Executive Director’s ReportA Report on SVHEC Signature Programming: The Business of Art & Design2006 SCHEV recommendations expanded the SVHEC’s role beyond that of educational broker to include program development and innovation, which has given rise to our “signature” Business of Art & Design programming. Using a $1.5M Tobacco Commission Grant, SVHEC staff spent 18 months vetting the SCHEV recommendations: analyzing regional economic, educational, and demographic data; reviewing the current literature; conducting benchmarking visits at community-based organizations across the country; and hosting a well-attended regional conference.Report to the HEF Board<br />October 7, 2009<br />Dr. Betty H. Adams<br />With the opening of the new Business of Art & Design (BA&D) Lab and ongoing renovation of The Innovation Center, where the programs will be housed along with The R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing, I thought it might be helpful to bring HEF Board Members up to speed on the SVHEC’s signature programs. The following provides an overview of the history, purpose, and progress being made. <br />Driven by SCHEV recommendations<br />In 2006 – less than a year after becoming a state agency – the SVHEC was challenged by a State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) report that recommended the institution (1) work with K-12 and existing higher education institutions to build a “college-going culture” in Southside and (2) strengthen regional economic development by introducing new higher education degree programs that capitalize on local assets. These recommendations expanded the SVHEC’s role beyond that of educational broker to include program development and innovation, which has given rise to our “signature” Business of Art & Design programming. <br />18 months of preliminary research<br />Using a $1.5M Tobacco Commission Grant, SVHEC staff spent 18 months vetting the SCHEV recommendations: analyzing regional economic, educational, and demographic data; reviewing the current literature; conducting benchmarking visits at community-based organizations across the country; and hosting a well-attended regional conference. An over-arching theme in the research indicated that today’s workforce requires students versed in creative thinking skills to succeed in work and life. Knowledge Economy workers not only require an understanding of the “what” and “how” as explored in traditional academic subjects (science, math, and technology), but also an understanding, awareness, and appreciation of the “why.” Business of Art & Design programs, therefore, use 21st Century creative applications and technology to develop the skills necessary for exploring the “why” while preparing students for design-oriented and creative careers through real-world, project-based learning and collaboration.<br />Unique 2+2+2 educational pathway<br />Business of Art and Design programs foster a college-going culture by establishing a unique 2+2+2 educational pathway that draws students into the college pipeline early and eliminates barriers along the way. The 2+2+2 pipeline establishes a seamless and integrated educational conduit that begins with junior and senior-level high school dual enrollment courses. Dual enrollment credits articulate and lead to a 2-year community college applied associate’s degree (AAS), and the community college AAS degree courses also articulate to a bachelor’s degree (BS) at a senior-level institution. At any point along the pipeline, students are able to “step off” with employable and marketable skills.<br />Three innovative programs<br />Three degree programs were conceived under the Business of Art & Design umbrella: The Digital Art & Design and Product Design & Development programs were launched in the fall of 2008, and after only one year have already garnered significant attention, recognition and accomplishments. While conceptual development of the Hospitality, Tourism & Entrepreneurship program continues, full implementation is currently limited by lack of resources. <br />The following information describes the educational purpose of the Digital Art & Design and Product Design & Development programs and provides a brief overview of the significant progress made over the course of the pilot year:<br />Digital Art & Design (DA&D)<br />The Digital Art & Design curriculum is a skills-oriented program synthesizing broad principles of design with specific techniques using the latest technology to create effective visual communication solutions. Students will be prepared to transfer to four-year degree programs and/or to begin careers in digital design industries. Employment and career opportunities include: computer graphics artist, graphic designer, brand developer/communications manager, layout artist, video production, web and interactive design, photography, multimedia artist, and animation.<br /><ul><li>Heavy enrollment increases: From just 15 high school students only one year ago, enrollment in DA&D courses has swelled to more than 75 students this fall between both secondary and post-secondary levels. The 2008-2009 academic year offered just one course in Graphic Arts to dually-enrolled Halifax County High Schoolers. The 2009-2010 year will introduce a two-semester sequence, Graphic Arts I & II, for 9-12 graders at HCHS, and five courses offered to adults through Danville Community College which together comprise a Career Studies Certificate in Digital Art & Design (pending anticipated approval this fall; which we anticipate easily).
AAS approval & BS articulation agreements underway: The full Applied Associate Degree Program is currently being stewarded through SACS and VCCS by DA&D Coordinator Ben Capozzi and Dean Ed White from DCC. This will be a lengthy process of several months more, though letters of endorsement, student testimonials, and supporting documents from area business avowing the need for students with these comprehensive 21st century skills in the digital and design arenas continue to amass. Mr. Capozzi is also developing an articulation agreement with the School of Visual Art at Virginia Tech.
Growth in educational partnerships: Outstanding letters of support for the Digital Art & Design curriculum from 4-year partner Virginia Tech were received in August -- with one faculty member even touting the advantages of our own program over those of VPI&SU. Collaboration with Longwood University's Art Education program is proceeding this fall with visiting instructors from the Keysville campus offering arts workshops to elementary schoolers.
