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Sponsored Studios

Last updated on Aug 24, 2020

Definition and Policy Statement

A sponsored studio is a CCA studio course in any discipline or collaboration of disciplines that receives a minimum donation of $50,000 from a sponsor. The primary purpose of the sponsored studio is the educational and professional development of CCA students, particularly through the expectations and critique given by representatives of the sponsoring company.

Types of Sponsors

  • industry manufacturers and/or service providers
  • professional agencies and firms that offer consulting services
  • government organizations
  • philanthropic organizations

The sponsoring company enters into a partnership with CCA that combines the academic culture of inquiry and discovery with a company’s industry-related goals. As part of a sponsored studio, the CCA faculty member in charge of the studio class, with the approval of the Provost, will develop the studio project and deliverables in collaboration with company representatives.

During the studio, company representatives are involved in ways that deepen and extend the partnership; these activities may include presentations by the company at its offices, participation in student critiques, or special presentations on the CCA campus. Sponsors are not permitted to serve as faculty within the sponsored studio.

Sponsored studio partnerships should be entered into with the intent of enriching the CCA curriculum and providing CCA students with opportunities to interact with professionals in their fields. CCA sponsored studios should not be entered into for the purpose of providing product- or application-specific deliverables to sponsoring companies. Rather, it should be understood that the sponsored studio develops learning outcomes, research, and new ways of thinking for CCA students and the sponsor through the interchange of ideas around topics of mutual interest.

Academic freedom and creative exploration are ideals that students, faculty and the sponsors will honor throughout a sponsored studio. Students have the opportunity to opt our of sponsored studios without negatively impacting their degree progression.

Characteristics of the Successful Sponsored Studio

  • A well-defined curriculum or project brief developed in close collaboration with the sponsor who furthers the department’s educational goals for its students
  • Accomplishment of CCA’s learning outcomes
  • Ongoing communication between CCA program chairs and faculty with company representatives
  • Clear understanding of the project’s outcomes or deliverables
  • Consistent, thoughtful engagement in the project by the sponsor
  • Documentation of students’ process and final projects.

Benefits of the Sponsored Studio for CCA Students

  • Real-world professional experience
  • Developed portfolio work
  • Critique from industry professionals
  • Future internships and jobs

Benefits to the Sponsor

  • Research and development of future scenarios
  • Connecting with young artists and designers
  • Digital as a first language
  • Blue sky thinking
  • Inspire own creativity
  • Philanthropic support for education

Other Kinds of Partnerships

In addition to the sponsored studio, educational partnerships with companies include the following. Donations will be negotiated according to the parameters of the project and its deliverables.

  • Research and design studios (topics generated by faculty)
  • Externships: CCA sets up work for hire opportunities for students, independent of curriculum or credits
  • CCA internships: In architecture, CCA sponsors an internal studio of credit or noncredit, set up with a firm and supervised by a licensed architect

Intellectual Property

Sponsoring companies must sign and agree to all elements of CCA’s intellectual property policy before the studio begins. (See Intellectual Property.) In accordance with this policy, students own the original work they create in a sponsored studio. Intellectual property rights for other kinds of company partnerships are delineated in the IP policy.

Usage, copyright, and patent opportunities will remain property of the designer or artist, unless college-assisted negotiations occur between the student and sponsor. Usage includes ownership, licensing, patents, any promotional use, trade, or commercial applications.

If mutually agreed upon, the company may negotiate use of students’ work or pay students for use of their ideas or designs. Additionally, the company may establish internship opportunities or independent contractor positions, or both, for CCA students. Through this process, CCA will provide professional and legal advice to the student.

Budgets should be developed by the host program chair or, in the case of an interdisciplinary studio, by the lead chair, in consultation with the studio faculty and dean.

Budget Line Items

  • All instructional costs for the studio of CCA faculty
  • All student costs for supplies and project materials
  • Costs associated with the documentation and publication of student work, including exhibits, competitions, research reports and CCA marketing
  • External (non-CCA) faculty travel and honoraria
  • Travel costs for students and faculty related to the project
  • Technology and equipment specific to the success of the sponsored studio (note: technology and equipment purchased through the sponsored studio budget is not owned or maintained by the host department. However, the host department will have priority use during the sponsored studio.

Sponsored studio budgets should be created by the program chair, in consultation with the faculty who will lead the studio, under the oversight of the director. Completed budgets will be submitted to the provost. In consultation with the Advancement Office and Educational Technology, the Provost will request final approval from the vice president of finance and administration.

Other Procedures & Practices

Project origination
Sponsored studio partnerships initiated by faculty should only be developed in consultation with the program chair and then with the approval of the Academic Affairs, Advancement, and the CFO. Faculty should not pursue these partnerships on their own.

Annual review
At the close of each school year, all sponsored studio arrangements will be reviewed. This includes a meeting of all relevant faculty to evaluate and conclude that generated work adheres to program goals, to monitor that sponsored guidelines and policies have been consistently followed, and to compare class deliverables to learning outcomes within the course curriculum. Course faculty will convey recommendations and changes in writing so that expectations on the part of all parties will be clear for the following semester.

Student reimbursement
Amount of reimbursement for supplies and materials will be disclosed to students in sponsored studios as soon as possible in the course of the semester.

Sponsors will not be responsible for assigning grades or advising grades. Assigning of grades will occur through comparison of the course objectives and the student’s performance in meeting them.

Ethics/human rights
Sponsors will be reviewed for involvement in any human rights abuses, labor law violations, environmental ethics, and other harmful involvements nationally and internationally. Any sponsor that is currently involved in such activity will not be considered for a sponsorship.

Transparency in process
Students will have access to agreements, contracts, and negotiations before, during, and after a sponsored course. This includes, but is not limited to paperwork, meetings, and conference calls.