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Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Introducing SDSU’s Creative Mind Academy for High School Students

A new, innovative summer institute allows high school students to earn college credit for theory-based courses and get a taste of SDSU student life.
By Gabriella Romero

Editor's Note, April 19, 2021: Due to the university's student repopulation plans for the fall 2021 semester, the difficult decision to postpone Creative Mind Academy has been made. Though this is disappointing news, SDSU looks forward to debuting Creative Mind Academy in summer 2022 with expanded programming and core tracks.

In an effort to provide innovative programming and experiential opportunities to high school students interested in creative pursuits, San Diego State University has launched a four-week summer institute, Creative Mind Academy, in which students can complete six college credits at the university.

Creative Mind Academy (CMA) students take two three-unit SDSU classes from eight core tracks. Space is capped at 40 students maximum in each of the eight core areas. The Creative Mind Academy runs July 5-31. Registration opens in March.

The core tracks offer unique opportunities for students to catapult their experience in the following fields:
  • Acting
  • Musical theatre
  • Leadership and debate
  • Comics and graphic novels
  • Music production
  • Coding for creatives
  • Film
  • Social media and digital entrepreneurship
Prospective students will be asked to select one core track, while may require supplemental information such as a portfolio submission, an audition reel upload or other materials that will help the CMA admissions team decide where students are placed.

RELATED: Fill out Creative Mind Academy Interest Form

When Peggy Shannon, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, arrived at SDSU in August 2019, she voiced her desire to “create a high school academy that could grow into something spectacular not only for the college but for all of SDSU.” 

Working with a team of consultants and on-campus colleagues in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts Dean's Office, Global Campus, Housing, and Admissions, Shannon and the team collected data on summer academies taking place globally to build a framework for the CMA.  

“We worked in three time zones, three mornings a week, to build the academy's academic footprint, its digital content, music, marketing plan, and brand,” Shannon said.

CMA Director and SDSU professor Kurt Lindemann developed the framework of the program with special emphasis to create courses and workshops that the CMA team believes will appeal to high school students.

“I've previously worked at several summer high school speech and debate academies, and I've seen firsthand the effect an experience like this has on students' personal and academic lives. We're excited for our first cohort and all the memories they'll create together,” said Lindemann. 

“Students will get an exciting, dynamic experience, a sense of what it's like to be a student at SDSU [and be] excited to begin their college experience, hopefully with us here at SDSU. They'll be able to develop and hone their skills and knowledge, and we hope they'll make lifelong friends and connections with other students and industry professionals.”

Shannon echoed the importance of students pursuing creative opportunities.

“Students may have a particular interest in science, in the arts, in engineering, in architecture, in media, but regardless of their primary interest, we believe that all students have a creative mind,” said Shannon. “The Creative Mind Academy exists to support them on their paths to extraordinary lives.” 

Learn more about what CMA offers on its website and connect with CMA’s Facebook