Art Department Program Review

Art Department Program Review

EVC Art Department Program Review

Program Review

Department:Art Department

Last Review: 2005

Current Year: 2011/12

Preparers’ Names: Rachel Lazo


  1. Summary of Program

Provide a brief summary of your program. Assume the reader does not know anything about it. Your explanation should include a brief history and a discussion of any factors that have been important to the program’s development. Please explain the purpose of your program, what students you serve, what services you provide, and why these services are valuable.

Every human-made object around us is a result of a process of design. Artists created the buildings we live and work in, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the chairs we sit in, the smart phones we use, the advertisements that compel us, signs that communicate with us, the pens we write with, and the artwork that makes us ponder. The goal of the EVC Art Department is to provide a foundation of technical skills, to encourage a myriad of problem-solving approaches, and to foster engaging discourse about the communication of values that underlie design choices.

Most of the courses in the Art Department are studio art courses: a combination of lecture and lab “activity” courses, where students take ideas, concepts, and visions and give them tangible form. The materials are varied: pencils, charcoal, paint, collage, wood, cardboard, plaster, stone, vectors and pixels, to name a few. The process of turning an idea into something tangible is a skill-set that both art majors and non-art majors benefit from. The EVC Art Department also offers Art History courses, which are lecture classes. Students have the opportunity to study historically significant works of art and design as a way of gaining insight into past and present cultures and ideas.

Our Students

Our students come from all walks of life. Most are interested in pursuing a career in the arts, but we also have many students taking art class for a variety of reasons. Below is a description of the seven most common goals of students:

1)Art Majors who wish to transfer: These students wish to pursue a career in the visual arts. They take their foundational classes at the community college level, and then transfer to 4-year art programs. This is the largest population of students taking art classes at EVC.

2)Non-Art Majors where Art is an Important Component of their Education: These students are seeking degrees in other subjects but enjoy taking art classes for a number or reasons. Art History courses satisfy the GE Area C requirements for transfer and we see a predominance of non-art majors in Art History courses. There are also many students taking studio art courses as an elective. These students enjoy creating art as an outlet for personal expression. The skills of using ones mind and hands in tandem and utilizing creative problem solving are skills that are transferable to any discipline or career.

3)Lifelong Learners: These students take art classes for personal enrichment. They are usually older community members who bring a very valuable life perspective to art classes.

4)Career Enhancement: These are students out in the work force who are taking art classes to enhance their career skills.

5)Art Majors who wish to earn an AS degree: These students wish to find a career in the arts after completing their community college work. Most companies hiring artists and designers are going to require a 4-year degree. However, there are a few fields, such as commercial printers, where an AS degree is sufficient.

6)Jewelry Certificate: We had, until very recently, a thriving Jewelry Arts Program. These students were seeking careers as jewelry designers and small metal arts artists. (An explanation as to what has happened to this program will follow later in this document.)

7)“Gateway” Students: We have a large population of students with limited English language skills and students who are the first in their families to attend college. Studio art classes serve as a gateway for many students who are college pioneers in their families. We also have many students with learning or language disabilities.

How We Serve the Needs of Our Students:

The EVC Art Department is comprised of five disciplines: 2-D Arts, 3-D Arts, Jewelry, Graphic Design, and Art History.

  • Broad Spectrum of Course Offerings
  • Talented, effective, innovative and enthusiastic faculty who bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives to the Art Department.
  • Articulation

The primary focus of the Art Department is to provide the foundational courses needed for students intending to transfer to 4-year art programs. San Jose State University has an excellent Art and Design Program and most of our transferring students attend SJSU after EVC. Our course offerings reflect the undergraduate requirements for several bachelor degree programs at SJSU, including graphic design, illustration/animation, industrial design, interior design, fine arts, and art education.

  • AS Degrees

There are three AS degrees in art: AS Degree in Studio Arts – 2D Emphasis, AS Degree in Studio Arts – 3D Emphasis, AS Degree in Design.

  • Art Gallery and Guest Speakers

The Visual Arts building was built in 2009 and includes an Art Gallery. The Art Gallery brings the work of professional artists and designers into the “living room” of the Art Department. Last year the exhibits included the work of an award-wining toy designer, video game designers, and fine artists. The Students have immediate access to professional works of art and design addressing diverse topics and themes.

