Jul 16, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Learning at RMCAD + The Multi-Platform Experience

RMCAD offers classes year-round in both on-campus and online delivery formats. At RMCAD, we believe that online learning is an important part of the overall college learning experience. To provide students multiple scheduling options, diverse learning modalities, and experience in the virtual environment, all on-campus students are required to take part in online education.

In our commitment to provide an innovative curriculum and a fresh approach to learning, RMCAD offers the Multi-platform Learning Experience. This system offers the best of online and on-campus course delivery. The Multi-platform Learning Experience provides efficiency, affordability, career preparation and innovation to RMCAD students.

Classes taken on campus are studio-intensive and utilize the hands-on approach and fluidity of the traditional classroom. Courses taken online provide an immersive, media-rich, and interactive experience. Campus students may elect to take courses offered online when offered.

Overview of Online Learning Environment

RMCAD’s online learning platform was built from the ground up with a focus on the learning styles that are unique to art and design. RMCAD’s online classes offer a visually rich media experience that includes instructor demonstrations, video lectures, written and audio critiques, whiteboard functionality, online discussions, and one-on-one instruction in addition to group reviews.

Online courses and programs deliver the same curriculum, learning goals/objectives, and interactive experiences as on-campus courses. The online learning experience has been carefully developed by a team of faculty members, instructional designers, multimedia designers, and assessment professionals. Student success and quality curriculum standards are the guiding principles for our online learning philosophy.

All of RMCAD’s courses, no matter what the delivery method, are taught by faculty who are academically credentialed and highly trained in their disciplines. Online courses may be taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus courses.

All RMCAD curriculum, including online, is regularly updated to stay current with industry trends and technology. RMCAD’s online help desk, RMCADGO, is available to assist students with logging into classes, posting discussion comments, submitting homework, and any other technical issues.

Verification of Student Identity in Online Learning

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design operates in compliance with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning the verification of student identity in distance education.

All credit-bearing courses and programs offered through distance education methods must verify that the student who registers for a distance education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives academic credit. According to the HEOA, one or more of the following methods must be used:

  • An individual secure login and password issued by the College
  • Proctored examinations, and/or
  • Other technologies or practices that are effective in verifying student identification. (These practices include phone/Skype check-ins and portfolio review sessions.)

Any online student work, assessments or activities that are graded or contribute to a student’s grade must be submitted via a system that verifies the student’s identity as noted above.

All methods of verifying student identity in distance education must protect the privacy of student information. If any fees associated with the verification of student identity will be charged to students, they will be so indicated in the online catalog and on the “Tuition and Fees” website. Secure Login and Password: Each RMCAD student is assigned a unique username and password to log into the College’s learning management system. Students are responsible for providing their complete and true identity information in any identification verification process.


All users of the College’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of usernames, passwords, and other access credentials as required. An account is given to an individual for the exclusive use by that individual. Attempting to discover another user’s password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person’s files or mail is prohibited. It is against College policy for a user to give someone his or her password or allow others to use his or her account. Users are responsible for any and all users of their account. Users are responsible for all activity on their accounts.


Faculty teaching courses through distance education methods hold primary responsibility for ensuring that students comply with the College’s identity verification policy. As technology and personal accountability are not absolute in determining a student’s identity, faculty members are encouraged to use assignments and evaluations that support academic integrity.


Failure of students to comply with this agreement/policy will be addressed through the College’s Policy on Academic Integrity and the Conduct System as noted in the College’s Code of Conduct . If warranted, a student’s failure to comply will result in termination of access to College technology resources. Failure to comply may also be a violation of civil/criminal law and may cause the violator to be subject to applicable penalties.

Hardware + Software Requirements for Online Courses

As student success is of the utmost importance, RMCAD has set degree specific technology requirements. The most current technology requirements by degree program are listed in the Course Materials section on our website. Please use these requirements as a guide when purchasing the hardware for your degree program.

Students are charged a technology fee, which includes access to specific applicable software for their degree. The school does not provide some of the program specific software; students are required to purchase this software on their own. New students are given access to provided software during the week after the term’s add/ drop period has ended. An email will be sent to new students with instructions on downloading their software. If you have any questions about the software, please email spectrum@rmcad.edu.

If you have any questions about the software, including the Adobe renewal process, please email spectrum@rmcad.edu or stop by Spectrum on campus and speak with the manager.

Software Support:

RMCAD’s online help desk, RMCADGO

Students in online/hybrid programs must have a computer that allows for access to our Learning Management System (LMS) and corresponding materials, and with sufficient memory and hard drive capacity to upload and download multimedia files. Students must also have regular access to high-speed Internet connection.

Please reference the Course Materials site for specific hardware recommendations.

A list of necessary software is available to students from RMCAD and is listed by degree program at www.rmcad.edu. The different software components based on program are essential to supporting coursework completion. Laptops and other degree-specific hardware are excluded. RMCAD provides a list of minimum required technology specifics to students during the admissions process.


Students enrolled in the Photography BFA Program will be required to purchase an entry level Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) or Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC) and 2 head studio strobe light kit. There are many options at a variety of price points. The following lists provide recommended equipment for appropriate models of camera and light kits.

