The Foundation program in the College of Art and Design provides incoming freshmen with a year devoted to a basic understanding of principles and concepts in the visual arts. During the first semester, each student is a member of a Foundation section and takes three co-requisite courses: Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, and Drawing. During the second semester, students select a minimum of nine credits (three co-requisite courses) from the four courses offered by Foundation: Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, Drawing, and Time and Motion. Each class meets for three hours, twice a week.
Each section of students is taught by a team of faculty members who are professionals in their various fields of art and design; many hold the ranks of Professor and Associate Professor. In Foundation courses, faculty members stress not only the independent qualities of a discipline, but also its interdependent character. Through these basic studies and their interactions, students discover the underlying values and principles important to all visual arts.
Classroom work is enriched by home assignments, critiques and reviews, guest artists, films, slides, and class trips. One faculty member from each section’s team is designated as the advisor to that section. Students meet individually with the advisor to discuss concerns, the registration process, and their choice of major.
The student chooses an additional course offered by the major studio departments each semester. These elective courses are designed to acquaint the student with the practices of the major studio areas. Students also register for two Liberal Arts courses in each semester, as required by the University core.
In addition to the typical September start date, students may also enter midyear and begin the Foundation Program in January. The department schedules first-semester core courses during the spring semester, and a seven-week, nine-credit, intensive second semester between mid-May and the end of June. Midyear admits who successfully complete the twosemester Foundation Program between January and June can enter their major program of study in the fall of the same calendar year in which they entered the program.
In addition to the numerous multipurpose studios used by Foundation students for their regular class activities, the Foundation program provides other facilities to support and enrich studio projects.
The Foundation Department has two Mac-based digital media labs and a media equipment facility housing digital video and still cameras and editing equipment. These facilities are used by all classes and can be accessed by students to execute projects in Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, and Time Motion.
The Foundation Shop is used for all Three-Dimensional Design, and Time and Motion classes, and provides all Foundation students with the opportunity to work with a diversity of materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and stone. The Foundation Shop houses a wide range of power equipment, including band saws, scroll saws, sanders, table saws, chop saws and other power tools. The Shop is monitored by a full-time Shop Supervisor and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Nature Lab (the Visual Resource Center) contains an extensive selection of natural and man-made objects that serve as sources for research that enhances and complements the educational experience. The Nature Lab is used frequently by all Drawing classes. It is also well utilized by Three-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Design classes. Some of the many objects in our collection include rocks, minerals, animal skeletons such as birds, cats, and turtles, human skeletons and skulls, plant forms, seashells, sea horses, coral, horseshoe crabs, taxidermy reptiles, bats, frogs, and more. Included in our collection is a “digital microscopy” station, enabling students to work directly from microscopic specimens to examine and record visual information through digital still and video clips. Students are invited to use the Nature Lab in addition to their scheduled class time.
The full-time freshman student is typically scheduled for 16.5 credits each semester. Please see the Foundation Program Curriculum.