In addition to being a rich learning resource for students, the Art Gallery also exhibits student work, most notably in the annual juried student art exhibit in the spring. This is a much anticipated event for students and provides them with a real-world experience of entering work in a juried show, preparing their work for professional presentation, and providing an opportunity for exhibiting and possibly winning an award for their work.

  • Art Club

There is also a lively Art Club that helps to build a sense of community in the Art Department. Students engage in collaborative projects, sharing of ideas outside of classroom assignments, field trips and workshops.

  • Community Partnerships

The EVC Art Department has partnered with outside groups participating in the fabric of the larger San Jose community. Some examples are: Creating a mural for the (former) EVC Child Development Center, participating in Silicon Valley Open Studios, hosting events for the Metal Arts Association of Silicon Valley, exhibiting student work at the Evergreen Community Center, exhibiting work in Phantom Galleries in downtown San Jose vacant store front windows, and others.

  • Informal Exhibiting Opportunities and other Opportunities:
  • Display cases in hallways where faculty members display class projects
  • Class exhibits in studio classrooms or in the Art Gallery
  • Requests from other departments on campus for student logos and poster design
  • Field trips
  1. How does your program define effectiveness, and what measures have you chosen to gauge it?
  2. Student Projects: The primary assessment tool of the effectiveness of our teaching is the culmination of skills and ideas found in student art projects and written papers. This is where faculty can gauge whether students are developing skill sets and employing critical thinking skills. Each faculty member has individualized assessment rubrics for their project.
  3. Class Critiques: One of the most valuable learning exercises for students is the class critique. Each student presents or displays their results from an assignment along side their classmates’ work. The conversation that follows necessitates introspection and understanding. Students learn to articulate what drives their creative impulses and also learn to analyze what happens when we perceive another’s work of art. They learn to recognize what formulates their immediate reactions.
  4. Annual Juried Student Art Exhibit: This annual exhibit occurs at the end of the spring semester and is juried. The exhibit presents the years’ strongest student work from the widest range of materials, approaches and ideas.
  5. Sense of Community: This is something that is observed and felt both inside and outside the classroom, but is not particularly measurable. The Art Department is a vibrant place. Students hang out together, linger around the Art Department and give each other feedback on their projects outside of class. There is a sense of camaraderie and that the EVC Art Department is a safe and encouraging place to express ideas.
  6. Student evaluations of classes: These are a very useful tool to help faculty improve their curriculum and teaching methods. Student evaluations are reviewed seriously by faculty.
  7. SLO Assessment Matrixes

Program assessment results come in the form of student grades and the culmination of work as exhibited in the annual juried student art exhibition. 2-year art programs in general do not have exit exams or other systematic assessment reports. Even so, the Art Department is developing a Portfolio Preparation course for students who plan to transfer to 4-year art programs, creating a formalized opportunity for students to research, prepare portfolios and apply to schools. This course is envisioned as a requirement for all AA or AS degree applicants. The results of student work in this class would directly speak to the success of the program in preparing students for transfer.

  1. Please summarize the results of any measures you have applied. What do these results mean for your program?

Since transfer students comprise the majority of students in the Art Department, the greatest assessment of the success of the Art Programs lies in the number of students who transfer to 4-year art programs and are able to complete their BA or BFA degrees. The Art Department could greatly benefit from some kind of system for tracking where students go after their experience at EVC. Individual faculty members keep in touch with some students who transfer, but it would be helpful to have a systematic way of gathering information to determine the actually number of students who transfer and the number of students who complete a BA or BFA degree in the Arts. The Art Department would also benefit from an alumni outreach program or a 6-month-prior exit survey, or perhaps some kind of partnership effort between the UC and CSU systems with the Community Colleges to help track this information.

The Art Department every three years hosts an alumni art exhibit where former EVC art students are asked to exhibit current school work, professional work or self enrichment work. Seeing the work of our alumni has reinforced the importance of our Program SLO’s, most importantly that students be able to:

  1. demonstrate technical proficiency in handling various art and design materials
  2. demonstrate a working knowledge of the elements and principles of art and design and the dynamics of composition
  3. demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving, group interaction and self discipline to create works of art and design
  1. Where we would like your program to be in three years from now?
  1. Problems with the facilities fixed and programs fully operational and safe.

