The Visual Arts Building of Kennesaw State University is at the corner of Bartow Avenue and Cartersville Drive.
Photo by Shane McDonald
As one of four units in the College of the Arts, the School of Art & Design offers a BFA degree with concentrations in graphic communication, drawing/painting, ceramics/sculpture, and photography/printmaking, as well as a BS degree in Art Education. Both of these are pre-professional programs, the first for aspiring artists and the second for teachers. Such degrees are demanding and students must be genuinely committed in order to be successful. Admission to the degree programs in the School of Art & Design is highly competitive. All students must pass an initial portfolio review of their studio work in order to be fully accepted as art majors. Another portfolio review is required for BFA students in order to be accepted into a studio concentration area. The school also offers a BA degree in Art History and minors in Art History and Classical Studies. An MAT in Teaching Art is also available, and provides an opportunity for individuals with bachelors degrees in art and other fields to achieve certification as art teachers while earning a graduate degree.
Over 500 declared majors are enrolled in visual arts programs. The faculty includes twenty permanent, full-time professors, and 15-20 part-time faculty members. Currently over 75 courses in art, art history, and art education are listed in the undergraduate catalog. The school is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Our award-winning Visual Arts Building provides 32,000-square-feet of studio and classroom space with state-of-the-art equipment, including a Macintosh computer lab for students. The Visual Arts Resource Center provides faculty with teaching resources such as digital and photographic images, books, journals, videos, and other media.
The school also sponsors a nationally recognized exhibition program with two campus galleries and a new museum, as well as a permanent collection of over 200 works of art. The campus sculpture collection is the largest of any in the Georgia university system. Students regularly exhibit in the campus galleries in annual student shows as well as in their senior graduation exhibitions.
The mission of the Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design is to lead in the education of art students and to promote the visual arts as an essential expression of the human condition. The School cultivates artistic and intellectual growth by developing creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and technical proficiency. All programs uphold and exceed national standards in studio art, art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art education. A commitment to excellence in teaching, research, creative activity, service, and scholarship provides students with the tools to be informed citizens in a global society and to succeed professionally. The School continually seeks to expand its engagement with and prominence in the local community, the state, the nation, and the world.
The 2013-2017 SOAAD Strategic Plan was developed following a three-month process of data gathering and collaborative discussion between representatives of full-time faculty, part-time faculty, staff, and students within the School of Art and Design. Using the COTA strategic plan as a model, School of Art and Design full-time faculty met in five sub-committees, each writing objectives and action steps specific to SOAAD strategic goals. For further ideas on Plan development, the SOAAD Strategic Planning Committee constructed a student survey that was disseminated to approximately one hundred SOAAD students participating in a variety of classes chosen to reflect the full range of disciplines and demographics within our school. Survey results therefore reflect an adequate representation of the students within our various programs. The survey questions were designed to obtain student perceptions of SOAAD strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats pertaining to each goal. The SOAAD Strategic Planning Committee then met to edit and refine the document to further clarify and address student needs, especially in the areas of online learning, advising, and community outreach. The SOAAD Strategic Planning Committee was composed of the following individuals representing staff and faculty of SOAAD: Jessica Stephenson (art history classroom and adjunct perspectives), Joe Thomas (administration perspectives), Diana McClintock (art history classroom perspectives), Valerie Dibble (studio classroom perspectives), Lin Hightower (administration and studio classroom perspectives) and Shane McDonald (staff, student, alumni, and public perspectives).
GOAL ONEPromote excellence and innovation in education through teaching, supervising, and mentoring students; research, creative activity, and scholarship; and professional service.
