KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana Commission for Higher Education Friday (February 10) unanimously approved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program for Indiana University Kokomo – fulfilling the need for a growing interest in art, creativity and demand in art-related careers.
Chancellor Michael Harris said this program addresses a need for north central Indiana residents because it will provide the only opportunity in the region for becoming a career artist.
“The Bachelor of Fine Arts program provides an opportunity for students who are talented creatively and artistically to develop those talents and prepare them to use their skills in careers that can enhance the region’s transformation from an economy of manufacturing to an economy of innovation and knowledge,” Harris said.
B.F.A. graduates can work as illustrators, cartoonists, special effects artists, craft artists, video game designers, animators, painters or sculptors, among other options.
University officials estimated there would be 34 students enrolled by the program’s fifth year.
The B.F.A. is more specialized, with additional concentration in studio art and fewer general education requirements than the current Bachelor of Arts.
Gregory Steel, assistant professor of fine arts, said the B.F.A allows students to compete with other arts students for admission to graduate fine arts program. It also gives them more time and focus for studio work to prepare for future careers.
“We are very pleased the Commission approved this degree, and we are grateful to all those who worked so hard to make this happen. We are especially thankful to Chancellor Harris, who went to the commission personally to express our desire and the desire of our students to have this degree,” Steel said.
Steel said, in addition, to allowing more students to pursue an academic art degree, it provides an economic benefit to north central Indiana.
“The arts are always an interest for people moving to an area or who live in an area, and want a sense of community and access to the cultural aspects normally only seen in larger metropolitan areas,” he said.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.