Entry Level DSLR/MILC Model Recommendations

  • Canon EOS Rebel Series with 18-55mm (T7i)
  • Nikon XXXX with 16-55mm (ei. 3200, 7200, etc.)
  • Sony Alpha (A) Series with 16-50mm Lens (Mirrorless a73, a6000)
  • Olympus OM-D Series with 12-40mm Lens (Mirrorless OM-D E-M10, OM-D E-M5)

Lighting Kit Brand Recommendations

  • Elinchrom Studio Strobe Kits (4/4 Softbox to Go Kit)
  • Paul C. Buff Alien Bees Studio Strobe Kits
  • Godox Studio Strobe Kits
  • Adorama Flashpoint Studio Strobe Kits
  • Profoto Studio Strobe Kits

Students enrolled in the Fashion BFA Program are required to have the appropriate technical equipment, which is covered through student fees. Please see Tuition and Fees  for further information.


(updated April 2021)

Students enrolled in the Music Production BFA are required to have the appropriate technical equipment, which is covered through student fees. Please see Tuition and Fees for further information.


Books + Supplies for Online+ On-Campus Courses

All students are required to purchase required textbooks and to furnish their own art supplies and materials for the completion of each course. The on-campus store, Spectrum, carries the majority of supplies necessary for classes. The RMCAD textbook information is available in each course description in the Course Descriptions  section of the Academic Catalog.

The faculty instructor provides students with the required supplies for each course via email the week prior to class start date. Basic supply information is included in course descriptions for many courses. Materials may vary depending on the instructor, make sure to check with your professor before purchasing.

Students are expected to purchase books and supplies and have them available by the date the term begins in order to participate in the course learning activities and to complete course assignments.

Student Communication

All enrolled students receive an assigned RMCAD email account before the start of the term. RMCAD news and important updates will be sent to this email address.

All RMCAD communication between students, faculty and staff must occur through assigned RMCAD e-mail.

All students are required to authorize RMCAD to send SMS (text) messages to their mobile phone number on file. Students who do not wish to receive SMS communication must specify by opting out.

State Authorization

RMCAD is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and is allowed to offer distance education in states other than Colorado through this membership. Refer to SARA’s website for a current list of participating states at: http://www.nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions. SARA only applies to distance education offered across state lines.

SARA also acts as a consumer protection agency when complaints arise regarding an institution’s distance learning outside of Colorado. Complaints regarding an institution’s actions regarding distance learning in states other than Colorado must first be brought to the attention of the institution. If a resolution is not reached, the complaint can be appealed to the Colorado state portal site for SARA within two years from the date that the initial complaint was made to the institution.

Colorado’s SARA portal can be found at http://highered.colorado.gov/Academics/SARA/. SARA only addresses distance learning with states outside of Colorado; SARA does not resolve complaints about grades or conduct violations.


Registration of Out of State Institution

The State of California established the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic loss suffered by a student in an educational program at a qualifying institution, who is or was a California resident while enrolled, or was enrolled in a residency program, if the student enrolled in the institution, prepaid tuition, and suffered an economic loss. Unless relieved of the obligation to do so, you must pay the state imposed assessment for the STRF, or it must be paid on your behalf, if you are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of your tuition.

You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if you are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program.

It is important that you keep copies of your enrollment agreement, financial aid documents, receipts, or any other information that documents the amount paid to the school. Questions regarding the STRF may be directed to the Bureau for Private Post-secondary Education, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, (916) 431-6959 or (888) 370-7589.

To be eligible for STRF, you must be a California resident or are enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid or deemed to have paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following:

  1. The institution, a location of the institution, or an educational program offered by the institution was closed or discontinued, and you did not choose to participate in a teach out plan approved by the Bureau or did not complete a chosen teach out plan approved by the Bureau.
  2. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution within the 120-day period before the closure of the institution or location of the institution or were enrolled in an educational program within the 120-day period before the program was discontinued.
  3. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution more than 120 days before the closure of the institution or location of the institution, in an educational program offered by the institution as to which the Bureau determined there was a· significant decline in the quality or value of the program more than 120 days before closure.
  4. The institution has been ordered to pay a refund by the Bureau but has failed to do so.
  5. The institution has failed to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federal student loan program as required by law or has failed to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the institution in excess of tuition and other costs.
  6. You have been awarded restitution, a refund, or other monetary award by an arbitrator or court, based on a violation of this chapter by an institution or representative of an institution, but have been unable to collect the award from the institution.
  7. You sought legal counsel that resulted in the cancellation of one or more of your student loans and have an invoice for services rendered and evidence of the cancellation of the student loan or loans.

To qualify for STRF reimbursement, the application must be received within four (4) years from the date of the action or event that made the student eligible for recovery from STRF.

A student whose loan is revived by a loan holder or debt collector after a period of non-collection may, at any time, file a written application for recovery from STRF for the debt that would have otherwise been eligible for recovery. If it has been more than four (4) years since the action or event that made the student eligible, the student must have filed a written application for recovery within the original four (4) year period, unless the period has been extended by another act of law.

However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number.