leading art and design school encourages students to discover their potential at open day

Students hoping to be the next Alexander McQueen, Mario Testino or Antony Gormley can check out the latest courses on offer as a leading regional art and design college opens its doors.

Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) – the only college awarded ‘outstanding’ in the Tees Valley by Ofsted – is seeking the next generation of fashion designers, photographers and illustrators, with an open day later this week to promote its diverse range of creative courses.

The north east specialist college is hosting the open day on 19 November from 10am until 2pm and inviting the potential young artists and designers and their families to visit the college’s further education (FE) campus on Green Lane in Middlesbrough to view its courses and facilities.

As it gets closer to decision time for young students looking to take the next step into further education, staff from the college will be on hand to help prospective students make the best choice. Courses include A-levels, foundation diploma, access to Higher Education and BTEC Extended Diplomas in subjects such Costume, Jewellery and Interior Accessories, Fashion, Interior, Architecture and Product (3D), Textiles and Interactive Media.

Guests can take part in tours of the teaching and student facilities – including dedicated studios and workshops – allowing opportunities to see a range of student work and gain a deeper insight into how the top performing college sends the highest percentage of students on to university in the Tees Valley. There will also be a drawing wall in the College’s atrium for students to get creative on

Student ambassadors will be available to give an experienced view of the college, the courses and life at the art institution, as well as the student services and student recruitment teams who can provide information and advice on finance, travel, application processes and other support services.

CCAD has maintained its record of a 100 per cent BTEC pass rate for more than 11 successive years. 66 percent of its BTEC Extended Diploma students gained a triple distinction (DDD) or above, which is the equivalent of three As at A-Level, an increase of three percent on last year.

Among the outstanding results revealed at the campus on Green Lane this year are the BTEC Extended Diplomas in Fashion and Textiles, which saw 75 percent of its students achieve DDD or above, and Graphics, where 73 percent of its students achieved a triple distinction or higher.

CCAD provides a successful foundation for students to progress to higher education. Former students have gone on to further study at prominent academic institutions in art and design, including Roisin Mennell from Guisborough. The 18-year-old completed her BTEC Extended Diploma in Textiles in 2016, and is now studying fashion promotion at Ravensbourne in London

She said: “This course gave me the opportunity to just concentrate on textiles, applying the theory to practice and application and fully immersing myself in the whole creative process in preparation for university. It’s just brilliant to have all the work together here at the show. To be able to look back on the whole time I have been here at CCAD, it’s just sums up everything.”

19-year-old Elise Walker from Stockton left CCAD in 2016 with a BTEC Extended Diploma in Fashion and Textiles and is now studying fashion buying and merchandise at Manchester Metropolitan University. She said: “I have always wanted to do fashion and came to open day at CCAD. I would recommend this course to anyone considering a career in fashion, and it is great how much you learn about design on the course.”

One of the few remaining specialist art colleges in the country, CCAD offers a unique, creative environment in which to develop a successful career in art and design, working with leading industry organisations such as the British Institute of Professional Photography and Paul Windle Creative Art Studio, the studio of choice for Warner Bros and Disney. A regular programme of guest lectures from creative artists such as Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate for England and Will Simpson, concept and storyboard artist for Game of Thrones, provides vital industry insights and shapes the course curriculum to keep it up to the latest industry standards.

CCAD’s FE alumni include Curtis Jobling, designer of Bob the Builder, Claire Barrow, women’s wear fashion designer whose designs have been worn by Rihanna, acclaimed artist Mackenzie Thorpe, and Danny Lowe and Ben Benoliel, both highly regarded fashion photographers.

Pat Chapman, Head of Employability and External Relations at CCAD, said: “Making the right choice of both college and course is essential for any potential student, which is why we encourage everyone interested in art and design to come and visit CCAD and see for themselves where it can take them. A specialist college such as ours can offer the best possible chance for a career in art or design and all within a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.”

Students can go on to study for a degree within the college, as CCAD offers its unique specialist teaching at its university-level campus in Hartlepool, where a wide range of degree subjects are available.