Higher education often gets a bad rap for being out of touch with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. That’s not the case for Stevens – The Institute of Business & Arts (Siba). In fact, Siba’s Director of Admissions, Sara Dorn, considers the entire square mile that makes up Downtown St. Louis an extension of Siba’s campus.
Siba is a postsecondary school that has been transforming eager students into professional designers, retailers and businesspeople for more than 70 years. Characterized by its small classes (the average size is just nine students), Siba enables more hands-on learning than would be possible in a traditional college or university setting. But for Siba students, hands-on learning goes beyond the confines of their classrooms.
Take Siba’s graphic design students for example. Last March, several aspiring designers collaborated with St. Louis creative marketing agency Elasticity to put their knowledge to use in a professional environment. The challenge? Develop an artistic marketing plan for an existing, well-recognized brand.
From there, it was off to the races. Siba students got their creative juices flowing by developing concepts for a Harley Davidson electric bike and revamping Coca-Cola’s “Frutopia” beverage. Upon completion, the students pitched their concepts to Elasticity’s creative director, Nick Walden.
“We all gained some great experience working as teams as well as creating some very strong portfolio pieces,” said third-year student Brady Schaefer.
Siba isn’t all about right-brain thinking though. Students can often be found at the St. Louis Public Library, which is just steps away from campus. Whether they’re digging through the archives of fashion history or researching rare artwork for inspiration, students take full advantage of this immersive learning resource in the heart of Downtown.
It should come as no surprise that Siba’s Research Methods class isn’t a typical 100-level course. Here, students make use of robust multimedia tools, databases and other technologies while simultaneously getting out of their desks and into the city.
All of the hard work that Siba students put in warrants a celebration every now and then, such as their 70th Anniversary Fashion Production. The one-of-a-kind production in Downtown’s revitalized Garment District was spearheaded by Siba graduate, and now entrepreneur, Jacquelyne Craig.
Siba’s passion for fashion combined with its strong ties to Downtown St. Louis made for a memorable event that showcased the community’s talent.
Siba understands that preparing young professionals for successful, fulfilling careers requires more than tests and textbooks — it requires real-world experience with a personal touch. And what better place to make that happen than in the burgeoning Gateway City? Siba makes it clear that its home in Downtown St. Louis is where the art of business meets the business of the arts.
If you’d like to check out degree programs, get in touch with the admissions team, or read more about how Siba gets involved with the St. Louis community, head over to Siba.edu