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Pedagogy Students and Teachers page 6

 
 

Student Work Records
At student semester reviews, faculty pulled the best of student work to make record slides. This practice is extremely important as the slides can be used for teaching aids, recruitment, lectures at other institutions or presentations in the community. We used the slides to keep administrators abreast of what was happening in the program or as credentials in soliciting funding for community or research projects. The slides were important in curricula planning as the faculty could lay out slides representing work for the entire year on a large light table. We could see where we needed to put more emphasis, inject new course content or change sequence. Student work records are an invaluable asset for any program. It is also good to keep an updated file on faculty work.

 

Graphic Design Alumni Records
At the Minneapolis School of Art and the Kansas City Art Institute, I kept alumni records and lost track of only three students over a twenty-year period. We started to keep alumni records at Arizona State University but my tenure there was too short to be effective. My experience has been that alumni records are of immense value to the ongoing program. Alumni proved to be the most effective means for placing students after graduation. Alumni were scattered over the entire country and with a phone call, you could obtain information regarding hiring in that area. Graduates working for firms that were hiring would call me to say there were jobs available. Every two years we published the list of alumni and mailed it out to them. Most would stay in contact with the program because they wanted each new listing. Graduates who wanted to work in a particular location would look in the alumni listing to find if any previous graduate was working there. If so, they could call them, make inquiry, or contact them when they arrived to look for work. Often it was a place to sleep even though a davenport while they were interviewing. As many students had found their first job through this avenue, they were always willing to help a new graduate.

In time, alumni were working in a variety of design capacities throughout the country, and frequently we brought them back to the school to talk with students. Alumni have credibility with current students that makes these visits worthwhile.

We passed out alumni forms to each Senior prior to graduation. The key question on the form was to list a phone number for parents or relative that would always know where they were located.

Even though every institution has an alumni office, it is best done within the program. It is important that any records done within the department are passed on to the institutional alumni office. They are always pleased with the assistance and are cooperative when you need something from their office. I usually had a work grant student each year who kept the records updated. The importance of keeping student work and alumni records cannot be overstated.

 

Graphic Design Newsletter
At Arizona State University, during 1989, we published a newsletter in conjunction with the alumni program. The newsletter was not only an added incentive for alumni to stay in contact, but it was also an excellent promotional tool both within and outside the university. We mailed copies to art departments at high schools and community colleges. We used it for recruitment and promotional purposes. On a larger scale, I think it would be excellent if all Graphic Design programs published a newsletter once a year describing and illustrating the program as a means for better knowing what is going on at all the different institutions around the country.

 

Cataloging Work or Design History Slide Records
I always had a number of slides which usually were kept in trays. There were student work, faculty, pedagogical and design or typographic history slides. Either I used them or other faculty members borrowed them to use in their classes. Inevitably, at the end of each term, I had a pile of slides all mixed together in a box, and it would take days to sort and put them back into order.

I finally devised a cataloging system whereby I could take home the box of mixed-up slides, and pay my eight-year old daughter, Shaun, two dollars to separate and put them away.

Loose-leaf notebooks were used for categories such as Student Records, Faculty Work, Design History, Type History, Community Projects and so on. Each book had an alphabetical designation. Each page was numbered. The windows were numbered vertically one to twenty. Corresponding numbers were written on each slide. E-10-15 would be the E book, tenth page and the bottom window on the third column from the left. If it became necessary to add a page between ten and eleven, I would mark it 10-A. This system worked extremely well for me.

 

 
 

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