PREPARING STUDENTS ACADEMICALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY
George Mason University encourages students to enhance their academic and artistic experiences by participating in research and creative scholarship. The emergence of undergraduate participation in creative activity is not new to the performing and visual arts, for example:
- From the first day of classes students are assigned “roles” that bring them into the disciplines on the stage, in the gallery, or behind the scenes of multiple artistic venues.
- In preparation for these events, students read, review, analyze, respond, perform, and critique their activities.
- Instructors assess students’ skills and abilities and assign creative activities that lead to progressive learning sequences and actions.
- Both faculty and students practice the ideal of inclusion by offering a variety of learning and research opportunities for all students. As the students evolve intellectually and artistically, they create their own innovative images or performances.
- Assessment is based on classroom work and creative activity: graphic images, painting, sculpture, theatrical performances, dance performances, etc. Faculty encourages students to think about the multiple layers of their work in relation to the body of work that exists.
- Students, with the guidance of their instructors, learn how to make their knowledge public, often witnessing audience reactions immediately. These steps are essential to disciplinary knowledge and to the transfer of knowledge from the classroom, to the artistic venue, to the workplace, to the community.
The 2006 report from The Conference Board, “Are They Really Ready for Work?,” discusses college graduates’ academic knowledge and their ability to apply that knowledge to the workplace. Each of the skills is evident in CVPA students’ programs of study; consequently, faculty guide the students’ artistic, academic, and professional engagement in the world through:
• Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
• Oral Communications
• Written Communications
• Information Technology Application
• Lifelong Learning/Self Direction
• Professionalism/Work Ethic
• Ethics/Social Responsibility
CVPA students learn that the arts create community; thus, they become artist-scholars who know how to create community in the workforce, as well as in society.