated as Engaged Practice (EP) courses, meaning that students in those courses, under the supervision of their faculty, collaborate with external partners on real-world projects. 

Here are just a few selections that span our majors:

Photo credit: David Jurca

Design Center-Based Learning (EP)

ID 317-417

This course functions as a professional design studio, placing an emphasis on client-based projects and interdisciplinary teamwork. All companies/organizations who are participating in the course make a financial commitment to CIA and intern team members may be compensated. When compensation is available it may vary, but it is based on the project budget, time commitment and individual contributions. The faculty, who will oversee the process, deliverables and schedule for each project, will determine studio responsibilities. Prerequisites for Industrial Design majors: one year of industrial design training and permission of instructor. Prerequisite for non-majors: permission of instructor. 3 credits. Instructor: Doug Paige,

Advanced Video + Digital Cinema (EP)

PHV 242 342 442

In this advanced video/digital cinema course, students will conduct individual research and investigation under the guidance of faculty. Students focus on strategic conceptualization and production in the completion of a professional, self-directed video/digital cinema project. An additional aspect of this course examines closely the function of the individualized work within a broader community context and requires students to complete and implement a community-based component as part of their finished project. This course encourages students to consider their work in relation to the exhibition, audience, and community. Prerequisite: PHV240 Video/Digital Cinema I: Screen Grammar, or permission of instructor. 3 credits. Instructor: Jacob Koestler,

The Contemporary Portrait (EP)

PHV 228 328 428

This course is an exploration of contemporary approaches to portraiture and its relation to the historical photographic portrait. Analysis of both simple and complex photographic identities and real and invented realities are investigated. Photographic assignments, readings and discussions lead to a better understanding of the student’s individual approach to the portrait and their unique relationship with the subject. Practical applications of Photographic portraiture will also be discussed. Prerequisites: PHV 295 Photo I: Intro to Photography; PHV 292 Fundamentals of Studio Lighting, or permission of instructor. Open studio elective. 3 credits. Instructor: Nancy McEntee,

Neighborhood, Collaboration + Creative Placemaking (EP)


As artists, we investigate cities through visual means. Applied anthropologists use ethnographic fieldwork to situate their inquiry in collaboration with a community. This studio course uses creative placemaking to address urban space in collaboration with East Cleveland or a surrounding Cleveland neighborhood, supported by a social science pre-requisite/co-requisite. Students work with course partners to develop a community-based art or design project - just as one example, the building of a pop-up porch in a vacant lot for community gatherings. Students learn about the community with whom they are working, and are exposed to notable placemaking initiatives. As they execute one major project with their community partners (Spring, 2019 partner is the Glenville neighborhood), students bring their own skills sets to bear, explore other disciplines, and learn materials and processes. This course meets once a week. Faculty provides guidance on transportation to community sites. Appropriate dress for the weather is expected. Pre-requisite or co-requisite: SNS Applying Anthropology or SNS Urban Ethnography, or department head permission. 3 credits.  Instructor: David Jurca (department head: Barbara Chira,

Putting Artists in the Classroom: Intro to Art Education (EP)

PPEL 400/401

As artists, how can we give back to our communities through K-12 education in the arts? This field-based practicum and seminar course provides students from any major with an introduction to the world of Art Education. Students are placed in schools in the Cleveland area, and work with a cooperating teacher or professional mentor there, providing first-hand teaching experience in the studio arts. Through the course, students are taught the principles and practices of Art Education and curriculum/ lesson planning to be used during their teaching experience. Students also learn to document their students’ work and may curate public exhibitions of the work. Students are responsible for their own transportation. Open studio or Liberal Arts elective. NOTE: Students enrolled in the course will be required to have a BCI and FBI background check, under the guidance of the instructor. Prerequisite: discussion with the instructor. 3 credits. Instructor: Kristin Thompson-Smith,

Propaganda: Media, Dissemination, Technique (EP)

PRI 240 340 440

From punk bands to political rallies, different techniques have been used to create attention-grabbing graphics. Through a variety of projects in this course, students will explore a range of techniques including approaches to screen-printing from simple stencil making methods; direct drawing on the screens; to a variety of ways to use photo emulsion, including the integration of digital imaging software. The emphasis of this class is the development of rich personal imagery and the relationship of form working with content to effectively communicate ideas. This course is for students from all levels and majors. Open Elective. Encouraged for third and fourth-year students as an Elective Studio. Required for fourth year Print Majors. 3 credits. Instructor: Maggie Denk-Leigh,

Applying Anthropology (EP)

SNS 386X

Through the lens of applied anthropology, we will conduct local ethnographic fieldwork to investigate broad topics around place and community. The class will start with basic anthropological field research methods, where students will be asked to work to develop a specific research agenda, with community collaboration, that can be addressed in the local community. Once mastered, we will use anthropological methods and techniques to conduct fieldwork in a local community, and use our findings to assist in the “Neighborhood, Community, and Creative Placemaking” class for their collaborative community art project. The objective is to build a foundation in basic anthropological field research methods and to ultimately show how those methods can be useful to artists and designers when working with community partners. As with other Liberal Arts courses, this course meets regularly for class instruction time, but some of that class meeting time will be in the community. Course faculty will provide guidance and support regarding transportation to community sites. Appropriate dress for seasonal weather is expected. 3 credits. Books and supplies to be determined by the instructor. Instructor: Beth Hoag,

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