April 27th and May 5th meetings
Our initial discussions focused on figuring out the scope of the curriculum development. In particular the question of whether the development will result in a new degree plan versus a major modification to the existing plan.
The Terms of Reference task the Advisory Group to develop a new vision and curriculum for Visual Arts @ Queen’s. That’s not to say we’re throwing everything away of course! In fact, quite the opposite. Arguably the most important role of the Advisory Group will be to identify the best of what the BFA offers and incorporate that into the revitalized vision and curriculum. These are the questions we discussed:
Will the revitalized curriculum be a new degree plan? Good question! While using the word new carries a strong emotional response, its use in curriculum development is comparatively benign. Essentially this is a technical question related to how the Ontario Quality Council, which is the legislative body that approves degree plans, considers changes to curriculum. Looking at the Terms of Reference and considering the amount of change that will be required to the existing BFA degree plan to meet these terms, it is very likely that it will be considered a new degree plan. As such, the most likely outcome will be that the revitalized curriculum will go through the new degree plan process.
What does it mean to go through the new degree plan process? Essentially it means that the degree plan undergoes external review. External review is a regular part of certification for all degree plans. It occurs every eight years for existing degree plans. In fact, the existing BFA plan was about to undergo such a review this year. Getting a new degree plan approved through this process takes longer relative to a major modification, but individual courses can be approved and made available to students before the new degree plan is finalized.
How many Visual Art courses will be in the revitalized degree plan? Degree plans are a mix of discipline-specific courses and courses from other departments. With the current complement of faculty and staff, we expect to have between 22-29 discipline-specific courses to work with, which is more than enough to accomplish the goals set out in the Terms of Reference.