Adjusting to online classes can be challenging! Here are a few tips to get the most out of your experience and connect with your instructor and fellow learners.


1. Review instructor feedback. Make time to review prior feedback and notes before class. Have a list of questions ready to ask about anything that isn’t 100% clear. SCPS instructors will make time for Q&A; they want you to get all you can from your courses! There are no stupid questions, only lost opportunities.

[Provide feedback, too! Let your instructor know if there’s something they did in class that you liked. This will help them improve their online teaching skills—they are looking for ways to engage you.]

2. Take photos of your work. Take photos of your work and share files through Canvas. This also gives you a digital record for the future!

[Feel free to send to photos of your work, photos of you creating your work, or photos of you attending class to Kristen at kdabro13@pratt.edu. We’d love to show prospective students what it’s like to take classes & create at Pratt!]

3. Make sure your files are in the right format. When it’s your time to upload files for a presentation or class assignment, ensure your files are the right type and size for uploading well before class begins so you’re not crunched for time at the last minute.


4. Turn on your camera.

I know. You didn’t brush your hair. However, if you have camera access, use it! It creates a more personal learning experience, allows the teacher to see your reactions, and connects you to other class members. Don’t be a silent observer! You paid for the class; you deserve to get ALL you can from it.

Understand that your instructor may not feel “camera-ready,” either. They are working hard to adjust to the online format. Finding the ideal light/angle may not be at the forefront of their priorities! 

5. Use the chat box. Especially if you don’t have camera access, the chat box can be your best tool for communication. Make sure you are participating! It can also be a good way to get your questions in without interrupting at an inopportune time.

6. Check every tab. View every tab in Canvas—Files, Downloads, & Discussions—so you don’t miss any important content.

7. Capture comments. When instructors make comments on your assignments in Canvas, experiment with the best way to capture them for future reference. One method is to take a screenshot, retitle it, and save it to your class folder.


8. Download course files. Use Google Drive, Base Camp, an external hard drive, or a flash drive to store course files & class recordings after each session. NOTE: OneKey remains “live” for 31 days after a class ends. After that, class access is closed.


9. Network! We cannot emphasize this enough! Not only does this help with class content and assignments, it also creates a community and a networking base for the next stage in your career.

10. Use free search tools. org is a huge, wonderful resource! Download and save whatever is FREE and RELEVANT to your course of study or field of interest.

Special thanks to Roy Pachecano (Lecturer, Pratt SCPS; President, Portico R.E.I. LLC; Assistant Adjunct Professor, Columbia University) for helping out with this post! Roy is an amazing professor with the Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Architecture Program.

The Student Leadership Team behind the PreCollege Summer Program

(from left back row, Sam, Madison, Veronica, from left front row, Janelle, Eva, Laura, Moby & Urva) – Courtesy of Sam Stuart

The PreCollege Summer Program wrapped up a few weeks ago, however it would not have been a resounding success without the dedication and hard work of this summer’s Pratt PreCollege staff and leadership team. The Pratt PreCollege Summer Program is a month long academic program geared to high schools. It’s a wonderful opportunity for close to 400 students to explore  their interests in art and design and to get a glimpse into what the college experience is really like. At the conclusion of the program students receive elective college credits and have the honor of showcasing all of their hard work in a Final Exhibition. In recognition of the successful end to another exceptional PreCollege Summer Program, we’ve chosen to spotlight the amazing contributions made by the Pratt PreCollege leadership team this summer.

The leadership team was comprised of eight current Pratt Institute students. Each team leader had an extremely active role in all facets of this summer’s program. As a group, the leaders were responsible for their individual roles and duties which included student advisement, coordinating operations, field trips, cultural excursions and additional activities, as well as overseeing the mentors. There were over 30 student mentors this summer all of whom are Pratt Institute students. Who better than Pratt students to mentor, guide and advise PreCollege students about the Pratt experience. Being a part of the PreCollege Summer Program is an experience like no other. Current Pratt students are able to gain highly useful skills that will guide them in both their academic and professional careers.

In recognition of their invaluable contributions to the success of this summer’s PreCollege Program, we’d like to introduce you to the dream team that helped to make this summer’s program a truly exceptional and memorable experience for our PreCollege high school students. Meet Eva, Veronica, Urva, Samuel, Madison, Moby, Janelle and Laura, the Pratt students who helped to coordinate  and oversee various aspects of both the academic and activity related components of this summer’s program. This leadership team had an integral role in making sure all facets of the PreCollege Summer Program came together seamlessly and provided invaluable support to the PreCollege Office staff.

