Dear Parent or Guardian:


Welcome to the CIA community!  This is such an exciting time for you and your student as one chapter closes and another opens.  This coming year will be yet another step on the road to achieving their personal and professional goals.  I hope that you will consider us partners as we help, support, encourage, cajole, and otherwise accompany your student along this road.  As you read my comments, please realize that while I might not describe your particular situation, I think you’ll understand the gist of my intent.


First thing is first, it’s all about you!  Things will change around your home once your student begins classes.  This might be especially true if they are the first or in my case (the last!) of your offspring going away to college.  And if your student is still living at home and commuting, their role within your family will change. In all cases, there will likely be a sense of a lost presence on a daily basis.  Younger siblings may react in a variety of ways, and you may have an opportunity to change your relationship with your student.  Give them a chance to reach out to you and talk about what they are experiencing.  Sometimes listening is so much more important than talking.


Help them discover how they can meet any new challenges rather than give them the answers.  Your home is likely still “home base” for them.  They are becoming different and need your understanding as they evolve.  Give them a safe haven that’s familiar.


Now, about the students!  Studying art is all encompassing with long days and late nights.  They will spend a lot of time figuring out how to manage their time with classes, studying, and homework.  Of course, they will also make new friends, eat, for some do laundry or learn how to do it, explore, and have some fun!  The balance is a challenging task for some and easier for others.


You may get the phone call that includes “Everyone here is better than I am” or “Maybe I’ve made a mistake coming here.”  I’ve been in higher education for 31 years and have heard that at every institution at which I’ve worked.  Your progeny was recognized as having the talent to do well here, and that’s why they were admitted.  They are now in an environment where everyone has the same or higher level of artistic ability.  They can do it!  If it were easy, everyone would be here, but they’re not.  Starting out at a new place in a field where there are regular critiques of the work is tough. But we “know our breed of cat” so to speak, and we are here to help them maintain their confidence and keep them in the game.  The Foundation faculty have years of experience in helping students adjust and we work closely with them.


Encourage your student to find someone on campus with whom they feel comfortable.  We in Student Affairs spend our days (and sometimes evenings) listening, boosting, caring, supporting, and sometimes just sitting with students.  We’re a small school and use this to our advantage in that we work hard to ensure that students don’t fall through the cracks.  We have many safety nets, so suggest that they not brave it alone to prove a point, but rather reach out for assistance.  That’s why we are here.

I encourage you to have a good conversation with your student well before they are all packed and ready to arrive on campus.  Let them know your expectations and concerns, listen to theirs, and try to come to some common understandings.  This could avoid some surprises later.


I hope that this sharing was helpful.  If you were already aware of these issues, all the better.  If some were new, I hope that my comments will be helpful as the year unfolds. The bottom line is that we care about your student as a person and as an artist, and will do what we can to help them adjust and thrive at CIA.

I welcome your thoughts. 

Enjoy the summer, and I’ll look forward to meeting you at the August Orientation program.

Jesse Grant, PhD

Dean of Student Affairs

Join Dr. Matthew Smith as he discusses all matters of a student's experience at CIA. From Critiques to campus programming, Dr. Smith hosts great conversations that are meant to inform parents and spark meaningful conversations between you and your students! Available anywhere you find your podcasts (Apple, Spotify, and Google Play) or just click the image for all of the episodes!  

CIA parentpod logo

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CIA has a weekly email that we send to parents to keep them up to date on what is happening on campus!

Sign up to receive the Weekly Parent Email 

July 15th: Tuition payment is due

August 18th: First-year student move-in

August 23rd: First day of classes!

View more information on CIA's Academic Calendar.

Below is a list of "How To" videos regarding Financial Aid and understanding your bill. If you have questions, please reach out to either or

A Munchie Bag is a reusable CIA tote* filled with TONS of goodies including snack foods, quick meals, and drinks! Students will receive an email Monday, December 4, 2023 asking them to stop by Student Life and Housing to pick up a surprise package during finals week. The cost of a Munchie Bag is $40.
Deadline to order was Sunday, November 26, 2023.
All proceeds benefit the Community Outreach Team’s Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans, Louisiana.