Growth in partnerships with area businesses: Particularly exciting is a partnership with the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority to develop a design studio to handle select business services for Riverstone Industrial Park tenants. This partnership would be both a revenue generating venture for the DA&D program and a unique internship opportunity for students in Southside.
Growth in non-credit programming: The 2009 Summer Digital Arts Camp served some 39 area children in digital arts programming from working with cameras, video, and animation. Other sponsored programs include: Summer participation in worldwide Photowalk and Fall participation in The Girl Project, a global art project documenting the lives of teenage girls BY teenage girls.
National recognition for DA&D student and program: In a competition sponsored by a nationally distributed professional publication, students in the DA&D dual enrollment program designed CD covers for the spring edition of Layers Magazine. Student Stephen Woltz’s design was selected tops in the competition, and both he and the program received a nice write up in the journal.
DA&D coordinator receives high student praise: In a local newspaper article highlighting the top ten graduating HCHS seniors, DA&D Coordinator Ben Capozzi (and the program) was singled out has having had the greatest influence on the number 4 graduating senior, “Mr. Capozzi taught me things that I was actually interested in and gave me the opportunity to learn not only through instruction, but through experience.”</li></ul>Product Design & Development (PD&D)<br />The Product Design & Development curriculum prepares students with a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which the method, measure and language of design drive the practice of business and the process of innovation. The curriculum emphasizes ways in which collaborative design thinking and strategies can partner with business process to establish sound decision in innovative product development. The technologies used to produce “proof-of-concept” products will consist of the most advanced CAD/CAM systems. This approach will proactively support workforce development and performance improvement within business and industry. There is a desperate need to fill these jobs in manufacturing and within the related service sector as well as prepare students with the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees leading to career options in high technology industries.<br /><ul><li>Pilot WoodLinks year a success: In 2008-09, the SVHEC partnered with HCHS to establish the first WoodLinks high school program in Virginia. WoodLinks is the dual enrollment component of the PD&D program. Seniors graduating in the first WoodLinks class are now enrolled in the one-year Career Studies Certificate Program offered through DCC at the SVHEC and WoodLinks juniors have returned in their senior year. A new “after school” program has also been established to encourage cross curricula collaboration with other SVHEC programs.
WoodLinks lab moved from HCHS to SVHEC: 2009-10 WoodLinks students will attend labs in the renovated SVHEC 1950s space that replicates a professional, sophisticated CAD/CAM work cell environment. Made possible through TIC grant funds, a generous HEF donation, and steep educational discounts on machinery and software, the new space is already creating a “wow” factor for industry visitors.
AAS approval & BS articulation agreements underway: The educational partnership with DCC has been strengthened and the PD&D AAS degree has been approved for DCC curriculum committee review. An articulation agreement with the Department of Wood Science & Forest Products at Virginia Tech has been defined and opened up for transferring students. Work is now underway to develop a “guaranteed transfer agreement” with Virginia Tech as part of the 2+2+2 educational pathway.
Growth in educational partnerships: The Department of Wood Science & Forest Products at Virginia Tech has agreed to bring graduate-level research to the Advanced Manufacturing Center as part of an NIST grant submitted this June. PD&D Coordinator David Kenealy is in discussions with the UVA/Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program to develop a BS in engineering to be offered at the SVHEC. The SVHEC has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Letterfrack, Ireland to collaborate on PD&D programs and research. Two GMIT students recently returned to Ireland after very productive internships with the PD&D program. More GMIT interns are expected to follow.
Growth in industry partnerships: The SVHEC has been selected by French software maker Missler to serve as the first USA/TopSolid Institute in the United States. Missler produces the only integrated wood manufacturing software on the market and has donated approximately $1M in software licenses for the Institute and PD&D program. The Tobacco Commission has provided in-kind funds to purchase the computers for the USA/TopSolid Institute. The Institute will be a revenue-generating proposition, with SVHEC staff conducting training for manufacturers from across the country that will come to South Boston for training. Martinsville Speedway has approved the SVHEC to lead a collaborative effort to produce the “trophy clock” for their March 2010 NASCAR racing event. David Kenealy is also building a relationship with the American Wood Finishing Institute (AWFI) and its partner University of Northern Iowa to bring a national coatings institute to the SVHEC. Relationship-building is also ongoing with representatives with the UVA/VT Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing project with Rolls Royce.
National recognition for HCHS WoodLinks students and program: HCHS WoodLinks students John Barry and McKenzie Stevens won first place honors in the High School Class Project category of the national juried competition sponsored by the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS). The Fresh Wood Student Competition is the largest of its kind and highlights outstanding construction and design achievements by students. The students and their instructors, Kevin Chrystie and Clint Johnson, received the honor at the AWFS conference in Las Vegas this summer. Their project “The Chair” is currently on display in the new BA&D Lab.</li></ul> <br /> <br />