BLOG*August 25, 2015

 

The collegiate arena has always been an old boys club of sorts, with its own rules and regulations, standardized curriculums, application policies, governmental oversight, subsidies and much, much more. Students are groomed to attend college even before high school with the goal of winning some corporate position or in the instance of receiving an MFA degree, a ticket to becoming a full time teacher.

I see artists all the time scrambling to get that MFA intending that it will lead to the golden chalice of full time employment with all its perks, but times have changed and nothing is guaranteed. Part time faculty positions are increasing while full time positions are decreasing. This shift has created some problematic results, for students too.

For instance the entire class of first year MFA students at USC’s Roski School of Art has decided to leave the school, listing a number of grievances, criticizing the school’s administration for not valuing the Program’s faculty structure, pedagogy or standing in the arts community. This is only the tip of the iceberg as higher education attempts to justify skyrocketing tuitions and other costs. Read more about the USC protest here.

This is why it is crucial to truly look at your options and create a backup for your art career. Teaching can be a part of that equation but do not rely on outdated educational paradigms for income sustainability.