Genesee Receives Final OK for new Fine Arts Degree Program

Genesee Community College has received final approval from the New York State Education Department for its new Fine Arts degree program. The program will offer students an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree. It is ideal for students who wish to teach the arts in elementary or secondary schools, develop their own fine arts skills, or transfer to a fine arts degree program in a baccalaureate college. Students can work toward degrees in the program beginning this fall.

Currently, Genesee offers degrees in Communications and Media Arts, Theatre Arts, and Humanities/Social Sciences. The new program will be a broadly-based arts program, combining beginning and intermediate level courses with courses from a number of different academic disciplines.

Students will participate in courses in design, painting, craft fundamentals, photography, and museum practice. Students will also be able to choose from a wide variety of arts-related electives, including drawing, computer graphics, and theatrical design. The program also includes a wide variety of liberal arts courses that enable students to easily transfer to other State University of New York colleges and most private colleges as well. As part of the new Fine Arts program, each student will have the opportunity to develop a personal arts portfolio.

The new program will enable students to easily transfer to a variety of other colleges offering baccalaureate programs in the arts. Many graduates will transfer to SUNY College at Brockport, Buffalo State College, SUNY College at Oneonta, SUNY College at Oswego, SUNY College at Fredonia, SUNY College at Geneseo, Nazareth College, and Roberts Wesleyan College, all of which offer bachelor's degrees in fine arts fields.

Individuals interested in enrolling in the new program, or obtaining more information about it may contact the College's Admissions Office at 345-6800 or Ms. Morrison at 343-0055, extension 6439.

The Fine Arts degree program is particularly exciting to faculty members teaching arts courses, said Marcia K. Morrison, Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee. "This program is a wonderful addition to Genesee Community College and will enable us to serve more students with an interest in the arts, as well as students who are simply seeking a broad-based liberal arts degree," she said. "I always emphasize that a fine arts degree program such as this is not limited to students who have experience in the arts. It is absolutely ideal for students who want to develop skills in self-discovery, communication, creativity, and critical thinking - skills that are useful in a wide variety of academic disciplines and virtually all careers."

Ms. Morrison, who is both a theatre expert and performing artist herself, noted that she has taught and mentored students in her theatre classes who have gone on to a wide variety of careers. "Graduates have told me that their theatre experience helped them become effective personnel managers, for instance," she said. "Students who have studied theatre have used their organizational skills in a wide variety of business and educational settings."

Students interested in education may comprise a large number of students in the new Fine Arts program, according to Ms. Morrison. "Although educational funding is tight at all levels, school districts throughout the state are gradually adopting new arts programs in response to New York State educational requirements in this field."

Most significantly, the new program enhances Genesee Community College's position as a center for the arts. "I believe that the arts are a very important part of the life of the community and the lives of individuals, and I constantly advocate for the arts," she said. "Our Fine Arts degree program gives students another way to learn and celebrate the arts, and it opens up an exciting new educational opportunities for the entire region."

In addition to Genesee's academic programs in the arts and humanities, the College sponsors a Fine Arts Committee. The Committee brings a wide variety of musicians, dancers, singers, theatrical acts, and other performances to the College each year. The College's Forum Players - a group of Genesee students interested in the performing arts - stages theatrical productions each year. And the College's Arts Outreach Program provides the College's Stuart Steiner Theatre to the regional arts organizations wishing to stage their own productions at Genesee.