Creative Action Integrated Learning

Creative Action is an integrated learning program that introduces students to compelling social and environmental issues within their community through a series of core courses.

We partner with local and international community organizations to identify and solve real-world environmental problems and social issues. In a project-based course, you’ll engage your research, leadership, and collaboration skills with a multidisciplinary team of classmates.

Some offerings are travel-study based, like our recent trip to Blantyre, Malawi to work with the staff, faculty, and students of the Jacaranda School for Orphans, which provides free food, education, and medicine to children that have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Other courses involve local communities, such as a recent project with the Exceptional Children’s Foundation in Inglewood, CA where students collaborated with developmentally disabled adults in the creation of an exhibition of work at the DAC gallery in downtown Los Angeles.

Art and design fields are increasingly being called upon to address nontraditional, complex projects and issues. Our program provides every student with academic experiences that contextualize the multidisciplinary nature of the modern workplace through collaborative teamwork and community engagement.


This signature program offers project-based courses that match multidisciplinary teams of students with local and international community partners. Creative Action courses will introduce you to pressing environmental and social issues through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Through research, leadership, and collaboration, you will focus your creativity on real-world problems. These skills are essential to your career as an artist or designer.


Recent Community Partners

African American Museum

Breathe LA

City of El Segundo

CSPG (Center for the Study of Political Graphics

Custom Hotel

Da Vinci Design School

FilmAid International

Global Green International

Hape Toys

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Homeboys Industries


LA Cultural Affairs Department

La Tijera Elementary (Installing outcomes)

LAX Airport

Loyola Village Elementary

Loyola/LA planning group and Bill Rosendahl’s office

Museum of Tolerance

Otis Alumni Relation Office

Richard Riordan Center Library

Santa Monica Aquarium

Solano Community Garden

Surfrider Foundation: Rise Above Plastics

The Republic of Palau

Urban Compass

Westchester Senior Center

Westside Leadership Magnet School



Through collaborative projects, students learn to:

  • Use trans-disciplinary problem-solving skills, working as a team to conceptualize, analyze and define issues and solutions
  • Negotiate diverse public spheres
  • Plan and propose creative solutions for a specific context, informed by engagement with a community group, and when possible, implement projects
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams

Learn more about undergraduate degrees offered by Otis in our view book. Open with Page Viewer or Download (PDF).