A distinctive part of every new MECA student’s education is FY-In, our innovative first-year seminar. This required course involves studio work, academic research, and involvement with a community partner. Its intent is to fully immerse you in art and design, to involve you in the MECA and Portland communities, and to place your creative efforts into a real-world context. FY-In teaches the critical importance of combining research and practice, and serves as an introduction to collaborating with other students and with a community partner. Students read, write, research, make art, and discuss and critique work while pursuing projects specific to their section. The course is required of all first-year students.

FY-in classes work closely with local organizations like Cultivating Community and SPACE Gallery. Students, faculty and community partners identify a need and FY-In addresses that need, allowing students to creatively solve real-world issues with the community partner.

FY-In is also the starting point for MECA’s mentoring program. MECA values mentoring and aspires to be a leader in mentoring and advising. MECA’s mentorship program replaces the traditional faculty advising model found at most colleges. Every student at MECA has a mentor who helps them navigate through college and beyond. Your FY-In instructor is your mentor for at least the first semester and will help you find a new mentor as you get to know other faculty, staff and alumni.

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