The Traditional Munchie Bag will include snacks like Kellogg's Cereal, Fruit Snacks, Easy Mac, Popcorn, Applesauce, Granola Bars, Crystal Light, Assorted Candy, Goldfish, Hunt’s Snack Packs, Campbell's Soup, and much more!

CIA is only able to meet one dietary restriction per bag. All bags are tree nut and legume free, however, we cannot certify that all items are made in a nut free facility. 

This year we are offering 4 additional versions of the Traditional Munchie Bag.

  • The Vegan Munchie Bag: filled with all vegan snacks. 
  • The Vegetarian Munchie Bag: filled with the same items as the Traditional bag minus any meat products.
  • The Gluten Free Munchie Bag: filled with items that are gluten free.
  • The Lactose Free Munchie Bag: filled with items that are lactose free.  

The stART program has officially opened!!  Students should have received an email with instructions on how to log into stART. 

Here are some upcoming dates!

Summer StART Presentations

6/7 Welcome to StART!! 7:00 pm (Students and Families)

Andrea has been at CIA for 2 years as a Graduate Student and now as our Associate Director of Student Life and Campus Engagement. She not only works to help students bring great programming to campus, she is in charge of StART, and oversees Orientation. She is a great mentor for many students on campus.  Andrea is hosting our first webinar of the summer for students and parents all about stART! She will introduce students to how to use myCIA and Canvas.

Zoom link:


6/14  Overview of Academic Services 7:00 pm (Students)

Dr. Elisaida Mendez, Director of Academic Services joins the stART team to talk about course evaluation sheets and resources that are available to students to assist in their success at CIA. Topics include disability services, accommodations, study skill development, working with your advisor, and how scheduling for classes happen. 

Zoom Link: 


6/21  Understanding your Bill and Financial AidLinks to an external site. 7:00 pm (Families)

This informational session will go over financial aid and your student account. Topics will include the different types of financial aid, sources of aid, the cost of attendance, your FAFSA, how to generate and read a statement, and how to make a payment. This session is hosted by Caprice Odom (Office of Financial Aid) and Jason Price (Office of Student Accounts).

Zoom link: 


6/28 Housing Q&A 7:00 pm (Students and Families)

Dr. Matthew Smith, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs joins first years and their families to answer any and all questions about living on campus. Topics Dr. Smith will talk about include roommates, what to bring and what NOT to bring, health and safety checks, and the roles RA's play in the hall and in students' lives. 

Zoom Link:


7/5 Roommate Mixer 7:00 pm (Students)

It's almost time for Student Life and Housing to match roommates! If you are interested in meeting other students, stop into the mixer to meet and greet other incoming students....and maybe even find some roommates!

Zoom Link:


7/12 Gund Library 7:00 pm (Students)

The Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library's primary mission is to serve current students and employees at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Learn about all the services the CIA Library has to offer, from accessing library resources to research support or even books for some light reading, the library has it all!

Zoom Link:


7/19 Career Services and Work-Study 7:00 pm (Students and Families)

Director of Career Services, Lauren Conway discusses resumes, internships, careers, and how Career Services is not just for seniors. Additionally, she will discuss work-study and how students look for and secure work-study jobs.

Zoom Link:


7/26 Summer Reading Update 7:00 pm (Students)

Professor Zach Savich will join us to talk about your summer reading and discuss what students study through liberal arts. Topics include writing, research, and art history.

Zoom Link:


8/9 Critique and Foundation Year 7:00 pm (Students)

Join foundation faculty who will talk about critique, foundation year, and the kinds of things students will work on through their first year.

Zoom Link:


8/16 It’s back!!! Orientation Leader BINGO! 7:00 pm (Students)

It's BAAAAACCCK!  By popular demand, the annual online OL BINGO has been a staple for stART. Join our OLs for an evening of fun and win some prizes!

Zoom Link: