Overview of the Cognate Program: 2

    Goals of the Cognate Program

    The School of Art and Design prepares students for participation in the professional fields of art, design, and education, broadening the scope of their experience by providing intellectual support for art beyond the limits of studio skills.

    The Cognate Program within the School of Art and Design is intended to provide a common experience of concepts, methods, and issues that are common throughout a wide variety of art and design disciplines. An awareness of the broad nature of art and design underlies all cognate courses. The cognate courses prepare students for study in their chosen discipline and serve as a foundation for visual awareness, problem solving, creativity, and development of analytical and critical faculties.

    To this end, the Cognate Program emphasizes:

    • Comprehension of visual structures as elements that are fundamental to the artistic process.
    • Understanding of the relationship of art and the artist to mass culture.
    • Exhibition of conceptual development.
    • Ability to solve problems.Ability to be self-critical.
    • Ability to use written, oral, and visual communication to present and articulate concepts.

    As program goals, these criteria should be met, in some degree, by every cognate course. Obviously, some course will stress certain goals more heavily than others, but for consistency, pedagogical reinforcement, and to ensure that the goals are actually met, they must be present in every cognate course.

    Cognate instruction does not stop at the end of a student's cognate courses. It is the responsibility of the faculty as a whole to continue to reemphasize the basic skills, vocabulary, and principles that will help students to succeed in the program as well as in their chosen career path. Educational theory has shown that students often do not absorb information the first time they are exposed to it. Depending upon the manner in which information is presented--as well as the learning style of the student--as little as 5% of what a student is exposed to will be retained and transferred to work in other classes. Faculty should recognize the fact that students need to be exposed repeatedly to basic information before being able to apply that information.