ArtCenter offers an array of activities and leadership opportunities for our students.

ArtCenter students will work in settings requiring not only strong art and design skills, but also leadership skills and the ability to collaborate with others who do not always share similar life experiences, values or histories. The CSE supports student learning of these complementary skills by offering educational opportunities that better prepare students for successful careers and meaningful lives. These opportunities are most prevalent each term through participation in campus life, committees, student organizations, ArtCenter Student Government and the Orientation Leader experience.

Orientation Leaders

Students interested in becoming Orientation Leaders can apply for a paid position in the beginning of each term. The Orientation Leader experience includes training on College services, policies and programs, as well as opportunities for social networking, mentorship and connections to College departments. Student leaders are hired each term based on the size of the incoming class and need per major department. 

SLED Grant

Student Leadership Education and Development (SLED) Grants are designed to catalyze opportunities for ArtCenter students that directly shape their development in and out of the classroom. The fund is intended to support co-curricular activities that complement a student’s learning but are not linked to any educational endeavors that are for credit or certification at ArtCenter. The hope is that students will develop leadership competencies, as well as amplify their exposure and engagement to a variety of topics and issues important to College-wide educational outcomes. The fund is focused specifically on enabling students to participate in off-campus activities such as educational conferences, workshops, service learning projects for the community and other initiatives that demonstrate the potential for learning leadership skills, educational growth in a field of their interest and networking.

Student Leadership Award 

The ArtCenter Student Leadership Award is a distinguished honor granted to an ArtCenter student graduating from a degree program who exemplifies leadership qualities and accomplishments that stand out above their peers. Students who receive the award represent the character, integrity and skills that ArtCenter desires for all students to develop during their time at the institution. One recipient is honored each term at the College’s graduation ceremony.

Great Teacher Award

The Great Teacher Award embodies ArtCenter’s remarkable spirit of excellence, the extraordinary contributions and skill of our revered instructors and, perhaps most importantly, its commitment to preparing students for a life marked by professional and personal impact. ArtCenter first began formally honoring Great Teachers in 1986. During the award’s history, instructors from across art and design disciplines have been recognized for their significant and life-changing contributions to student learning. Students may nominate any full-time, part-time or new teacher that is associated with the degree program at ArtCenter College of Design. The faculty members awarded are celebrated at the Summer graduation ceremony. 

Community Engagement

Students have the opportunity to strengthen their leadership and entrepreneurial skills outside of ArtCenter’s walls through volunteer opportunities and partnered events with the City of Pasadena and beyond. Each program fosters communication, critical thinking, cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion, money management and integration in a collaborative and shared atmosphere.

Cosponsored with Pasadena’s One Colorado shopping plaza and Pasadena City College, Open Market is a unique opportunity for emerging and established artists to sell original artwork in an array of media. Registration is open to current faculty, staff and students, as well as alumni. There is no fee for participation and the event is free and open to the public.

Volunteer opportunities are a great way to get involved on and off campus. ArtCenter hosts an annual Day of Service during the Summer term for faculty, staff and students to engage with organizations in Pasadena such as the Boys & Girls Club, Union Station Homeless Services and Villa Gardens Retirement Community. In addition to the annual event, the ArtCenter community regularly participates in food and clothing drives, bagged lunch donations and awareness projects for veterans and other under-represented groups.

Additionally, our Clubs and Organizations connect students to civic engagement and service learning opportunities in our community. In the past we have worked with Blair High School, the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, MEND Poverty, Tierra Del Sol, UCLA Children’s Hospital and YWCA.