ERIC Number: EJ1054942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Transitioning from School to Career: I've Got My MFA… Now What?
Moffett, Ann-Thomas; Sorensen, Gina Bolles; Ifill, Valerie
Journal of Dance Education, v15 n1 p39-43 2015
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a terminal, practice-oriented degree in dance. Approximately 30 institutions in the United States offer MFA degrees in dance (National Association of Schools of Dance 2014). The degree was "designed historically to offer a broad education with a content specialization, 'without the latter overpowering the former'" (Bond 2010, 125). In "Dance Education Matters: Rebuilding Postsecondary Dance Education for Twenty-First Century Relevance and Resonance," Doug Risner (2010) spoke to a recent shift in graduate-level academic programming. Although enrollment in initial master's degree programs in dance, such as the MA, MEd, and MS, has decreased significantly over the last five years, enrollment in MFA programs is on the rise (Risner 2010, 101). In fact, the number of MFA degrees awarded in dance more than doubled in ten years from 40 degrees in 2003 to 99 degrees in 2013 (Higher Education Arts Data Services 2013). As recent MFA graduates, the authors discuss opportunities and challenges of transitioning from school to career. They have worked in a variety of capacities: independent artist, performer, choreographer, director, artist-in-residence, teaching artist, community arts program director, board member, business owner, adjunct faculty, college professor, researcher, and journal reviewer. They highlight specific strategies drawn from these experiences for (1) expanding traditional notions of work and compensation, (2) working as an independent artist and teacher, and (3) thriving as adjunct faculty.
Descriptors: Masters Degrees, Fine Arts, Education Work Relationship, Dance Education, Enrollment Trends, Adjunct Faculty, Artists, Performance, Teaching (Occupation), Employment Potential, Careers, College Faculty
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A