For Trinity's Department of Art and Design, assessment is a way of life. Artists and students regularly put their work up for public review and critique. And, when the Senior Show goes up, students and faculty have a lively informal debate about whose work is strong, and whether the current exhibition is even stronger than last year's.
Formally, based on nine learning outcomes, the Art Department conducts rigorous internal and external assessments of student work every year. We develop strategies to maintain departmental strengths as well as address areas where we see need for refinement. The data generated by this process are used to justify all changes to the department's curriculum, staffing, and equipment. Annual college-wide assessment by all departments ensures that all Trinity students get an education that is current and prepares them with skills and attitudes for the world they are entering.
The Art Department is currently at the end of three year cycle to strengthen students' writing, clarify students' understanding of theology's relationship to cultural engagement, and increasing student's understanding of professional practice through increased support and requirements for off-campus engagement with the Chicago art institutions, galleries, and design organizations. You can see student writing on the Alumni page. There are current initiatives in photography and video, and, a change in the art education requirements that allowed us to strengthen the art history requirement without adding extra course work.