Minutes of October 8, 2007
3 p.m., Holmes Student Center – HSC 505

Present: Alden, Anderson, Bond (for Bose), Cassidy, Fox, Freedman, Gay, Gorman, Gough, House, Jeris, Marcellus, Marsh, Molnar, Prawitz, Reynolds, Singh

Guests: Doug Boughton, Division Head, Art Education, School of Art; Carolinda Douglass, Director, Assessment Services; Rich Holly, Interim Chair, School of Art and Associate Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts; Harold Kafer, Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts: Mary Quinlan, Division Head, Art History, School of Art

The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m. It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of September 24, 2007, and the motion passed unanimously.

Harold Kafer, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts; Rich Holly, Interim Chair of the School of Art and Associate Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts; Doug Boughton, Division Head of Art Education in the School of Art; and Mary Quinlan, Division Head of Art History in the School of Art were introduced.

There are seven different degrees in the School of Art that will be discussed by the APC members. There will be two meetings to discuss these seven degree programs. The departmental context, B.S. in Art History, B.S.Ed. in Art Education, and M.S. in Art will be discussed at today’s meeting. The remaining degrees in the School of Art will be discussed on November 5.

Kafer provided some introductory remarks regarding the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Art. There are five units and three schools in the college. The college houses the NIU Art Museum and has a large external programming division, which also administers the Community School of the Arts, summer camps, and recruitment related activities. These programs have a large impact on graduate and undergraduate education. NIU’s art education program is one of the largest teacher preparation programs in the state. Holly added that the former director of the School of Art left NIU in August, and this is when he became involved in the process. There were six different authors who worked on the program review document, but one person will oversee the final document. College wide we have been very pleased with the subcommittee and their approach to the entire process.

Prawitz presented the subcommittee report for the departmental context, B.S. in Art History, B.S.Ed. in Art Education, and M.S. in Art. The programs are in good shape, it is the report itself that the subcommittee had some input on.

Strengths of the school include the large number and variety of visual and textual resources in the library; the various outreach activities for people in the community, including the Saturday classes for children that provides a venue for art education students to get some professional experiences; and the study abroad opportunities, the visiting arts program, and the scholar program. How many students are engaged in study abroad and are there particular venues they visit? The school has a long history of summer abroad opportunities in Rome and Milan. There has also been a program in Malaysia, and this is the second year that the school has offered a program at one of the major design centers in Poland. Another strength of the school is the faculty productivity. The interdisciplinary Certificate of Graduate Study in Museum Studies and the redesign of the art history curriculum are both excellent effective practices.

The school distributed the students in ARTH 282 (The World of Art) across all the sections. There are approximate 1,300 students each year who take this general education course, which is team taught. Every two weeks a segment is taught by an expert on the topic being discussed. All sections have the same test and paper requirements. The College of Art Association recognized this curriculum restructuring with an award. It was noted that all of this information should be included in the report.

The faculty member who ran the Certificate of Graduate Study in Museum Studies left the university, but most of the courses are currently being taught. This certificate is offered in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and several faculty members are on board with the cross-disciplinary approach. Last year the College of Education was brought into the picture; Amy Levin is directing the program. When this program was started, the thought was that there would be 10-12 students per year but now there are over 30 students per year. It was noted that there should be more information in the report on this certificate; describe the interdisciplinary nature of it, where it draws its majors from, how it is assessed, etc.

The areas for improvement include the ongoing water leakage problems at the Pleasant Street studio facility. The landlord has informed the school that the roof has been fixed, but there has not been a good rain since he told us this. The undergraduate advisor/coordinator of teacher certificate is overloaded. When necessary, the assistant director of the school will assist with academic advising and the school also has two to three peer advisors as well. This is still really not enough. Down the road the school may be able to shift some funds to address this situation. There are additional policy areas of the Illinois Commitment that the department serves, and these should be included in the report.

The final report should have consecutive page numbers. Specific details about how students are engaged in active learning is needed in the review. Also, the report should include a better description about how the enhancement of technology in the department improved faculty/student interaction.

The APC turned to the review of the B.A. in Art History program. The program does serve an enormous number of general education students, and this is a huge contribution to the university.
Discussion points include the fact that the program does prepare graduates for further study, which leads to employment opportunities. The issue is not that graduates don’t get jobs; they don’t get jobs as art historians. It is not clear how long it takes a major to graduate. Do your students enter the program as juniors or freshmen? Most students do not enter this program as freshmen. One reason is that students have not been exposed to art history because high schools do not offer this program. After students take some art history courses, they may find out that this is where their passion lies and then they change majors. Some of our students come from history and anthropology too. Most of what these students have taken will transfer over. Some students don’t decide until the end of their junior year to enter this program, and this would cause a delay in graduation. This program does not attract community college students, but there are some transfer students in the program. These students come to NIU and take a course and realize this is the program they like and then change their major. It is difficult for these students because the course work is sequential, and it will probably take them more than two years to finish. In many ways these students are freshmen in our eyes. Some of these students have been taught by our master’s students who teach at community colleges and recommend the program, but this is a small number.

Comparisons to other programs are not included in the report. The program provided this information to the subcommittee, and it will be in the final report. Student learning outcomes are not measurable, and this needs to be addressed in the planned program changes section of the document. Talk about what the students will be able to do. The faculty are currently working on assessment. The statement in the table that “student teaching experience for all majors,” should be removed from the table since the art history program is not a certification program. Also, the table should be moved to the internal benchmarking section of the review.

Recommendations for the future are to include the data that supports the program’s contribution to general education. The contribution to general education made by the art history faculty is an important one and sometimes this service gets lost in the review of degree programs. This information should be moved to the departmental section of the report. The student learning outcomes need to be reworded so they are measurable. You state that most graduates of the program do not go on to graduate school, and in the M.A. in Art program section of the review you state that the school is trying to increase numbers. Would it be feasible to groom and recruit your own art history graduates to the graduate program while they are undergraduates in the art history program?

The APC members turned to the discussion of the B.S.Ed. in Art Education program. Excellent assessment tools are utilized by the program, including portfolio reviews, assessment of student teachers by cooperating teachers, capstone project reviews, and pass rates for standardized tests, and this is a program strength.

Discussion points are that there are three different sets of learning outcomes. The program should choose the set is prefers, which is likely the one you need for accreditation. As in the previous program, the narrative and table in the internal benchmarking section should match. Also, the table needs to be moved to the internal benchmarking section of the report. The comparisons to other programs data should be added to the document, and more narrative is need to describe the program areas needing improvement

The M.S. in Art with a specialization in art education program strength is that it utilizes excellent assessment tools. There are two sets of learning objectives that need to be narrowed down to one set.

One of the discussion points is the placement rate for art teachers. How does the placement rate for graduates of the M.S. in Art program differ from that of the undergraduate program? There are currently seven students in the program and five of them are teachers. The numbers are so small it is hard to say anything about them. Generally these students are already certified teachers. Other discussion points are similar to what has previously been discussed with the other programs.

The recommendation for the future is that the areas needing improvement section needs more detailed information. Also, the program should work on the assessment and learning outcomes and talk about how each one is assessed.

The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn A. Cradduck