By Carrie Breitbach
Education Director, Rockford Art Museum
Thinking back to my high school days (which seems like eons ago), I often think of the preparations I took to find the right college for me. I remember taking road trips to colleges with my friend Troy and his family, trying to decipher what school suited us. As a student trying to get into a good fine arts program myself, I came to realize it was difficult to get a feeling for the art department in such a short visit. Clearly, I needed some one-on-one time with an adviser who could give me more insight to how the department was structured.
I can only imagine what current high school students face. It seems like the pressure and competition students deal with today is pretty daunting. They are forced to consider at an earlier age which career path to choose to complete college applications and to get accepted into the program most suitable for them. Students are finding stiff competition for seats at private and state schools. Preparation for entry into these elite colleges begins even while they are still in high school. Planning the courses and the direction you will take requires careful consideration of important 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) offers an event each year that can help find the program and school that is right for you.
Every November, we host Leadership in the Arts: Resource and Career Day. Leadership Day @ RAM gives high school students and college undergraduates 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 choosing a school.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11, students can come—for FREE—to Rockford Art Museum with their portfolios and questions to gather information about admission to the following schools:
→ Columbia College Chicago
→ Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
→ Northern Illinois University
→ The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
→ Southern Illinois University
→ Rock Valley College
→ Rockford College
→ Rasmussen College
Having eight different schools on site allows you to consider the variety of career choices the arts have to offer. Art departments offer so much more than studio art classes; options include architecture, art education, art and art history, fashion design, film and video, and graphic design. Each college and university brings something a little different to their art program, so visiting with multiple schools will allow you to determine which program and field are right for you.
If you are just starting to consider a career in the arts but don’t have a portfolio prepared—don’t worry about it. Come to Leadership Day anyway, and visit with these representatives 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, 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 stop by Leadership Day @ RAM. Parents are welcome to attend as well. If you have any questions, please call us at (815) 972-2880.
Contact Rockford Art Museum Education Director Carrie Breitbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Nov. 10-16, 2010 issue