The School of Arts (SofA) is committed to several innovative educational objectives:
- Discipline based learning - The School of Arts includes studies in music, theatre, dance studies, visual arts/visual culture, digital and media art.
- Collaboration across disciplines – Interdisciplinary collaboration is enacted and encouraged among our students and faculty to provide a more expansive arts education.
- Commitment to the latest technology - The School of Arts offers cutting edge courses in digital art, music, theatre technology, web design, video, and interactive multimedia.
- Building community through the arts - the School of Arts builds community through outreach to schools and social service organizations, collaborating in community development projects, arts education research, hosting an off campus art gallery, and through providing public theatre, dance, music performances, video and film screenings, as well as visual art exhibitions and presentations relating to visual culture and contemporary art.
- Global Arts - The School of Arts celebrates the arts of the world with the Indonesian Gamelan, theatre in Spanish, and many survey courses in global arts.
- Project-Based Learning – The School of Arts faculty are committed to a rigorous curriculum and to ensuring student learning.
The Goals of the School of Arts are:
- To engage students in developing sequential discipline-specific skills within their chosen areas of Dance Studies, Digital and Media Art, Music, Theatre, and Visual Art/Visual Culture.
- To prepare students for a significant place in the workforce upon graduation, or to enter a graduate program in their art field
- To provide a curriculum that teaches practical skills as well as incorporates historical and cultural analysis and multiple historical perspectives.
- To assist students to become fluent in the theory and practice of innovative and digital technologies within their chosen discipline.
- To support students in exploring their own and others’ cultural histories and identities.
Career opportunities for a graduate of the School of Arts are as diverse as the interests of VPA majors. Graduates pursue careers as actors, artists, composers, dancers, directors, filmmakers, and musicians. The SofA provides an excellent preparation for careers in performance, multimedia design, video and/or music production, web design and support, art history, arts management and publishing. Many students go on to graduate school in the arts, or to complete a credential program in education and assume teaching positions in primary and secondary schools.
An important component of the VPA degree is the Senior Capstone Project which represents a culmination of work done while in the program. Capstone Projects take many forms and are designed with the input of the student's advisor. Possible Capstone Projects are: a multimedia CD-ROM, a full length video, an art exhibit, a collection of music compositions, a recital, directing, writing, or taking a lead role in a theatre production. Students should begin planning for the capstone in the fall of their senior year; public presentation of their work may be anytime during the semester.