share this

Share This Search

News . Press Releases

Press Releases

October 27, 2022

Cleveland Institute of Art, College Now Greater Cleveland partner to increase high schoolers’ pathways to art and design education

Aum Tyler, a ninth-grade student at Cleveland School of the Arts, works with art instructor Hillary Kursh to draw a food wrapper during a College Now afterschool session at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Ajatara Aniton-Carney, a CSA 12th grader, joins.


October 27, 2022

CLEVELAND—The Cleveland Institute of Art and College Now Greater Cleveland have joined forces to increase Northeast Ohio high school students’ exposure and access a college education in art and design.

Through the partnership, students interested in pursuing a creative-economy education can take part in impact!, a new afterschool program at CIA. The program lasts eight weeks; one session will run during fall semester, and two sessions will run during spring semester, with a shorter session available in summer. Up to 45 students per academic year can participate, and the first cohort of students started in September.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is the partner from which College Now will primarily recruit students, with a focus on Glenville High School, Ginn Academy, Collinwood High School, Cleveland School of the Arts, and John Hay Science and Medicine—though any student from any school who wants to participate will have access.

Participants learn about and build portfolios through programming and sessions with CIA staff, which is particularly important for first-year art school students to hone foundational skills. They also experience what it’s like to be on CIA’s University Circle campus, which is especially valuable to first-generation college students or students who haven’t considered art and design as a pathway for their education.

“This program not only supports a college-bound culture but also gives students who have often been marginalized in the college admissions process a chance to see themselves achieving a degree and ultimately a career in art and design,” says Yvette Sobky Shaffer, CIA Vice President of Enrollment Management + Marketing. “They will be the next generation shaping Cleveland—and the nation—through their values and personal narratives. They will tell the stories that will shape our culture and make powerful change in our community.”

The partnership is funded through a new Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, which funds College Now’s afterschool programming and will allow College Now to provide its impact! programming at CIA. Impact! is designed to enhance math and reading skills with a focus on improving students’ entrance exam scores (although the ACT and SAT are not required for admissions for all institutes, they are required for most forms of financial aid), and increase students’ college and career readiness.

College Now has offered impact! programming through other 21st CCLC grants at sites throughout Northeast Ohio since 2012. The grant awarded to College Now and CIA is one of just 52 new 21st CCLC program grants awarded this year, and only one of 32 in the college and career category.

In addition, CIA is College Now’s first arts-specific partner for a 21st CCLC program.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with CIA to offer impact! on their campus,” said Dr. Michele Scott Taylor, Chief Program Officer at College Now Greater Cleveland. “This marks not only our first arts-specific partner for a 21st Century Community Learning Center program, but also our first college partner for this afterschool program. We know that it is vital for students to see and understand the opportunities available to them after high school. This partnership with CIA offers students a unique opportunity to not only prepare for their postsecondary education, but also to truly see what it is like to be part of a college campus community, which is particularly important for students who may have previously been unable to envision themselves pursuing this postsecondary pathway.”

“We’re excited about this College Now partnership, which is a critical step in our continued efforts to increase pathways to education at CIA,” says President + CEO Kathryn J. Heidemann. “By being a College Now site partner, we hope to demystify the art and design college experience, break down barriers to entry to college in general, and empower these young leaders to experience and see themselves here. This partnership, along with joining Say Yes Cleveland in March, further opens CIA’s doors to Cleveland Metropolitan School District students.”

Of the CMSD students who completed the impact! program with College Now between when Say Yes Cleveland was launched in 2019 and 2022, 31 percent were awarded the Say Yes Scholarship. In addition, 17 percent who completed the program between 2014 and 2022 were awarded College Now Traditional Scholarships. On average, students who participate in one eight-week session increase their ACT scores by 2 points and their SAT scores by 80 points.

Programming held on college campuses—as opposed to off-site locations—is significant. Research shows that college campus experiences help secondary students envision themselves as college students, sparking their desire to go to college. Campus experiences have also been shown to motivate secondary students to take their high school academics more seriously and to take more challenging, rigorous courses while in high school.

Students and families interested in learning more about impact! programming at CIA and registering for sessions can visit or contact College Now directly at or 216.241.5587.


Michael C. Butz
Cleveland Institute of Art
Director of College Communications + External Relations
216.421.7404 /

Laurel Wilder
College Now Greater Cleveland
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
216.635.0161 /

Back to press releases


For more information about this or other CIA news, contact us here.