College Arts Access Program

With thanks to Chicago Public Schools and the support of a generous gift from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, SAIC offers the College Arts Access Program (CAAP), a three-year college bridge program for students dedicated to studying art and design. CAAP prepares CPS high schoolers with the skills and preparation needed for success at SAIC or any post-secondary institution. Students accepted into CAAP complete SAIC's Early College Program courses and program tuition, art supplies, transportation, and meal costs are covered. CAAP students who apply and are accepted into SAIC's undergraduate program are eligible for special scholarships and campus jobs.

Watch this informational video to learn more about SAIC's College Arts Access Program!

Interested in seeing CAAP student work? Check out the CAAP 2021 final exhibition site.

Two students walking around a gallery.

Academic Support

CAAP provides academic workshops that strengthen students’ work and study habits, reading, writing, and communication skills. Field trips, visiting artist presentations, and other extracurricular activities will add to the experience and encourage academic excellence.

Advising session in work space


Students work closely with a staff advisor throughout the program. The advisor will provide a single point of contact for questions and support and will help students to select elective coursework that relates to their interests and goals.

A large group of students sitting at a table together.


SAIC undergraduate students with proven leadership skills serve as role models and mentors for CPS students interested in following similar paths. Each mentor is matched with a small group of CAAP students, and they will work together for multiple semesters. Through continued dialogue and interaction, the advisors and mentors will fortify students’ commitment to the program and their work.

Faculty and student review content on computer monitor

Financial Support

Holistic financial support is an integral part of this program. Funds are allocated for art supplies, transportation to and from all classes and events, and a meal plan. Students and their families will have access to financial services advisors to guide them through the college application process. Parents and guardians will have the option to attend workshops/webinars that provide information about scholarships, grants, and financial aid applications.

Contact Us

Continuing Studies staff members are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. CT at 312.629.6170 or to answer your questions. We are here to help!