Revision of Core Curriculum at Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick

Revision of Core Curriculum at Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick

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Concerned Students started this petition to Rutgers NB Mason Gross Staff and

A number of undergraduate Art and Design BA and BFA students at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick feel that the core curriculum, and other classes related to their majors fail meet the standard that we expect while attending University, and do not successfully teach relevant skills for creative professionals.

We feel that the staff at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, should work on revising the core requirements for all Art and Design majors by introducing a more expansive range of mediums, and further, review the attitude that instructors take toward group critique, and student opinions.

Some of us have completed most of the core classes at this point, and so far, find that we have not gained much from them aside from some drawing skills, paint mixing skills, and any extra wisdom from the professors themselves, which is largely unrelated to the classes curriculum. We find that many of my friends feel the same way.

Among design majors, all of our knowledge about how to work in a professional environment, and modern day designer-to-client-relationship skills (extremely essential skills in the competitive field) are self taught from online resources, not having ever once been mentioned in class.

Some specific classes that we find issues with are as follows:

- 4D fundamentals
- Visual Thinking 1-A
- Visual Thinking 1-B

Though these are the classes that stick out the most, there is a general lack of focus regarding relevant, present day professional practice. We feel that classes focus on feelings, emotions, perception, and the past far too much, while things like how to work in the industry, and even whole professional fields go completely unmentioned. Additionally, there is a limited amount of coverage over modern mediums.

Especially in today's environment, professional artists often have a wide skill set. A designer might also have exceptional photography skills, motion graphics skills, special effects skills, and 3D modeling skills. This sort of situation seems very unlikely for a graduate of Mason Gross, as this is only a small sample of skills, and couple of those things are not even mentioned.

Thus far in my own experience, some other examples of skills that are unmentioned, or not thoroughly explored are:

Branding and Logo design
Special Effects
Motion Graphics
3D Modeling, Rendering, and Composing
Specific details of printing, screen printing, Pantone, etc. as they relate to designers in professional fields.
We also find that the general attitude toward critique feels largely unhelpful. Critique focuses more on exploring ideas associated with our work, and how it makes people feel. Following that, we are often told "good job". Students expect critique to provide technical feedback, and criticism (as the name would imply) that can improve our technical abilities, rather than just speculation and a pat on the back.

It is our hope, that we can bring about a change that will possibly benefit us as we continue our time at Rutgers, but definitely create a better experience for new Art and Design students, and better prepare graduates for a future in creative professions.

To conclude, our proposal for goals to be moved toward would be:

1. Re-evaluate the instructional staff, either stop using graduate students as teachers, or evaluate them more thoroughly before assignment.

2. Revise and refresh core class curriculum for Art and Design majors to make the courses more relevant and up to date.

3. Rearrange topics and add more relevant, up-to-date courses that address more common modern mediums and fields.

4. Review the major requirements for Art and Design majors after previous changes.


Thank you.

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