Through the strategic initiative to build diversity, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) endeavors to create opportunities for the increased participation of people of all backgrounds in our campus community. In particular, the initiatives below focus on strengthening the bond between the school and the city, allowing the diversity of Chicago to become a greater part of SAIC.


Over the past few years, the Diversity Advisory Group (DAG) and its four subcommittees achieved many of the goals set by the last strategic plan, including the establishment of new staff positions, increased support for diverse issues in teaching, and robust work in building diverse faculty search and prospective student pools. The success of these efforts has also functioned as a reminder of how many more diversity initiatives are still needed. DAG should evaluate its structure and set new goals towards the ongoing mission of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Projected outcomes center around an increased sense of inclusivity for all SAIC constituencies, creating a more collegial and empathetic work environment for faculty and staff, as well as a more rewarding academic environment for students. These improvements will increase retention, increase goodwill, and enhance well-being among all members of the SAIC community.

NEXT: SAIC Strategic Plan

College Arts Access Program‌‌

The College Arts Access Program (CAAP) is a three-year college bridge program that prepares Chicago Public School students interested in pursuing careers in the arts. CAAP's key components include an intensive curriculum based on our Early College Program, academic advising and support, mentorship with SAIC undergraduates, and full financial support. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit and are eligible for special scholarships if they apply and are accepted to SAIC's undergraduate program.

Massey Scholars

The Walter and Shirley Massey Chicago Scholarship Fund‌ provides full tuition to undergraduates who are residents of the City of Chicago. These need-based scholarships are awarded to incoming students and are renewable for all four years of their undergraduate education.

Homan Square

SAIC partners with the Homan Square Foundation to offer art programming, including artist residencies and community art classes at the former Sears Roebuck campus in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood.


The DiversityEdu course serves as a means for all students, staff, and faculty to engage in the topics of identity, the impact of microaggressions, stereotypes, and bias. This required course is as an entry point for us as we continue to engage in learning and creating an affirming and inclusive campus community.  

Changing Cis-tems: Providing Trans* Affirming and Inclusive Services 

This training for staff, faculty and student leaders is provided by the local organization TransLife. The training outlines ways to provide services and support to transgender and gender non-conforming people, in inclusive and life-affirming ways. In this interactive training community members:

  • Learn about the trans community’s Resiliency & Challenges
  • Discover current Research on trans experience
  • Improve confidence in using Terminology & Definitions
  • Discuss Creating a Culture of Inclusion at SAIC