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ERIC Number: EJ1016496
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Does Accreditation Matter for Art & Design Schools in Canada?
Shimizu, Reiko (Leiko)
College Quarterly, v16 n1 Win 2013
Studio-based degrees in fine arts and design are not often written about in higher education literature. Ten years ago, urban theorist Richard Florida coined the term the "creative class" as individuals who "do a wide variety of work in a wide variety of industries -- from technology to entertainment, journalism to finance, highend manufacturing to the arts....they share a common ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference, and merit" (Florida, 2002, para. 8). According to Florida the creative class helps build economic development; therefore, our cities should be nurtured to be more inviting to these types of individuals. This emphasis on culture and creativity is at the foundation of art and design education. Groys (2009) argues that art education is complicated and subjective; it ultimately has no rules and that "teaching art means teaching life" (as cited in Madoff, 2009, p. 27). If that is the case, how does one measure quality in a field that is viewed as so subjective? How does one define and value art and design education? One's notion of good art and design can be vastly different from another's, and both views may come from experts in the field. This paper is written first, to give context to art and design education specifically in the higher education institutions that specialize in these areas -- the independent art and design schools. In Canada there are four such institutions, which the author has not found written about in relation to one another. These institutions are: the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary, OCAD University in Toronto, and NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design) in Halifax. There are abundant reports discussing the issues of colleges and universities in Canada, and although these art and design schools are now part of the college and university environment, they are quite unique in their mandates, in their learning environments and teaching delivery, and most definitely in their curriculum. The second purpose for this paper is to compare quality measures in Canada and the U.S. and how this relates to schools of art and design. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is an American body that accredits art and design schools and programs. Canada does not have such an organization but one school in Canada, the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) decided to attain substantial equivalency status by NASAD in 2009. Finally the third part of this paper will discuss whether accreditation matters for Canadian art and design schools. How does recognition from NASAD impact the type of education a student receives from ACAD in comparison to the three other independent art and design schools in Canada?
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Art Education, Design, Higher Education, Accreditation (Institutions), Educational History, Educational Quality, Quality Assurance
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site: http://www.collegequarterly.ca
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A