The Foundation Program at Pratt Institute is the first year of the four-year education of a Pratt student in the Schools of Art or Design. The academic year 2017-18 will mark the launch of a newly revised first year curriculum. Pratt’s faculty from throughout the Institute have worked together to carefully craft a comprehensive year-long course of study that will prepare students for future study in the Schools of Art and Design.

The curriculum has been designed with two major outcomes in mind. Students will be introduced to concepts, materials, and methods of making common to all art and design practice. Additionally, and equally important, students will become confident practitioners of the design and creative process. Students will leave the first year with the confidence and conviction necessary to continue their studies in their chosen field.

The foundation faculty is aware that learning is an acquired skill. As much as instructing students in skills and concepts, the faculty will introduce students to what learning means in the new environment of college. Learning in higher education is not the same as learning as learning in K-12, and learning in an art and design school is more distinctive still. The first year curriculum will take students through periods of guided instruction, to generative learning and problem solving, to self-directed projects with explicit communicative and expressive outcomes. Students will learn to confront desirable difficulties and arrive at original, well-crafted solutions in traditional media as well as the most recent digital applications.

The Foundation year courses have been developed as parts of a whole, with a purposeful interleaving of content and experience. Art and Design are seen as fields whose work is to fulfill and address human needs. These needs may be emotional or practical, or some beautiful combination of the two. Students in the first year learn to see addressing these needs as a challenge, and are provided with the information, tools, methods, and encouragement they need to meet these challenges. Foundation students complete a journey from passive learning to active making. The year provides a time and space for students to realize the best vision of themselves as creative individuals.


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