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External Programs

Creativity and innovation are key components of success in today’s dynamic environment of continuous change.

As L.A.’s first independent professional school of art and design founded in 1918, Otis has trained artists and designers who are in the vanguard of Southern California’s cultural and entrepreneurial life. Otis Extension leverages the creative talents of our artistic community to develop and deliver customized innovative programs to match and surpass your needs.

Through External Programs, Extension offers a wide range of creative solutions that serve businesses, educational institutions, and the community. Adult and youth programming includes Workforce Development, Career Technical Education, Corporate Partnerships, Custom Programs, Professional Development, Collaborative Partnerships, and more. Programs are taught by highly qualified instructors that are art and/or design professionals, experts in their fields, as well as skilled art educators.

Custom Corporate Programs 

Looking for ways to spark creative ideas, build a culture of collaboration and camaraderie within your organization, or just have some fun with your employees and colleagues?

We have programs and workshop series focused on creativity, imagination, and innovation that are designed to empower one’s creative thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, while encouraging self-expression and inspiration. Whether one is a creative or analytical thinker, creative thinking enhances one’s ability to brainstorm, work better in teams, and come up with more and better solutions to everyday life and work challenges.  

Custom Corporate Programs

Custom Programs for International Audiences  

International Audiences

Extension offers customized programs for the international community – whether attending as guests on campus here in the United States or at locations abroad. Based on the objectives of the client, we develop customized programming to meet your imaginative, artistic, and skill-based needs. Using Los Angeles as a lab for creativity and ideation or bringing that creativity to your location, our programs are developed to suit each client’s unique needs.

Watch Exploring Creativity, a snapshot of an international program in action.

In the program, Exploring Creativity, Japanese college students experience accessing and embracing their own creativity. By the end of the program, you can see and feel the transformation! We bring students year after year because Otis listens to our objectives and consistently delivers a program that meets our goals.
- Mariko Brause, Idea Resource Systems, Program Partner since 2011

Collaborative Partnerships

Do you have a program or an idea with which you would like to collaborate? Extension has a number of partnerships and alliances with entities in various sectors including non-profit, education, business, international, and government. Some examples of programs include:

  • Providing short courses to youth in underserved communities through local non-profits
  • Collaborating on course offerings with other educational institutions
  • Offering programs to international audiences via liaisons that represent the international entities

Collaborative Partnerships

Professional Development for Educators

Professional Development for Educators

Extension has deep experience in educating educators. Through programs such as the Otis Creativity Program for Teachers, we demonstrate creative approaches that are intended to enhance learning to teacher groups from school districts and/or schools. This creative team-building experience focuses on brainstorming, making a habit of creativity, collaboration, improvisation, and more. Custom designed programs are available in numerous areas such as integrating the arts into curriculum, design thinking approaches to problem solving and ideation, and specific artistic skills to name a few.

Giving back! Otis College Extension offers free tuition to teachers. Through the Teacher Tuition Waiver Program, full-time K-12 teachers from LA County and CTE AME teachers statewide are eligible to waive tuition on most Extension courses. For details, see the Teacher Tuition Waiver One Sheet.

High School Programs

Otis Extension partners with high schools to provide custom workshops and courses. Whether as a part of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs or other areas of study in art and design, our expert instructors provide high-quality art education in a variety of subjects from Architecture to Game Design to Drawing and Composition.

From short workshops to longer dual-enrollment courses for college credit, we can customize courses for every art and design need. Some recent examples include dual-enrollment courses for beginning or advanced students in a CTE Pathway, ten- and twenty-hour workshops, multiple-day experiences such as visits to cultural institutions tied to art-making activities that may include access to Otis labs, and one-day creativity workshops focused on developing skills in brainstorming, making a habit of creativity, collaboration, improvisation. View a case study for the CTE Architecture Pathway Advanced Design Course on Platonic Solids. If you've got an idea, let's work together to shape that idea into a program that meets and surpasses the original vision.

High School Programs

Very good instructor. He connected with us fast and encouraged us to go on. I, in fact did triple the work because I wanted to, and he gave me feedback on all my projects… Honestly amazing class.
- High School Student, Culver City High School CTE Architecture Pathway, 2020


Partial List of Current and Past Partners

  • Beverly Hills Unified School District
  • Center for Early Education
  • Centinela Valley Union High School District
  • City of Santa Monica
  • Community Works Institute
  • Culver City Unified School District
  • Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
  • Idea Resource Systems
  • Jikei Com Group
  • Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Mattel, Inc.
  • PVNet Academy for STEM
  • Skirball Cultural Center
  • SoLa Impact and SoLa I Can! Foundation
  • St. Anastasia Catholic School
  • University of California, Riverside
  • Vita Art Center
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