An interesting thing happened during my evaluation
A colleague observed my three dimensional design class recently. Normally I'm observed when I'm giving a lecture or critique but this time I was observed in a regular work period. Students came prepared with maquettes they were working on and I gave them feedback and direction on their designs. The faculty who was observing was a member of my department who teaches graphic design.
I recently had a conversation with a student in my class who is considering changing universities because of issues he is having with the school hockey team of which he is the captain. A number of other schools are actively recruiting this student to play on their teams and he is tempted because many of the players on our team are not committed to the team and he finds this frustrating. He told me that he knows academics come first but was unsure of how our graphic design area would serve him and seemed like he was ready to give up.
It occurred to me during the observation that I could get the graphic design faculty member and this student together and have them work out a solution. My colleague is an excellent salesperson and in the matter of just a few minutes laid out a compelling presentation of our program. I'm not sure if it changed my student's mind but it did give him something to think about and he followed up by visiting my colleague a day or two later.
This course of events has made me consider bringing my introductory level foundations students on visits to advanced courses so they can see the interesting work ahead. Often times the abstract and technical aspects of foundations can be trying on students and it may be helpful for them to look to the future. Keeping the end in mind has the potential to keep students enrolled in art programs when they are experiencing the difficulty of foundations.