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Re: high school art program


From: craig roland (rolandc_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 26 2002 - 10:42:39 PDT

>What do colleges want most from high school art programs?

Kathy wrote:
> . .. .snip
>Colleges are overcrowded and they're becoming very picky who they
>accept (ie. act/sat scores, grade point requirements etc.) Many
>(but not all) colleges require student portfolios to review before
>accepting them in their program. . .. Many are specific in what they
>want to see- but in general, they are looking for 10-15 pieces that
>displays a student's "direct observational" skills, basic
>understanding of composition and E&P, and thematic development . .
>. They do then, start from scratch -as someone said earlier- but
>they move along quickly and expect the kids to retain the
>understanding on a higher and more intellectual level. . . .Having
>12 quality pieces in a students' portfolio gives a good indication
>that this student is well disciplined and will make it through a
>quality college art program. . . . There is a lot of competition
>out there and kids must know what is required of them to succeed.

Adding to what Kathy wrote, here at the University of Florida
students currently submit to a portfolio review at the sophomore
level to get into upper-division art courses in a specific area which
include drawing/painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics,
photography, electronic intermedia, graphic design, and art
education. What faculty look for in a portfolio will vary somewhat
from area to area (and from faculty member to faculty member),
however, the same rating sheet is used across areas. This sheet
consists of five criteria (scored 1-5 points): artistic and visual
organization, skill level, presentation, conceptual development, and
effective use of materials. Students must also include artist
statements in their portfolios that outline their goals and concerns
as artists. A side note here: Graphic design receives by far the most
applicants here at UF each year and they turn away (by far) the most
students (i.e., I'd estimate that 1 out of 3 or 4 applicants in
graphic design are accepted.)

Generally speaking, I'd suggest that students wishing to pursue a BFA
degree in art should have excellent slides of 15-20 pieces in their
portfolios that not only show some skill development in a particular
media but perhaps more importantly a "personal vision" or "voice."
While drawing from observation would certainly receive attention from
most art faculty, a student pursing a degree in say photography
wouldn't necessarily be judged on her or her drawing ability.

I should add here that a student wishing to pursue a BFA here at UF
must also meet the university's requirements for admission which are
very high (with scores on the SAT as well as overall GPA being the
determining factors). A potential art student with a very strong
portfolio but low test scores or GPA would likely be accepted on a
provisional basis.

I should also note that while portfolios are currently reviewed at
the sophomore level here, we'll be instituting a freshman level
portfolio review in the coming year which I assume will follow a
similar pattern.


CRAIG ROLAND Associate Professor of Art Education
School of Art and Art History - University of Florida
PO Box 115801, Gainesville Florida 32611-5801
Art Ed Office: 352.392.9165 Fax: 352-392-8453
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