Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design


In 1963, Philip J. Steele founded Rocky Mountain School of Art as a private, for-profit institution in the foothills of Colorado.

Already a well-known illustrator and educator himself, Phil wanted to develop an art training program based on the traditional, academic method of drawing and painting that dates back to the Renaissance.

His mission was to make RMCAD a ‘community of creatives’ that would instill in all students a passion for creativity, innovation, and a desire for lifelong learning—both in the fine arts and applied arts. He sought to nurture the individual talents of each student, to integrate critical thinking and analysis into their skills, and to contribute in socially responsible ways to the local, global, and professional communities. 


The RMCAD Purpose is meant to lead and steer the decisions of the College into the future. It provides a road map for stakeholders of how the College will live and achieve its mission. Additionally, it sets goals and plans in accordance with the college’s mission, vision, and values.


  • To deliver an exceptional educational experience.  To grow responsibly with a focus on our student experiences and outcomes. To research and develop proactive and effective support to student success which will prepare students for a multidisciplinary career as well as equip them with business acumen, critical thinking, and technology skills. To promote and strengthen a culture of inclusiveness to support an exceptional learning environment, student success, and an open and united community. To leverage its campus and online resources strategically and promote a culture of institutional accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness and to support continued growth. To strengthen opportunities for employee/faculty professional development, focus on employee/faculty retention, and support its culture impacting its holistic community and the institution’s mission, vision, and values. To strengthen and promote community service and public good as a central pillar to student learning, employee engagement, and the greater RMCAD community. To advance a comprehensive data strategy where data will guide the institution’s decisions making process

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