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Art and Design

Learning Objectives

We offer degree programs in art education, art history, fine arts, graphic design, photography and the visual arts. Across all of these programs, we seek to produce art and design professionals who can demonstrate the following skills and abilities.

Students acquire the skills required to give visual form to intellectual and emotional experience. They are introduced to a variety of materials, tools, and processes and are expected to become familiar with all basic aspects of art and design practice and to achieve genuine proficiency with selected media. As they advance, students refine their skills and employ them in more sophisticated practice; they are strongly encouraged to experiment and take risks. Mastery of art and design skills and processes are essential not only to the successful production of work, but also to the student’s self-awareness as an artist and to a sense of dedication and pride in the work produced.

Students learn to address conceptual challenges and understand the larger contexts in which they work. Students employ visual syntax, metaphor, allusion, symbolism, and other intellectual tools that provide them with a working awareness of their field of study. They acquire knowledge in the history of art, design, and photography that serves as a primary resource for their own work and for a broader understanding of the role of visual arts in all civilizations. They recognize the practices of art and design as significant forms of shaping and responding to culture. Students are challenged to engage in the basic educational activities of inquiry, analysis, discovery, criticism, and integration. They become aware of the complex conceptual relationships that may exist among visual images and between such images and other forms of communication and behavior.

Students examine their own work as well as the work of past and present artists, designers, photographers, and scholars to constantly challenges assumptions and disclose fresh perspectives. An understanding of concepts and contexts develops through the practice of penetrating and articulate critical thinking. Students learn the values associated with tradition. They also learn to appreciate contemporary perspectives that confront tradition and provoke fresh thinking. Students become accomplished in the ability to identify works of art and design and analyze the significance and influences that played a role in their production. The various skills of critical thinking in the visual arts are strongly supported by the full spectrum of liberal arts studies.

Students learn the values of dedication and self-discipline through the practices of art and design and scholarly research and writing. This teaches the values of shared experience and collaboration as well as the values of independence and individuality. Students learn that personal values and self-expression are intimately connected with social, cultural, political, economic, and religious values. Through art and design practice and study, students are aware of the importance of global and multi-cultural issues and ways in which their singular experiences relate to universal concerns, leading to greater awareness of class, gender, racial and ethnic diversity. Students achieve a rich and inclusive sense of themselves .

Students prepare for professional practice within their chosen fields as they acquire essential skills, pursue integrated liberal arts learning, and develop a sense of their values as responsible citizens of the world. Student work is reviewed in contexts appropriate to their ambitions, which may include graduate education or embarking directly on a careers in art and design practice. Internships and related practical experiences are strongly encouraged.

Student work is assessed by art and design faculty during a second year review and a senior review to ensure students reach our defined program learning outcomes:

  1. Present art scholarship that meets professional standards.
  2. Write to professional standards in discipline.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of tools, materials, and processes in discipline.
  4. Demonstrate high degree of craft, competency, and professionalism.
  5. Apply learned concepts, principles, and methods in solving problems.
  6. Use appropriate technology in research, creation, and documentation of work.
  7. Demonstrate disciplinary conceptual and skill-based processes in work.
  8. Apply disciplinary standards for assessing art work.
  9. Articulate discipline’s histories and traditions.


Department of Art and Design

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2923