Art & Design Department Mission

The East Central College Art & Design Department’s mission is to provide a strong foundation rooted in the principles of art and design and foster a creative atmosphere fundamental to lifelong learning in which a student develops skills and techniques, develops critical and creative approaches to problem-solving that are communicated in a visual context as well as in written and verbal format, becomes aware of trends and traditions of the larger art world both past and present in preparation for transfer.

Degrees & Certificates

Art, Associate of Fine Arts (AFA)

East Central College offers the Associate of Fine Arts degree (AFA) as the path that allows Art & Design majors to complete a series of arts foundation courses, to experience and develop skills in a variety of media, and to compile a comprehensive portfolio of artwork. While the AFA degree is often pursued by those planning to transfer into a BA or BFA program, the courses lay the groundwork for lifelong artistic growth and build a solid skillset for those who seek employment opportunities with the AFA degree.

Program Description

Academic Degree Map (PDF)

What to expect from the AFA at East Central College: The Associate of Fine Arts degree at East Central College is a program rooted in a foundational core curriculum of drawing, design (two-dimensional and three-dimensional), figure drawing, art history, as well as, in-depth studio art experiences ranging from painting and printmaking to ceramics and graphic design. The program culminates with the student-compiled portfolio and artist presentation.

Additional Information & Links:

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the Fine Arts AFA, students will be able to

  • Use proper industry nomenclature – Students learn the basic underpinnings for creating strong, effective compositions and learn the vocabulary to use to explain the success or weakness of a composition.
  • Utilize technology to present and document work for presentation – Students receive training in the correct way to document and present their work, whether through an online portfolio or a PowerPoint presentation. Students have access to professional lighting equipment, a DSLR camera, and photo editing software.
  • Display an adequate level of professionalism in presentation of work – Professional presentation occurs on macro and micro levels. Students learn and practice the skills of analysis and evaluation when selecting work for their portfolio. Students demonstrate their understanding of professional presentation standards of their work by correctly preparing their work for exhibition and when preparing an entire exhibition. Additionally, students consider the importance of context and audience. Students also learn and practice professionalism when speaking about their work, including the processes and ideas that drive the creation of the works.
  • Display critical thinking skills and concrete conceptual development – Students create a coherent body of work, often across the media, communicating an idea that they have been exploring and investigating. Students demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles of design and effective use of materials by choosing the strongest and most effective works to be in the portfolio.
  • Demonstrate a substantial engagement with historical concepts, techniques, artists, and movements as well as a working knowledge of contemporary artists – It is important for students to be able to make connections with their work and work in the past and to verbalize where they fit in the grand scheme. Formally and informally, in art history survey courses, studio courses, and foundations courses, students learn about important historical works and what makes them continue to be valuable to artists today.