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A FRAMEWORK for Making, Engaging, and Reflecting

We are revisiting VPA’s mission statement by restating who we are, and how we want to serve our students and community.  


We reaffirm VPA’s commitment to:


  • Serve those who have not been given equitable opportunities

    • Marginalized students that come from first generation, regional, immigrant populations and local agricultural communities, and people of color that have been and continue to be historically oppressed.

  • Mentor Students

    • 1/1 academic mentorship that includes technical proficiency, professional practices, and exposure to deep-rooted social issues within a contemporary arts and social framework.


  • Promote Cultural Entrepreneurship

    • Reciprocal, marketable skills that engage livelihood through self-sufficient viable practices that benefit, inspire, and influence local communities through prosperous creative leadership and change.


  • Faculty Development

    • Continually re-imagining our efforts through fruitful investigation/research that includes the transformation of existing teaching culture/habits/methods, and reconsidering the delivery of ideas and teaching practices to enhance established pedagogical models that are rooted in community engagement, social practices, and critical inquiry.


  • The Success of our Students

    • Positioning our graduates as next generation community builders and creative leaders who contribute to and enhance their local communities.

​Fall 2020 Curricular Framework

1. Applied teaching that focuses on the introduction, practice, and mastery* of subject matter, medium, and social commitment through critical inquiry and action.


* mastery is defined as proficiency, ability, comprehension, grasp, and skills to engage as makers and critical thinkers.


  • Proficiency of community & audience understanding

  • Ability in critical & evaluative skills

  • Comprehension through self-assessment activities that are specific to one’s own assumptions, values, and stereotypes.

  • Grasp and skills of individual and aesthetic exploration and production and distribution skills.


2. A Cultural Entrepreneurship Model that focuses on the development of home studio practices–studios practices that are not contingent on campus facilities, and that introduce the creation of affordable work spaces and sustainable practices.


3. Curricular engagement that clearly captures VPA’s Major Learning Outcomes and that facilitates critical thinking and self-assessment activities.


MLO 1: Historical & Contemporary Analysis Skills

  • Students will articulate the visual relationship between their ideas and contemporary art practices.  


MLO 2: Individual & Aesthetic Exploration

  • Students will understand their art-making in relation to others.


VPA MLO 3: Community & Audience Understanding

  • Students will demonstrate critical analysis of one’s own assumptions, values, and stereotypes.


MLO 4: Collaborative & Community Planning Skills

  • Students will reflect on their own studio practice in the context of reciprocity.


MLO 5: Production Skills

  • Students will connect their production skills to a specific medium and area of interest.


MLO 6: Critical & Evaluative Skills

  • Students will assess their production skills and conceptual ideas in relation to self, critical connections of materiality and technical merit.


MLO 7 Distribution Skills

  • Students will present their artwork to the public.

VPA revisits the term “underserved” and, more specifically, our role and responsibilities therein.   


  1. VPA Curriculum:

  • We are department whose mission is to be society serving, and

  • All of our curriculum works towards that goal.

  • We teach our students to engage critically, to think about positionality, community, and reciprocity (to think about those outside themselves), and to learn, practice, and integrate applied and critical thinking skill.  

2.  Ongoing Strategic Goals

identify deficits and focus on creating a more equitable and balanced delivery of curriculum through:


  • A focus on regional, minority, marginalized, first- generation students who continue to be underserved in our community, and who are important to the development of the arts and creative leadership. We also seek to serve and welcome their allies.

  • Creating a safe, inclusive learning environment that counters violence, sexism, racism, bigotry, and discrimination.

  • Creating a mentorship initiative that focuses on equity gaps, and is specific to countering threats that disproportionately affect people of color.

    • by identifying and providing support and encouragement to students. 

    • by leading conversations about the causes and consequences of racial inequality.

    • by engaging first-generation and marginalized communities through leadership activities.

How we engage with underserved 
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