SNAAP DataBrief
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Vol. 2 No. 2
Strategic National Arts Alumni Project
DataBrief provides arts educators and arts policy makers
with highlights of SNAAP data and insights
into the value of arts-school education.
Contact us for more information.

Who’s Involved? Spotlight on Community Service

This brief draws from the 65,837 arts alumni from 120 institutions (109 postsecondary and 11 arts high schools) in the United States who responded to the SNAAP survey in 2011 and 2012.

One measure of arts students’ community involvement is the extent to which they participate in community service. While the SNAAP questionnaire does not define “community service,” respondents probably refer to many types of community involvement when answering the question “How often did you participate in community service?”—from volunteer work outside of school to service-learning projects for credit that include a degree of student reflection. Our findings show that over 39% of all arts alumni reported they participated frequently in community service while enrolled in school.

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Who’s Involved? Participation in Community Service While Enrolled in School by Degree Level and Cohort
By degree level, those who reported they frequently (“often” or “sometimes”) participated in community service while enrolled in school:
  • 60% of all high school alumni respondents
  • 39% of undergraduate alumni respondents
  • 35% of graduate level alumni respondents
Students in arts high schools were more likely to participate in community service than their counterparts in postsecondary education. A whopping 60% of arts high school graduates reported they frequently participated in community service while attending their institutions, with nearly a quarter (23%) saying they “often” were involved in community service.

The 21st century has seen an increase in community service, perhaps due to growth of the service-learning curriculum as well as the requirement of service hours for graduation in many states. Among responding arts alumni who graduated before 2000, 36% participated frequently in community service during their educational experience, while 44% of those who graduated from 2000 on did so. Interestingly, though, this trend holds true only for arts high school (52% prior to 2000, 71% after) and undergraduate alumni (35% prior, 45% after); graduate level participation stayed about the same (34% prior, 36% after).
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Who’s Involved? Participation in Community Service While Enrolled in School by Major and Gender
By major, those who reported they participated frequently in community service while enrolled in school:
  • over half (51%) of all Arts Administration and Arts Education majors
  • majors in performing arts disciplines, with Dance and Music Performance at 48% each, and Theater at 39%
  • 45% of Creative and Other Writing majors
  • Media Arts, Fine & Studio Arts, and Design majors at 34%, 33%, and 32%
Certain pre-professional majors were the most likely to participate frequently and visual art and design majors the least likely. These differences may be attributed to curricular requirements, such as internships and student teaching practicum for pre-professional majors. Music, dance, and theater majors may also find service components in some of their course activities, such as performances or concerts in local schools or community venues.

Women were more likely to participate in community service than men, although the gap narrowed in graduate school. Of the arts high school graduates, 57% of males and 60% of females participated frequently in community service while at their institutions. Of the undergraduate alumni, 34% of men and 41% of women participated frequently in community service, while at the graduate level, 34% of men and 35% of women participated frequently.
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SNAAP Makes Plans for the Coming Year
As SNAAP begins its seventh year, we want to ensure the project remains a vital data and research center for years to come. To that end, we are undertaking a broad effort to elicit feedback and insights from our constituent institutions and stakeholders as part of a year-long SNAAP evaluation. In collaboration with arts research consultant, Surale Phillips, we will use the knowledge gained in that process to chart the course for SNAAP’s future and to most effectively align our services with the needs of our core clients: educational institutions that award degrees in the arts.

During 2014, with the evaluation underway, we will pause in administering the SNAAP survey, returning to that service in 2015. Throughout 2014, we will continue to provide ongoing services, including the delivery of over 100 Institutional Reports this spring, our Annual Report in the summer, monthly DataBriefs, a new SnaapShot, workshops and consulting on how to interpret and use SNAAP data, and special analyses as requested.

We are thrilled to congratulate our long-time Research Director, Steven Tepper, on his new leadership position as Dean of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University (ASU), effective July 1. Steven will continue in his role as SNAAP Research Director at ASU, and he also will head up a new Center for the Study of Creative Work—using SNAAP data as a basis for new research on the creative economy.

Finally, we are excited to announce that we are planning a second SNAAP conference, 3 Million Stories: Understanding the Lives and Careers of Arts Graduates, to be hosted at ASU next year.
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Let us hear from you!
We appreciate feedback. Please contact us with suggestions for future DataBriefs or anything that’s on your mind.

Sally Gaskill, Director
snaap@indiana.edu
812-856-5824
snaap.indiana.edu
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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
1900 E. Tenth Street | Bloomington, IN 47406-7512
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