September 09, 2022

ArtCenter Launches New First Year Immersion Program to Guide Students on Their Journey to an Art and Design Degree

With ArtCenter’s new First Year Immersion (FYI) program launching this fall, a diverse cohort of students can begin exploring a variety of art and design majors while learning core skills in pursuit of an undergraduate degree. Students will begin imagining where their future career will take them starting day one of classes.

The FYI program is designed to reach new, diverse students who display creative skills but who otherwise may not have ever been exposed to the ensemble of undergraduate art and design programs the College offers. While applicants to the College are required to choose a major when they apply, for the first time in ArtCenter’s history, the FYI program allows a select cohort of gifted students to start their education with an undeclared major, exploring different design disciplines in their first two terms in order to gain a better understanding of potential career paths.

Career pathways with an art and design degree are far reaching and may include anything from becoming a rock star sneaker designer, to working as a car designer at Tesla to accepting an Academy Award for an animated feature film. A design degree from ArtCenter College of Design carries with it a reputation of rigor, connections to an influential alumni network, touchpoints with expert faculty and a lasting skill set of creative problem solving that can be applied to any real-world challenge.

To start, prospective FYI students submit a portfolio along with a strong academic record and indicate a broad area of interest when applying to the College. Then, once on campus, students will take a series of courses related to Integrated Studies and Humanities and Sciences to help them decide on a major.

“This fall, ArtCenter will welcome 15 new students who’ve enrolled in the first cohort of FYI. We are very excited to offer this new program,” said Joshua Holzmann, faculty director of First Year Immersion at ArtCenter College of Design. “Students will come away with greater clarity and focus around their creative interests and career goals. FYI also broadens the horizons of the type of students ArtCenter enrolls.”

FYI students will take courses in drawing, creative technologies, visual thinking and humanities and sciences. These classes will equip them with core skills that apply to a wide spectrum of art and design majors. After gaining familiarity with ArtCenter’s degree offerings, along with establishing critical and cultural awareness, students can pursue one of their top three choices of majors and finish their degree in six additional terms.

Through the FYI program, students can complete a bachelor of fine arts degree in Creative Direction, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration or Photography and Imaging; or a bachelor of science degree in Entertainment Design (Animation and Concept tracks), Interaction Design, Product Design or Transportation Design.

“Joshua is the ideal leader for this new immersive program because he brings a wealth of knowledge about the curriculum and our community as it is experienced by first year students,” said Wendy Adest, department chair of Integrated Studies, ArtCenter College of Design. “Joshua will also teach the FYI Studio and serve as the faculty advisor for the entire class. I know he will do an incredible job.”

The newly appointed director of FYI, a full-time faculty member and a practicing artist, Joshua Holzmann is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. His primary mediums are paint and collage. His art practice employs paint as content and the complicated history that is tied to the medium through the lens of an African American male. As a conscientious millennial, Holzmann struggles with putting more objects into the world. To mitigate these concerns, he uses repurposed materials and items from his family's daily consumption as the raw materials for his paintings. Holzmann holds a BFA from ArtCenter and an MFA from the UC Riverside. He has exhibited at the Riverside Art Museum, Harriet and Kern Gallery, Nan Rae Gallery at Woodbury University, Barbara and Art Culver Center, Phyllis Gill Gallery at the UC Riverside, ArtCenter DTLA and The Honolulu Museum of Art.

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About ArtCenter:
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round extension programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status in recognition of its commitment to social impact design through Designmatters. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond
Media Relations Director
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396.2385 office

Emily Logan
Public Relations Specialist
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396.2206 office

Joshua Holzmann
Joshua Holzmann is a full-time faculty member, practicing artist and the new faculty director of First Year Immersion at ArtCenter College of Design. © ArtCenter College of Design/Juan Posada

Wendy Adest
Wendy Adest, department chair of Integrated Studies, ArtCenter College of Design. © ArtCenter College of Design/Juan Posada