The Visual Arts Building was built in 2009. The ventilation and dust collection systems were not designed correctly and the jewelry and sculpture area has been deemed unsafe for the courses and materials being used. As a result our Jewelry Program has been closed down, half of the first floor lab space is unusable, none of the $100,000 plus worth of new tools and equipment have been unpacked and set up, and faculty are forced to use substandard materials and techniques in the courses that are left. The problems with the facilities need to be addressed and fixed so that our existing courses can provide students with the industry-standard equipment and tools to achieve the course SLO’s.

  1. Updated programs, updated curriculum, updated articulation

The programs and courses are currently being updated to reflect current trends and needs.

  1. Expanded programs and courses in Digital Media

Most art and design careers require artists to produce work on the computer. Our offerings in digital media are minimal and we are working on greatly expanded this area to better serve transfer students and career advancement students.

  1. Expanded program and courses in Art History

We are developing new curriculum in Art History to satisfy the educational needs of a wider range of students, including classes such as “The Arts of Asia” and “Women in Art.”

  1. Expanded program and courses in Sculpture and Metalsmithing

With the demise of the Jewelry Program, the Art Department is re-formulating its vision as a sculpture and metalsmithing program.

  1. Full time faculty hires in 3D/Metal Arts, Digital Media and Art History

For 30 years the Art Department has had two full-time faculty and for 12 years the Art Department had three full-time faculty. Currently the Art Department has one full-time faculty, with a service area in the discipline of 2D Arts. The Art Department will continue to vie for full-time faculty positions 3D Arts/Metalsmithing, Digital Media, and Art History.

  1. Art Gallery coordinator or director position

The EVC Art Gallery has been a vital learning resource for students in the Art Department and beyond. Coordinating the Art Gallery has entailed hours upon hours of work assumed by the one full-time faculty member in the Department. Adjunct faculty have made substantial contributions in time as well. The coordination of the exhibition schedule and visiting artists, and the day-to-day operations of the Art Gallery cannot be maintained without a designated Art Gallery Coordinator position or release time for faculty. The Art Department will be seeking such a position.

PART A: Overview of Program

  1. Identify your program/department’s commitments to Action (CTA’s for this year.
  2. Student Centered:
  3. Resolve facilities issues
  4. Get EVC Art Department website online
  5. Community Engagement:
  6. Continued professional development
  7. Continued community partnerships
  8. Continued art exhibits
  9. Organizational Transformation
  10. Update curriculum
  11. Update degrees and certificates
  12. Create new interdisciplinary portfolio class
  13. Create new digital media course
  1. Please explain how your program’s CTA’s are aligned with the goals of the College. How does your program help the College fulfill its Mission, Strategic initiatives, and Commitments to Action (CTA’s)?
  1. Aligned with EVC Mission: The EVC Art Department’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for rigorous study at 4-year colleges, universities and institutes. Each faculty member brings their unique mix of personal experiences, artistic approaches and creative ideas to help students comprehend the communicative power of images. One of the amazing aspects of teaching art classes is being witness to the diversity of possible solutions to any given assignment. This diversity reflects the wide range of people that are interested in the arts, and the nature of art to interweave individual perspectives and universal understanding.
  2. Aligned with EVC CTA’s:
  3. Student-Centered: We provide access to quality and efficient programs and services to ensure student success. Areas of focus are: 1) Increased Visibility; 2) Develop Strategic Partnerships; 3) Building Campus Community

As the very nature of art is to communicate, the Art Department creates opportunities for students to “get their work out there,” with exhibition opportunities and community partnership projects. The Art Department contributes to the campus’s goal of increased visibility in many of the exhibitions in our art gallery and in the community, including at the Evergreen Community Center and Phantom Galleries in downtown San Jose.

The Art Department has created an environment where students feel they are part of a vibrant, creative community. Students hang out with each other outside of class time. We have an active art club that hosts activities open to the whole campus, such as “splatter day” and Silicon Valley Open Studios.

  1. Community Engagement: We create a trusting environment where everyone is valued and empowered. Areas of focus are: 1) Student Access - Completion of Educational Goals; 2) Employee Development; 3) Transparent Infrastructure

A professional artist or designer works in collaboration with a client and with the other artists in a design team. An important aspect of an art education is foster an environment where personal expression is valued and students are encouraged to exchange ideas. These are the building blocks of collaborative work. With this environment, the EVC Art Department is contributing to the campus’s goals of providing a trusting environment.