Value for Institutions

Sharing on Campus


SNAAP institutions have chosen to share their SNAAP data on campus in a number of ways:

  • The University of Utah College of Fine Arts used SNAAP data as the impetus for implementing a two-day ArtsForce Conference for current College of Fine Arts undergraduates to attend events and workshops that prepare them to understand and articulate the transferrable skills they are developing-and ultimately ease the transition from college into the modern workforce.
  • The College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin developed a Web page that succinctly displays selected findings from SNAAP and other institutional data through eye-catching graphics.
  • The College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University is sharing key SNAAP results - with national comparisons - on this creative Web page.
  • Purdue University published a four-page report of its SNAAP data as part of a monthly Office of Institutional Research report series. It includes selected data and some helpful graphical representations of the data. Click here to view an example.
  • Miami University of Ohio produced a one page Assessment Brief that that was published by its institutional research office.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University has adapted a year-long strategy to roll out its SNAAP results. Read an overview, provided by Sarah B. Cunningham, Executive Director of Research, VCUArts.

Alumni and Donor Outreach

Sharing SNAAP data can be a means of communicating thanks to alumni for their participation in the study. The accountability demonstrated by sharing data can also help you develop and maintain relationships with new and existing donors. Some example below show how institutions have used SNAAP data to reach out to their alumni and donors:

  • The Houston School of the Visual and Performing Arts shared alumni comments in its quarterly newsletter sent to donors, parents, alumni and friends.
  • The College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin began sharing its SNAAP results in 2011 with the Dean's letter in its quarterly print publication.
  • The College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin also developed a Web page that succinctly displays selected findings from SNAAP and other institutional data through eye-catching graphics.
  • The Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis created a Web site to share selected SNAAP findings and also profiles one alumna's story and the value of her arts education.
  • The Houston School of the Visual and Performing Arts shared alumni comments in its quarterly newsletter sent to donors, parents, alumni and friends.

Recruitment

Previous SNAAP participants have used SNAAP data as part of their recruitment efforts.

  • Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI created a printed brochure with alumni testimonials drawn from open ended SNAAP questions.
  • Kent State University shared selected data from SNAAP's 2011 aggregate findings in a recruitment Web page.

Assessment & Curricular Change

SNAAP data can be used for assessment, accreditation and curricular change. For example, the SNAAP survey asks alumni to rate the importance of 16 different skills and competencies to their current profession or work life (whether they work in the arts or in a different occupation).

Respondents to the 2011 survey identified the most important skills to their current professions as:

  1. Creative thinking and problem solving
  2. Listening and revising
  3. Interpersonal relations and working collaboratively
  4. Broad knowledge and education
  5. Critical thinking and analysis of arguments and information

Examples of recommendations to faculty based on the rankings of these important skills listed above are:

  • Incorporate open-ended projects (#1) and group projects (#3)
  • Require analysis of theories or reviews/critiques (#5) and provide opportunities for feedback and revision (#2)
  • Ensure curricula include a firm knowledge foundation in a wide variety of areas (top skill #4)

Additionally, discrepancies between those who say a skill is important for their work and those who say the institution helped them develop that skill may inform programmatic or curricula changes. For example, if 81% respondents say that financial and business management skills are "somewhat important" or "very important" to their current work, but only 22% respond that their institution contributed "very much" or "some" to their development of those skills, then an institution may consider (1) requiring business and financial classes, or incorporating these elements into existing courses and/or (2) including classes looking at the "nontraditional" career paths of arts graduates.

The SNAAP questionnaire also asks about alumni satisfaction with programs and services offered (or not offered) by their institution. Programs and services with low satisfaction may need to be revised. For example, if your results show that a majority of alumni were "very dissatisfied" or "dissatisfied" with career advising, you may consider devoting additional resources to develop new components of career advising. These might include:

  • Alumni career panel presentations
  • Resume or portfolio building sessions
  • Networking opportunities for graduating students

Strategic Planning

Because all institutions are regularly engaged in strategic planning, SNAAP data can be used to inform many topics. SNAAP data can:

  • Provide an overview to make decisions about the future direction of the school
  • Reinforce leadership by documenting success
  • Demonstrate that you are involved in analyzing the effectiveness of your institution

Advocacy

SNAAP data -- both aggregate as well as institutional -- are frequently used to advocate for the value of an arts education:

  • Within your own institution
  • In your local community
  • With state and other public sector funders
  • With donors and private sector grant makers

SNAAP data is used for advocacy in these examples:

  • Raymond Tymas-Jones blogs about how SNAAP findings shed light on the benefits of skills acquired through arts education.
  • Steven Tepper writes about artists in the workplace for Fast Company
  • Sunil Iyengar analyzes the SNAAP Special Report, "Painting with Broader Stokes: Assessing the Value of an Arts Degree".
  • A Letter to the Editor that uses SNAAP findings to demonstrate the impact of the arts in a community.
  • The Dean of the University of Florida, College of Fine Arts uses SNAAP data to talk about the value of arts training on pg 4.
  • SNAAP National Advisory Board Members publish op-eds that advocate for arts education based on SNAAP data. Ann Markusen, an economist, writes about important traits of arts graduates.