The University of Michigan Architecture Preparatory Program (ArcPrep) provides Detroit Public School juniors with an immersive, semester-long college preparatory course in architecture, urbanism and studio design. Meeting three hours per day, five days a week over the course of a semester, U-M ArcPrep works to broaden career horizons, meet future demand, and bring diverse voices into the fields of architecture, planning and design by serving students typically underrepresented in American architecture schools and thus the profession of architecture.
During this semester, students engage in a rigorous academic program that introduces fundamental studio design tools. The course strengthens participants’ ability to translate observations about the world into visual and spatial language and, through a spatial justice lens, works to expand students’ sense of agency in the built environment. Students receive instruction through a series of thematic, interrelated modules structured to deliver fundamental design and research methodologies, offer techniques for critical analysis, shed light on the profession and its affiliate fields, and demonstrate pathways to design education.
Under the directorship of Anya Sirota, Associate Dean of Academic Initiatives, ArcPrep is led by Michigan Mellon design fellows and supplemented by an educational ecosystem composed of Taubman College faculty and a range of scholars from the University of Michigan. Additionally, the program is strengthened through its Detroit partnerships, bringing leading design firms, community advocates, artists, and civic leaders into the classroom.
The program is supported by Taubman College, U-M’s School of Education, and the Detroit Community Public School Department. Funding support was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
Visit the Taubman College ArcPrep page to learn more information about the program.