Home Arts US art schools brace for ban on affirmative action policy

US art schools brace for ban on affirmative action policy

by godlove4241
0 comment

The affirmative action efforts of American colleges and universities to improve educational opportunities for members of minority groups and women, which were first declared constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1978 and reaffirmed by the same court in 2003, should be declared unconstitutional by the majority of the members of the current high court. The court heard arguments on October 31, 2022 defending the practice from attorneys representing both the University of North Carolina and Harvard University and those attacking it from a group called Students for Fair Admissions, which originally filed lawsuits against the two universities in 2014. University admissions departments, including those at art schools, are bracing for what many see as inevitable.

The elimination of affirmative action does not mean that universities will no longer seek to create a student body with a wide mix of races, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. “There are other ways to find out someone’s race than asking,” says Ravi S. Rajan, president of the California Institute of the Arts. “We use a variety of diversity indicators.” One of them puts more emphasis on in-person interviews, as well as interviews via Zoom calls.

Many art schools are increasing their recruitment to low-income communities, targeting certain zip codes, with admissions staff also paying attention to what applicants disclose about themselves in their application essays. Standard portfolio assignments for applicants, such as “draw a bicycle”, have been replaced with recommendations for prospective students to submit images that reflect their family, upbringing and themselves. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, admissions counselors receive “cultural competency training” so they don’t show bias against portfolios that don’t reflect extensive training and to enable them to “read candidate essays for what they indicate on a candidate’s record. context,” says school president Elissa Tenny.

The old system, which art schools traditionally relied on, emphasized the quality of a prospective student’s portfolio, which accompanies the application form and includes a variety of drawings and other works of art. “There are issues with focusing so heavily on the portfolio,” says Rajan, particularly that a strong portfolio may reflect that an applicant attended a high school where there was a sufficient amount of art education or that a candidate could have followed a portfolio. prep class, suggesting that the candidate came from an affluent background and was likely white. “Technical prowess doesn’t measure whether someone is creative,” he says. “We look at the ideas and stories presented, the voice of the artist.”

Of the current 725 students at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), 62% are classified as White/Caucasian, with African Americans making up 7% and Hispanic/Latino and Asian Americans making up an equal 9%, according to Sanjit Sethi , the college president, who notes that a long-term goal is to reduce that percentage of whites/Caucasians to just half while increasing the proportion of other groups. “It’s part of the demographic shift we’re all facing,” he says. “Multicultural identity will become more pervasive and enriching.”

There are other ways to find out about the breed than asking. We use a variety of diversity indicators

Ravi S. Rajan, President, CalArts

Demographic figures and MCAD percentages are typical of most private art colleges. At Kansas City Art Institute, white students make up 66.5% of the student body, while African American students make up 6.5% and Hispanic/Latino students make up 12.2%. At Moore College of Art and Design, 60.8% of students are white while 14% are African American and 7.1% are Hispanic/Latino. Maine College of Art and Design’s student body is 75.3% white, 7% Hispanic/Latino, and less than 5% African American. The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is 42% white, 15% Hispanic/Latino, 16% Asian, and 7% African American.

Yvette Sobky Shaffer, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at the Cleveland Institute of Art, said the college’s admissions requirements will be adjusted based on the Supreme Court’s decision. She adds that the college has already focused on working with area high school students to prepare them for an arts college experience, such as offering potential low-income applicants “low-cost programming.” and free that helps them acquire a set of skills”. ” so that they are able to submit high quality portfolios. “My best shot at making an impact as a leader in higher education is to first serve local students who have local support structures in place,” she says.

Difficult grades for art schools

To some degree, the challenges faced by arts colleges in attracting and retaining a diverse student body are no different from those of nearly all nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States, as they are focused on enrollments – determining how many full-time faculty should be hired, how much discretionary funding can be spent on student programming, faculty research, or other programs, and the amount of salary increases over the course of a given year for staff and faculty – and dependent on tuition (nearly all colleges and universities in the United States depend on tuition for the majority of their annual operating costs).

Art colleges, however, have additional barriers to producing a diverse student body. According to a 2014-15 report by the U.S. Department of Education, most of the colleges with the highest net tuition (the cost of attendance minus any grants and scholarships a student may be eligible for) in the country are art colleges, conservatories and schools of architecture. Topping the list of the 20 most expensive schools are CalArts, Ringling College of Art and Design, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; others on this list include Pratt Institute, Otis College of Art and Design, and Art Center College of Design.

“Tuition at art colleges is no higher than at other elite colleges,” says Rachel Schreiber, faculty member and, until last year, executive dean of the Parsons School. of Design from the New School and a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The problem is that art schools “have smaller endowments and can’t help students in need as much,” she says. Additionally, art students have “higher material costs” than their liberal arts college counterparts and these expenses are borne by them, she adds. The high costs of paying for the art school itself work against efforts to promote diversity.

Even when art schools are able to recruit from minority populations for whom the cost of art education is not prohibitive, “the long-held belief that studying art only leads to a life of unemployment” goes against the will of the parents to subscribe to this type of training. education, says Schreiber. As a result, according to Deborah Obalil, President and CEO of AICAD, “Our data showed that student diversity has continued to track the national population even though marginal gains have been made over the years.” The most positive trend, she adds, is that the faculty of AICAD schools has generally become more diverse. “We’ve seen significant gains in non-white hires.”

A decision in the cases before the Supreme Court is expected by June.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

@2022 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by artworlddaily