Proposal: To establish a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History at Central Washington University (CWU). Introduction: The Art + Design Department is pursuing the creation of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. The degree program is expected to fill a need within the department which has experienced significant growth since the reinstatement of the Visual Art Teaching degree two years ago and will also align CWU with the other public four-year universities in Washington that already offer a similar degree. Initial research and analysis of this program of study are presented below with supporting data points provided. This analysis and any conclusions presented should be considered only as supporting factual evidence, and not an endorsement for or against the establishment of this program. Narrative: In 2021 the Department of Art + Design re-established the Visual Art Teaching degree in response to both a state-wide teacher shortage as revealed in a 2017 OSPI survey and the establishment of the state’s new Arts Standards in K-12 education. The result of that re-established degree at CWU is the addition of 36 Art Education majors, representing a 25% increase over projected enrollment in the program. Within four years, the Art History program anticipates 40 enrolled students who would otherwise not have attended CWU. The proposed program is expected to be cost-neutral; utilizing existing tenured and tenure-track faculty and will more equally align with the other public four-year universities in Washington that are already offering this degree. With enrollments of 300 Art majors, the department has seen its student credit hours grow by 36% in the last five years. The low-cost addition of this degree will provide the opportunity for continued enrollment growth while eliminating the need for significant investments in personnel. Aligning with university diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals and providing an interdisciplinary focused course of study, the Art History degree includes a three-part survey of Art beyond the West and a course in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art while partnering with departments such as History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Africana and Black Studies, American Indian Studies, Latino and Latin American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Museum Studies which capitalize on the strengths of these partner departments to enhance art history students’ understanding of the art they are studying. Research and Analysis: A Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook search on ‘Art History’ produces several career paths an art history degree holder might pursue. Careers as Archivists, Curators, Museum Workers, Historians, Art Directors, Postsecondary, and High School Teachers are all occupations a degree holder may seek i . Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers have a positive outlook with a projected 12% growth rate through 2031. This faster-than-average growth projection is expected to add 4,200 jobs while the median salary in 2021 was $50,120 annually. Historians have a slightly less robust growth projection at 4% and only 100 new jobs are expected to be added through 2031. The median salary in 2021 for this occupation was slightly higher than the Archivist, Curator, and Museum Worker classification at $63,940 annually.
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