College revamps core curriculum


Students at Kendall College of Art and Design listen to a lesson. Courtesy KCAD

A local college has rolled out changes to its general education model, effective this semester.

Kendall College of Art and Design, or KCAD, last month announced program changes aimed at expanding opportunities for students and connecting their learning experiences to evolving industries.

KCAD’s new model for general education, Pathways, is designed to give students more freedom to pursue general education courses that spark their curiosity and stimulate their creativity.

“These changes reflect KCAD’s commitment to ensuring that our students receive the highest quality education and emerge prepared to embark on successful and impactful careers,” said Leslie Bellavance, president, KCAD.

With Pathways, five foundational courses — Writing, Intro to Narrative Studies, Intro to Cultural Studies, Intro to Philosophy and a math or science elective — will set the stage for students to enter one of three focus areas, or pathways.

Each of the three pathways — Narrative Studies, Cultural Studies and Philosophical Studies — culminates in a capstone course that asks students to reflect on their learning and experiences and how they connect to the professional realm.

“The Pathways model is based on the understanding that the most successful art and design professionals are those who stay broadly and endlessly interested in the world around them,” said Adam Schuitema, associate professor and general education program chair, KCAD.

“The most important thing is that students become critical and analytical thinkers who can both adapt to change and keep exploring creative possibilities going forward.”

More information about KCAD’s general education program is available online.


Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, KCAD aims to creating lasting impact in West Michigan and beyond through partnerships, cultural innovation and an educational model that prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history and art education.

Facebook Comments