Courtesy of Sam Stuart

Here’s a quick breakdown of each other the leadership team members and their individual roles this summer. For this summer’s PreCollege program, the leadership team was divided into two additional teams within the main team that would be responsible for specific aspects of the program.  The subdivisions were categorized into areas of focus: academics and activities. Team leaders that were a part of the academic team were responsible for coordinating the academic side of the PreCollege program which included student advisement, studio operations, faculty and student support in the classroom and studio space, and assigning mentors to groups of PreCollege students based on their art and design concentrations groups.

The  academic team leaders were the following Pratt students: Veronica, (Grad student, Art Therapy & Creativity Development), Urva (Grad student, Communication Design), Samuel (Senior, Photography Major) and Eva (Sophomore, COMD Graphic Design). Eva a sophomore in the COMD Graphic Design Program was the Design & Operations Coordinator in the PreCollege Summer Program. Her responsibilities included providing design support to the PreCollege office and in addition to this coordinating various operations and working with other team leaders to insure that all aspects of the program ran effectively on a daily basis.

Also providing operational support in this summer’s program was Samuel, a senior in the Photography program. Samuel’s role this summer was being the Studio Mentor Coordinator. Throughout the summer program the PreCollege students would be immersed in a full day of course work and in the evenings they would attend studio space sessions where they had the opportunity to continue to work on art and design projects. As the Studio Mentor Coordinator, it was Samuel responsibility to coordinate which mentors would be assigned to oversee and lead specific studio space sessions based on subject concentrations.

Courtesy of Pratt PreCollege

One important facet of the PreCollege Summer program is ensuring that all of the students have adequate support and resources. Occasionally students requested or needed advisement for a variety of reasons and two of the members of the PreCollege leadership team were responsible for connecting students with the appropriate on campus resources in order to ensure they received advisement and support were Veronica and Urva. Veronica,  a graduate student in the Art Therapy & Creativity Development Master’s program, and Urva a graduate student in the Graduate Communication Design program, both had the role of being Graduate  Assistant Student Advisers. Their contributions to this program included being a resource for students  needing advisement, faculty, coordinating and managing mentors, and providing support to their other team members.

The leadership team members that were a part of the activities team this summer included the following Pratt students:  Madison (Undergraduate student) Laura (Senior, Art History Major), Janelle (Senior, 2D Animation Major), Moby (Senior, 2D Animation Major). Each of these team members were responsible for coordinating the field trips, cultural excursions and additional activities for this summer’s program. They also coordinated and managed the mentors assigned to each field trip and excursion and provided additional support to both PreCollege office, faculty and students.

Laura, a senior in the Art History program and Madison an undergraduate student, were the Art, History and Culture coordinators in the program this summer. They were responsible for coordinating the cultural excursions and assigned mentors to guide PreCollege students during on campus and off campus museum trips which included visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim.  Janelle and Moby, both seniors in the 2D Animation program, were the Activities Coordinators this summer.  They helped to support this summer’s program through scheduling and coordinating field trips and weekend activities which include trips to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Governors Island.

Courtesy of Pratt PreCollege

Although this summer’s program has come to a conclusion, the contributions of each of the Pratt student leadership team members was essential to ensuring that the PreCollege students had a rewarding experience in the program. These leadership team members not only contributed a great deal through their hard work and dedication, but they were able to gain invaluable organizational, interpersonal and teamwork skills that they will be able apply to both their academic and professional careers.

To learn more about the Pratt PreCollege Program  visit our website. To stay up to date on the latest student features from  DESIGNTERRA make sure to subscribe. Don’t forget to follow Pratt PreCollege on social media: Facebook, Instagram.

Summer at Pratt SCPS: The Breakdown On What to Expect

With the beginning of summer just a few short months away, we at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies would like to invite current and prospective students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities offered through our summer programming. Whether you’re a local to the New York or New Jersey area or visiting from another part of the country or  globe, we encourage you to make use of the many resources available to  you at Pratt Institute. Studying at Pratt enables students with the unique opportunity to work side by side with some of the most creative and inspiring individuals from around the globe, whose diverse cultural, professional and educational backgrounds and experiences have led them to pursuing an art and design education at Pratt. Having New York City as your backyard is an exceptional perk because it places students in an advantageous position to utilize the best that this vibrant city has to offer.

