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mfa (long)/stats

updated tue 6 jun 00


Marcia Selsor on sun 4 jun 00

Dear Joyce,
The CAA newsletter used to publish this information about the number of
those applying for specific disciplines and the number of successful
candidates. I could not find the info on their website, but I asked if
they were still keeping the stats on the job market. I'll pass it on if
they respond.
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita
enjoying the sun, working in clay outside while playing fetch with the dog.

Joyce Lee wrote:
> Correct me if I'm wrong.... please do...... but I've heard and read
> often that there are many more graduates of MFA programs seeking jobs in
> their field than there are jobs available..... and
> that the art/ceramic employment available on the college or university
> level is very limited. Not true? Several clayarters have mentioned that
> they're either anticipating enrolling (or wishing they had enrolled) in
> an MFA program and then "getting a job in a university" as if that were
> an automatic extension of the degree program. Maybe the art/ceramic
> scene has changed in the last few years; if so, I'd like to know since I
> sometimes still respond to requests for educational guidance from recent
> high school graduates, and I'm still advising the ones who want to
> continue with art and pottery especially to look into the job market and
> to ask for statistics as to how many graduates the school they hope to
> attend is placing into even beginning level art positions....
> anywhere...... or in ANY school... much less at a post-secondary
> institute. When I have communicated with art departments of major
> universities concerning such stats, the inference has been that the
> college or university is NOT in the employment business, but in the
> business of education. Actually I tend to agree with that position,
> vacillating occasionally in some cases, but I think that the enrolling
> student should be given this information early on. If that isn't going
> to happen in this lifetime for fear of losing further tuition monies,
> then the students who care must ask the question themselves about
> possible employment. I am eager to be enlightened if this is no longer a
> viable attitude ..... thank you very much for thinking and responding
> (if you do) since some critical decisions may be made based on your
> information. I don't like to think it, but it is not likely that I'll
> get more pertinent or recent information from major colleges and
> universities than I will from our claybuds and gurus. AND I am an
> educator with considerable faith that formal education is important in
> any field ..... even if just to have a nationally accepted shared body
> of knowledge ... but, based on experience, little faith that incoming
> freshmen (or their parents who are paying big bucks) are given much
> factual information about the educational process and how it will
> prepare them for society...... real society... a working society. There
> is much info available about dorm living, binge drinking, anorexia,
> social groups, attending classes, financing via grants and loans etc.
> The most thorough grounding in scholastic expectations, by the way, came
> from tech and trade schools ... automotive, computers, nursing, design.
> HOw many MFA graduates do YOU know who are working for slightly above
> minimum wage at part-time jobs in galleries, art supply houses and
> assistant jobs on school campuses ... just to hang on to some semblance
> of being part of the art world?? I know many. Maybe California is the
> exception. If so, please tell me. I think that on Clayart we have a
> skewered perspective because so many of our gurus ARE art teachers with
> good positions ... but it's my feeling that they are the exceptions ...
> both in proven academic ability and in being in the right place at the
> right time.... not so?
> Joyce
> In the Mojave
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Marcia Selsor