Painting a better picture for students

By Bob Rogers

More barriers are removed for art students at a New York community college thanks to new accreditation.

This summer, Queensborough Community College became the only community college in New York and one of only 19 community colleges in the country to receive accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).  I am proud of this distinguished recognition and delighted for our students.

This accreditation is not only extremely exciting, it is a game changer.

Imagine admissions directors from premier art design institutions who only consider applicants from accredited art programs. With accreditation, our students who attend Queensborough for their first two years can be confident that the learning opportunities here will be of the same caliber as the private institutions, but at often significantly less cost, reducing the need for early transfer.

Transfer schools frequently cherry-pick the courses they allow to transfer for students that come from two-year institutions, citing the higher standards and expectations of their programs.  This can force students to retake as much as a full year of course work.  Queensborough graduates will now be able to argue that their two years of foundation study in art here is equivalent to the expectations and standards of four-year schools, and they should be allotted full credit for their first two years of study.

The NASAD accreditation also makes the point that the quality of education at Queensborough is not just about obtaining an associate degree and then entering the workforce. Students are free to develop their skills even though their prior experience with art might be minimal. They can create a body of work that, combined with the NASAD accreditation, will give them a distinct competitive edge for acceptance into four-year colleges and universities, such as Pratt, School of Visual Arts and Fashion Institute of Technology, among others.

Over the years students have developed their skills under the guidance of our outstanding faculty in painting and drawing, art history, and digital art and design, as well as gallery and museum studies—the only one of its kind among CUNY’s community colleges for students interested in pursuing careers in conservatory and curatorial work.

Distinguished faculty in the department of Art and Design include renowned art photographer Jules Allen; contemporary artist Professor Javier Cambre, whose work has been widely exhibited and is in the collection at the Whitney Museum; and Internship Coordinator Professor Elizabeth Di Giorgio, who works in conjunction with the Office of Career Services at Queensborough to place students in internships that have included the Queens Museum of Art, the QCC Art Gallery, the Kupferberg Holocaust Center and other community sponsors.

Bob Rogers

is the chair of the department of Art and Design at Queensborough Community College (CUNY) in New York.