Now that the spring semester is winding down, it seems fitting to start looking ahead and planning for the upcoming summer season. Every year at Pratt SCPS, we offer an extensive schedule of summer programming for students and adult learners interested in taking advantage of the warm summer months in NYC. This upcoming summer, we’ve slightly revamped our Summer Intensives programming, to offer students an even wider selection of courses and workshops that can accommodate the schedules of all types of working professional and students.

The first selection of courses offered through our Summer Intensives program this year is our credit intensives. There are two summer sessions being offered that run four weeks each. The first session runs through the month of June, (beginning on June 3rd) and the second takes place in July (beginning on July 1st). Students interested in enrolling in our credit summer intensives can choose from the following subject areas: architecture, creative writing, digital photography, fashion design, fine art, graphic design, drawing, interior design, illustration, sustainable design, industrial design, and three-dimensional design. For more detailed information on the courses being offered and the schedule of each summer session: Summer Intensives.

For Students interested in noncredit intensives SCPS is offering certificate programs that range from one week to ten week intensives spread throughout the summer. Our noncredit intensives feature programming in the following subject areas: branding and digital marketing, exhibition design, floral art and design, furniture design, graphic design, motion graphics, perfumery, photography and video, visual merchandising design, public speaking, accessories design, painting, mixed media arts, product design, architecture, lighting design, digital drawing, jewelry design, interior design and much more. Noncredit intensives are ideal for creative professionals and students interested in sharpening their skill sets and expanding their knowledge on a particular subject. For more information: Noncredit Summer Intensives.

In conjunction with the array of course options available to students through our Summer Intensives program, is our PreCollege Summer Program geared specifically to high school students interested in getting a head start on an educational and professional career path in the art and design field. Every summer we welcome hundreds of high school students to our Brooklyn campus for a month long academic immersion into art, design and architecture. Students who attend the Pratt PreCollege Program get to select a concentration of study modeled after Pratt’s undergraduate course study and will automatically be enrolled in art history, foundation and portfolio development classes. At the end of the program students will receive elective college credits and have the opportunity to showcase all of their hard work in a Final Student Exhibition. The Pratt PreCollege Summer Program is a great opportunity for high school to explore their creative passions, prepare for college, and create an exemplary art portfolio.

Whether you’re a student enrolled in one of our Summer Intensives or the PreCollege Program, you’ll discover that you  may occasionally have downtime. We encourage you to supplement your course load this summer by taking advantage of being in New York City. This city is arguably one of the greatest in the world with an unparalleled  art and design scene. From the diversity of people, cultures, sights, foods, and landmarks to the intersection of culture, art, media, design, business, architecture and technology, New York City offers an assortment of the most profound and unique art and cultural experiences on the planet.

Studying in New York during the summer presents the exhilarating challenge of trying to see and experience as much as possible during the only time throughout the year when the weather is optimum for exploring. In fact, every neighborhood in this city comes alive during the summer, offering something unique and intriguing for all kinds of creative types. If you’re primarily studying at the Pratt Manhattan Campus, why not explore the endless array of art galleries in Chelsea and SoHo or the captivating modern architecture near the High Line and Hudson Yards. If you’d like to be more adventurous head uptown towards the Museum of Natural History on the west side or the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the east side.

As a Pratt student you get free or reduced entrance into a variety of museums throughout the city including the Guggenheim, MOMA, The Whitney and the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) to a name a few. If you’re studying at Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, be assured there are just as many wonderful landmarks, galleries, and museums to visit. Including the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum. To learn more about the wide array of resources and activities available to students at Pratt Institute: Student Life. 

There is something truly unique about taking classes during the summer at Pratt Institute. It maybe the long warm days, the beauty of the New York City during the summer, or the plethora of activities and resources available to students at both the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses. Maybe it’s the energy of Clinton Hill and the adjacent neighborhoods surrounding the Brooklyn campus or the vibrancy of Union Square just steps away from the Manhattan campus.  It could be a combination of all of these things that make studying at Pratt during the summer such a distinctive educational experience.  If you are a current college student, a high school student or a working professional who is on the fence about whether to enroll or register in  one of our summer programs we urge you to seize this  opportunity to study in New York City this summer at Pratt. The rewards from such an experience could prove to be immeasurable.