Responding to Workforce Demands, CSU Will Offer New Art Degree Program

[caption id="attachment_5202" align="alignright" width="300"][c]roger hart [c]roger hart[/caption]COLUMBUS, Ga. — The University System of Georgia has approved a new art degree at Columbus State University that is designed to prepare art majors for in-demand jobs in the workforce.

The new Bachelor of Arts with a major in art is designed to provide traditional freshman and transfer students with a degree option emphasizing a balance of studio art and liberal arts study. The program is structured to prepare students for careers as graphic designers, professional artists, multimedia artists, art directors, archivists, museum professionals, or for graduate school, said Richard Baxter, dean of the College of the Arts.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our program to further meet the challenges of preparing students to succeed in the creative arts of the exploding digital media environment,” Baxter said. “We expect this new degree to increase enrollment in art by attracting new students and better retaining existing students.”

This proposed degree will complement and support the art departments’ current degrees, and cut costs by using existing faculty and facilities with significant improvements expected in retention, graduation and progression. While the university’s existing Bachelor of Fine Arts successfully prepares students in more specialized fields, the new degree will offer a broad base of education and experience necessary for employment in Georgia’s evolving creative sector.

Georgia’s creative industries employee more than 200,000 people and generate $29 billion in economic activity according to the Georgia Council for Arts. Graduates from the BA in art will be broadly trained so as to expand this growing market of professionals. The program will also enhance the student’s creative inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving skills which are necessary to compete in the global marketplace, Baxter said.

An important collateral benefit will be a high quality, lower cost, and flexible path to graduation for incoming freshman, non-traditional students, students who change undergraduate majors, and students that transfer from two year degree programs.

The degree was approved by the Board of Regents at their meeting on Aug. 12. The Department of Art will now pursue approval for the new degree with their accrediting body, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and expects to begin admitting students immediately after the submission for approval.