Home > Opinions > YHC artists need more classes

YHC artists need more classes

October 26, 2010

Photo by Ashton Jones

By Kyle Huneycutt, A&E Editor

When I first started my college education at Young Harris College, I thought I had it all figured out. I was majoring in English, and that was final. Naturally, a semester later, I was now both an English and art major. It was not a decision I took lightly, and I did not decide to do it on my own either.

My decision making process was aided by the art department of YHC; and although I will not say I regret making that decision, it has certainly not made my life any easier. In my opinion, of all the degree programs at YHC, the art program is the most neglected, and changes need to be made.

Since the school has become a four-year institution, huge transitions have been initiated, but the art department is being left behind in the dust. Even before YHC was a four-year school, the art department paled in comparison to the music, English and science departments that are fully staffed and offer many different opportunities and new directions for students to take their majors.

This year, as nice as the new recreation center is, I thought our school’s motto began with “To Educate.” When I read that, I thought it meant that it was the school’s primary goal to provide the best education it can offer to its students. I guess the art students did not make the cut.

As of right now, there are currently only two professors who teach art classes and one professor who teaches art history. Not only does this put a large amount of pressure on them, but it also makes scheduling classes very difficult because each class is only offered once. If you decide to be an art major your second semester, like I did, count on graduating late.

The classes offered are also very limited. The school offers two drawing classes, two design classes and one painting class. It has yet to offer a graphic design program, which is unfortunate considering graphic design is probably the most applicable and profitable field an art major can enter with today’s economy.

The college has been working towards offering more four-year degrees. And, when I decided to major in art, I, and many other art majors, were told that art would have a four-year program by the time we were finished with our sophomore year, in which we could continue to work for a Bachelor’s degree. Now, in the first semester of my sophomore year, I am being told that no such degree will be offered for the benefit of the sophomore art majors. If I had not additionally been majoring in English, I would be forced to transfer to another school.

As it is, I can either stay at YHC and be content with only an Associate’s degree in art, which will not benefit me very well, or transfer to a school where I can continue to pursue art and English. Many of my fellow art majors are in fact planning on transferring to other schools.
I was under the impression that Young Harris wanted to convince as many students as possible to stay four full years, but now it is losing several students who will no doubt encourage other prospective art students in the area to choose another college.

As a liberal arts college, Young Harris should strive to improve the quality of all its areas of study. As of right now, it is failing to do so.

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