SNAAP DataBrief
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Vol. 2 No. 3
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 Co-Curricular Activities

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.

SNAAP captures data from (79) different arts majors, which we categorize into 12 major fields.
In last month’s DataBrief, we looked at arts students’ community service activities while in school. This month, we focus on arts students’ participation in co-curricular activities, which SNAAP defines as participation during enrollment in organizations, campus publications, student government, fraternity or sorority, and/or sports.

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Participation in Co-Curricular Activities by Degree Level and Cohort
Arts high school students are the most likely to participate in co-curricular activities, while students pursuing graduate degrees (M.F.A., M.A., D.M.A., Ph.D., etc.) are the least likely. This parallels our findings for those students most likely to be involved with community service. By degree level, those who reported they frequently (“often” or “sometimes”) participated in co-curricular while enrolled in school were
  • 62% of all high school alumni respondents
  • 46% of undergraduate alumni respondents
  • 27% of graduate level alumni respondents
Among all responding arts alumni who graduated before 2000, 40% participated frequently in co-curricular activities during their educational experience, while 47% of those who graduated from 2000 on did so. This trend also parallels our findings on community service in DataBrief Vol. 2, No. 2, with more recent graduates showing more frequent patterns of participation.
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Participation in Co-Curricular Activities by Institution Type
SNAAP participating institutions include the gamut of types of institutions, public and private, from art and design colleges and independent conservatories to liberal arts colleges to schools with master’s programs to all levels of research universities. The vast majority are nonprofit or publicly chartered institutions; of this sample’s 120 institutions participating in SNAAP, only two (1.66%) were for-profit schools.

• % by institution type: 37% of students at private institutions and 49% of students at public institutions participated frequently in co-curricular activities while enrolled at their institutions.

This pattern across institution types also appears when examining frequency of participation by enrollment size, as enrollments at private institutions tend to be smaller. The percentage of students who frequently participated in co-curricular activities based on institution enrollment follow:

• Under 2,500: 32%
• 2,500 to 9,999: 41%
• 10,000 to 19,999: 52%
• Over 20,000: 46%

Interestingly, those schools with the smallest enrollments had the least amount of participation in co-curricular activities, with percentages of participation overall increasing with enrollment. Those with the highest enrollments had the second highest percentage, 46%. This pattern may reflect greater numbers of student organizations available at larger institutions. Furthermore, many smaller institutions are independent art and design colleges or conservatories and may not have some of the more traditional co-curricular offerings such as sports teams or Greek life.
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Participation in Co-Curricular Activities by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and First-Generation Status
SNAAP’s 2013 Annual Report explored inequalities in artistic training and careers. We found, for example, that Black and Hispanic arts majors took longer than the recommended amount of time to complete their degrees. Interestingly, these same Black students participated most frequently in co-curricular activities; Latino and Caucasian students participated 5% less than Blacks; and Asians participated the least. First-generation college students are defined as those whose parents or guardians have not completed a four-year degree or higher. The percentages of frequent participation in co-curricular activities by student characteristics follow:

• % by race/ethnicity:
o Black or African-American: 48%
o Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin: 43%
o White or Caucasian: 43%
o Asian: 42%

• % by gender: 35% of men and 41% of women

• % by first-generation status: 40% of first-generation students and 45% of non-first-generation students
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SNAAP Welcomes Jennifer C. Lena as Senior Research Scholar
Steven Tepper, SNAAP Research Director, and Sally Gaskill, SNAAP Director, are pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer C. Lena as SNAAP’s new senior research scholar. Lena is associate professor of arts administration and sociology at Columbia University Teachers College, and she has been affiliated with the SNAAP research team since our beginnings in 2008. She will serve as primary author of our 2014 Annual Report later this year.

Lena is the author of Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music (Princeton University Press, 2012). She is reputed to be the first sociologist ever to commission a Grammy-nominated album: Hilos (composer Gabriela Frank; performed by ALIAS Chamber Ensemble; released in 2010 by Naxos Records).

Lena served as inaugural resident scholar at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for “Hip Hop America: Roots, Rhythm, and Rage.” As a consultant, her current projects include a study of the closure of the famed New York artist’s space Exit Art and a project to map U.S. cultural engagement with global Muslim communities.

Previously, Lena held faculty positions at Vanderbilt University and Barnard College. She holds a bachelor's degree from Colgate University and two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University.
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