Mission and Student Learning Outcomes


The mission of the Department of Art and Art History is to provide an environment that nourishes creative and critical thinking through visual experience, verbal discourse, and community involvement for students at all stages of life. We embrace the liberal studies curriculum as it enriches the art student’s vocabulary and stresses the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. Our goal is to foster excellence, individuality, and diversity while encouraging freedom of thought, imagination, and honest, open inquiry as catalysts for personal growth.

Our rigorous foundation program emphasizes both traditional and non-traditional artistic forms, values, and expressions and prepares students in both studio and art history for the upper-level courses that encourage greater risk-taking and experimentation. The capstone course sequence results in the production of a significant body of work recognized by the university as undergraduate research.

The Department of Art and Art History promotes multiple aesthetic standards of content, concept and style, thereby encouraging students to discover individual ways of integrating these vital elements. A close relationship between faculty and students is essential in that this creative process often challenges preconceived ideas. The Department of Art insists that faculty and students work through this process together with mutual respect. As a result, our graduates are mature in the search for meaning and validity and become lifelong learners who contribute a unique vision to the local and world community.

The Department of Art and Art History‘s Mission Statement parallels key concepts in the University Mission Statement and the Strategic Plan, particularly in reference to the significance of the liberal arts curriculum and the emphasis placed on critical thinking, creative expression and open inquiry throughout our curriculum. We support individual discovery as well as encourage collaboration, respect for diversity and interdisciplinary exploration. We believe that we prepare our majors to become lifelong learners, specifically through our strong participation in undergraduate research.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students acquire the ability to understand and articulate issues of diversity as well as investigate interdisciplinary methods of study apparent in the technological preparation and oral presentation of the capstone project.
  • Students develop a cohesive body of work that demonstrates competency in one of the following media areas: painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, or photography.
  • Students demonstrate mastery of independent research and writing skills.