The Art and Design Department is continuing an initiative this year, visiting high schools to give students a glimpse into the college experience.
This initiative began in the fall semester of 2015, when the department visited local schools Abilene High School, Cooper High School and Wylie High School. This year the department plans on expanding its outreach by visiting Fort Worth Christian School.
Mike Wiggins, chair of the Department of Art and Design said the main goal through this initiative includes creating an interactive presentation for high school juniors and seniors that is representative of what they might experience in college.
“A lot of high schoolers out there, younger people, that are really passionate about art or design think, ‘Can I really get a job in that field?’” Wiggins said. The program will answer this common question through two different 50 minute classes.
The first class is geared toward fine art technique and tutorial through a workshop, while the other focuses more on creativity and hands-on experience. Faculty are split up into three teams, each hosting one ACU student, and will be teaching either one of the classes.
The department created posters and cards that contain information about successful art and design alumni. The cards display work from students in different decades and different locations and show students that a career in Art and Design is possible.
Wiggins said the department would also like to “build relationships between our faculty and art teachers.” He said the plan is not necessarily to market ACU, but rather to humanize professors and students, making them more approachable.
Jason Clements, Pre-AP/AP Photography teacher at Abilene High School said last year, “the professors that did come in were very positive, and that was one thing we really appreciated.”
He also said many returning students would both enjoy and appreciate the outreach coming again this year. “All of the students were very attentive,” he said.
Laura Rosenstein, art teacher at Fort Worth Christian School, said they have never really had an initiative like the one ACU is providing. While they’ve been on field trips and had guest speakers come, there has never been anything along the lines of design. With 41 students enrolled in art classes at the school, Rosenstein said “it’s always a good idea to see art presented from someone new. It’s like a breath of fresh air. We’re really looking forward to it.”
“We don’t necessarily need more students,” Wiggins said. “What we really want is more passionate students. We want to increase the level of passion among all of our students.”