Kim Cook is a senior Illustration student here at PCA&D. Kim is originally from Bensalem, PA and graduated from Bucks County Technical High School. She found out about PCA&D while in high school but knew that finances were a top factor in her path to higher education. She started her studies at Bucks County Community College (BCCC) with the goal of getting her Associates Degree while on the path to PCA&D through a 2 + 2 transfer agreement.
We have a feeling that some of you are asking, "What's a 2 + 2 transfer agreement?" Good question. Our 2 + 2 agreements allow students to declare that they intend to enroll at PCA&D after they obtain their associate degrees in specific majors at partner community colleges (Associates Degrees usually take two years of full-time coursework to complete). Students then spend an additional two years (full-time) to complete their Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at PCA&D.
Let's learn more about Kim's journey through our 2 + 2 transfer agreement with BCCC!
When did you decide art was what you wanted to pursue in college?
KC: I always enjoyed drawing, and anything to do with art, from an early age. I definitely didn’t know what I was doing, but I always had fun. I didn’t think much about pursuing a college degree because I never thought I could afford it. It wasn’t until the end of high school that I realized my local community college offered an affordable Associates Degree program for Graphic Design and Fine Art.
How did you find out about PCA&D?
KC: Since I went to Bucks County Technical High School (BCTHS) and majored in the Commercial Arts program, I knew a few other students who were planning on attending PCA&D. Even though I couldn’t imagine being able to go away to college at the time, I kept PCA&D in my mind for the future and through community college took a path that would allow me to transfer as a junior.
What made you decide to transfer to PCA&D?
KC: During my time at community college, I was given a list of all the art colleges that took my community college credits and I looked around and compared different schools to see all of my options. A lot of colleges only accepted a certain amount of credits, not the full Associates Degree. I was tremendously lucky as PCA&D had a 2 + 2 transfer agreement in my intended major with BCCC! It gave me another reason to make PCA&D my final choice! I know most other transfer students do not receive this amazing opportunity, but I can also say that a mere two years at PCA&D feels like not enough!
Other factors that went into my decision were the less expensive tuition, stories I heard from other PCA&D students, the student to teacher ratios, and all the job success rates and stories from alumni listed on the PCA&D website. Finally, a major factor for me was PCA&D’s priority to teach students the business side of being artists and designers, and how to actually obtain a career in art after college.
What was the hardest thing about transferring to a new college?
KC: I would say adjusting to the new lifestyle. I personally had a hard time getting used to being on my own. Luckily, I made some friends along the way and PCA&D has quickly become like a second home.
What was the easiest thing about transferring to PCA&D?
KC: I think the easiest thing for me was being able to talk to the PCA&D staff and teachers, that made every step easier.
What has been one of your favorite things about attending PCA&D?
KC: I love all the PCA&D events and activities, and more importantly, the community within PCA&D that is so supportive and engaging! When I transferred, it felt like I entered a whole new world. I loved meeting other illustration majors. I was amazed by the daily artist talks and gallery showings. It was monumentally different from my community college experience. I’ve also loved becoming apart of Society of Illustrators at PCA&D.
How easy or hard was it to make new friends at PCA&D?
KC: It has been a great experience for me meeting many fellow weirdos who share similar traits and creative interests. It’s also exciting to learn from them and have their support - presently and in the future.
How was your experience transitioning into life in Lancaster City? What are some of your favorite things about Lancaster?
KC: Moving to the city was very exciting. I have loved being in Lancaster City and exploring new places. I like that there are so many small businesses as well as art galleries in walking distance. Also, Lancaster Cupcake has been my personal hot-spot.
Tell us about your PCA&D faculty.
KC: The PCA&D faculty have been very nice and helpful through my college experience. I never have to hesitate to ask questions or have important discussions with my professors and advisors. Shout out to Christina Hess for being an amazing Illustration Chair, and Linda Brown in Liberal Arts!
What are some of your goals once you graduate from PCA&D with your BFA degree?
KC: I’d love to be a children’s book illustrator or work for an animation studio as a background painter. Initially I think I would love to spend more time working on my portfolio and just taking the time to improve my art that could help lead me to jobs in the future.
We have some of Kim's work we are excited to share with you.