By Stacey Sauer
Education Coordinator, Rockford Art Museum
When I was in high school, the most difficult thing for me was not the academics. It wasn’t the peer pressure or the teen-age angst. It wasn’t even fighting with my mother over my curfew. What I found most difficult was deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. The careers I considered ran the gamut, from oceanographer to forensic scientist, from speech pathologist to elementary school teacher. For a brief time, I even considered becoming an archaeologist, if only because I wanted to be the female equivalent of Indiana Jones (a dream I haven’t fully given up).
If my indecision on a specific career direction were difficult for me 10 years ago, I can only imagine what high school students face today. Many are forced at an earlier age to consider what career path they will choose to complete college applications and get accepted into the program most suitable for them. Today’s students are finding stiff competition for seats at both private and state schools. Preparation for entry into these elite schools begins even while they are still in high school. Planning the courses and the direction a student will take requires careful consideration and information from a variety of schools.
For students who are considering a career in the arts, this decision is no less difficult. Luckily, Rockford Art Museum (RAM) holds an event each year that can help find a program and school that is right for you. Each year, we host Leadership in the Arts: Resource and Career Day. This event gives high school and junior college students a chance to meet with representatives from art programs in the region and beyond. Instead of spending gas money to make multiple trips to these schools, we bring them to you! Think of it as a one-stop-shopping experience for colleges and universities.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, students can come to RAM—for FREE—with their portfolios and questions to gather information about admission to the following schools:
υ Columbia College Chicago
υ Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
υ Northern Illinois University
υ Rock Valley College
υ School of the Art Institute in Chicago
υ Southern Illinois University
υ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Having seven different schools allows you to consider the variety of career choices the arts have to offer. Art departments offer so much more than studio classes, including architecture, art education, art history, fashion design, film and video, and graphic design. Each college and university brings something a little different to their art programs, so visiting with multiple schools will allow you to determine which program and field is right for you.
If you are just starting to consider a career in the arts and don’t have a portfolio prepared, don’t worry about it. Come and visit with the representatives anyway to see what they have to offer.
And, if visiting with these colleges and universities is not enough, we will also have a table dedicated to internships available right here at RAM. For many students, having an internship in an art environment provides the guidance they need to help them decide their major.
So, take some time Wednesday, Nov. 11, to come to Leadership Day at RAM. Parents are welcome to attend as well. If you have questions, call me at (815) 972-2874. I hope to see all of you art students in the area at Leadership Day!
Contact Stacey Sauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the November 4-10, 2009 issue