Objective 1: Increase online and hybrid learning in appropriate courses
- Support the ongoing development and evaluation of technology-enhanced education through incentives
- Fund and support innovative technology and appropriate technical support
Objective 2: Promote excellence and innovation in teaching, supervising, and mentoring of students Support and increase innovative teaching strategies through targeted incentives
- Expand faculty mentoring and the development of student research and creative activity at prominent venues
- Support regionally, nationally and internationally prominent scholarship of teaching and learning through increased commitment to funding
Objective 3: Promote excellence and innovation in research, creative activity and scholarship
- Create ongoing and recurring funding opportunities for faculty conducting long-term scholarly research and creative projects
- Advocate for merit pay incentives for excellence in research and creative activity
- Support regionally, nationally and internationally prominent scholarship in research and creative activity that will enhance the standing of faculty and staff within their disciplines and workplace through sabbatical leaves, course releases, or other appropriate means
Objective 4: Promote excellence and innovation in service Create incentives to reward exemplary internal and external professional service
- Support the hosting of local, regional, national, and international disciplinary conferences, workshops, and symposia
- Continue to support student participation in service activities
GOAL TWOImprove recruitment, retention, progression, and graduation rates (RRPG) in accord with the Complete College Georgia initiative, while continually increasing the quality, breadth, and relevance of academic and co-curricular programs.
Objective 1: Utilize student data and implement best practices to develop effective RRPG initiatives
- Develop written guidelines for both students and faculty in order to foster consistent student advisement
- Implement an exit survey for all School of Art and Design graduates to gather data on deterrents and accelerants to graduation
- Implement a data-based, flexible recruitment plan as developed by the Recruitment Committee
- Implement recognized high-impact educational practices
Objective 2: Integrate community engagement with recruitment and retention efforts
- Expand internship and service-learning opportunities for students
- Expand use of social media as a recruitment tool and as a means of communication with students
- Reward and support faculty and staff initiatives that recruit and retain students through community engagement
- Develop a fundraising plan specifically for student scholarships
Objective 3: Improve and expand the quality and breadth of academic programs
- Systematically compare peer and aspirational institutions to increase the quality, breadth, and relevance of academic and co-curricular programs
- Promote and expand interdisciplinary curricula through cross-listing, and through minor and certificate programs
- Create proposal for masters degree in art education and research demand and interest in additional graduate programs
GOAL THREEBecome more engaged and prominent in the local community, Georgia, the nation, and the world.
Objective 1: Promote greater visibility and increase the reputational standing of our programs by highlighting faculty, staff and student achievement.
- Foster a diverse and engaged community through coordinated promotion and marketing of expanded programming and exhibition
- Strengthen and expand existing and new partnerships here and abroad
- Engage community through art and design events, presentations, and collaborations
- Target and support programs or projects with potential for national and international prominence
Objective 2: Recognize and support engagement at the local, state, national, and international level.
- Create a realistic budget that includes incentives to support engagement activities
- Collect data about engagement activities in existing programs for NASAD, API, SACS and other accrediting agencies
- Strengthen and sustain reciprocal engagement with alumni Continue and expand partnership with the Zuckerman Art Museum and Museums, Archives, and Rare Books in various collaborative endeavors
GOAL FOUREnhance the collegiate experience, and foster a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment.
Objective 1: Foster a welcoming and collegial environment that promotes a culture of diversity, inclusion, and sensitivity
- Promote principles of inclusion, sensitivity, and diversity by re-defining diversity to include a wider variety of markers as well as the support of under-represented art forms
- Strengthen diversity through student and faculty recruitment, including scholarships, collaboration with student organizations, and effective equal opportunity hiring
- Promote the School of Art and Design as a leader in diversity and inclusion by programming events that foster diversity as a means to designate a recognizable and distinct identity
Objective 2: Enhance the work experience and job environment
- Develop workshops that create greater discipline-specific proficiency in grant writing and improved knowledge of potential funding agencies
- Host a “Works in Progress” lecture series that showcases and is supported by colleagues and students
- Initiate and support events and activities that enhance collegiality in the School of Art and Design
GOAL FIVEExpand resources, and improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Objective 1: Expand facilities to support need, growth and demand
- Develop long-term plan to integrate our program into building projects that expand classrooms, studios, and support space
- Regularly review and maintain facilities’ functionality, appearance, safety, and security
- Expand facilities’ operational hours while ensuring safety and security
- Research and develop further sources for financial and in-kind support
Objective 2: Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness
- Review and modify, as necessary, business and operational processes to improve service and efficiency
- Utilize an active Department Faculty Council (DFC) to ensure and formalize shared governance structures and processes in order to achieve and ensure transparency and guarantee accountability
- Develop and implement a formal plan to increase support staff and student assistants
- Develop information-sharing tools and signage to enable students and the larger community to more effectively navigate the program and facilities