Fine Arts Department Chair, Keri Keckley, presented the Fine Arts Annual Program Review to the Crowder College Board of Trustees at their monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 28.

Fine Arts Department Chair, Keri Keckley, presented the Fine Arts Annual Program Review to the Crowder College Board of Trustees at their monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 28.
Statistics presented by Keckley indicated the the number of full-time faculty members in Crowder's Fine Arts department has remained constant at 7 for the third year in a row.
"The Fine Arts division full-time faculty members has stayed consistent," Keckley told the board. "We have amazing individuals filling these positions, all with a passion for their area of discipline."
The number of adjunct faculty has decreased over the past two years.
"Since 2015, I have been vigilant in reducing the number of sections offered and increasing seats in courses, thus  increasing profitability of each section without affecting quality," Keckley said.
With music, art, graphic design, speech, debate, and theatre courses all under the Fine Arts Department umbrella, it's vital to adapt to meet the changing needs of students.
"As enrollment demands, we have been vigilant to eliminate courses or adjust scheduling to meet the ever changing needs of our students," Keckley said. "Our core classes of Music Appreciation, Theatre Appreciation, and Art Appreciation are always large classes with speedy enrollment. Our lead instructors are very proud of the individual uniform classes they have designed and supervise with our many talented adjuncts."
The elimination of the Music degree has allowed full-time music instructor Becky Shaw to shift focus into other programs including the Community Choir. Shaw was able to launch a Christmas Gala at the Neosho Civic Center last year. Private lessons are offered for voice, piano,and guitar.  Students also have an opportunity to participate in the Community Choir.
Keckley noted that the fine arts division provides training for over 1,000 students a year in public speaking. The Crowder debate squad has earned the right to compete in Nationals in the Spring of 2018.
Graphic design students build portfolios of projects as they learn career skills to get jobs in the field. "Of the art and design students who graduated last spring, 85% are currently employed in their profession or are attending a four-year institution," Keckley said.
With more than $100,000 provided by private donors, the fine arts division has been able to expand.
"We are proud to be one of a handful of community colleges in the nation to boast such a robust fine arts department," Keckley said. "Because our faculty understands the economic restraints of our area, they are constantly networking with our patrons to ensure the needs of our students are met. As a result, we have a phenomenal museum, complete with a new library full of art books and the complete Life magazine collection acquired from the Joplin Public Library. We have a new printmaking class in the works, which should be ready for demonstrations in Spring 2018 and start classes in fall 2018.We also have a new graphic design studio on the third floor of Newton Hall, complete with new MacBook computers and big screen monitors."
In cooperation with the Student Success Center, the Fine Arts Division has been working to encourage students to commit to a degree area versus a general studies degree. "Many did not understand the advantage of taking those classes at Crowder. Not taking the core Art, Graphic Design, or Theatre classes will actually postpone their eventual graduation with a bachelor's degree at the next level of education," Keckley said. "Jamie Staley and Helen Hale have been serving as the Fine Arts advisors for all students in our degree area so they are more informed and guided as they pursue a Fine Arts degree. As a result of our work, we experienced a 40% increase in graduates our first year in."
Keckley has been Fine Arts Division chair at Crowder since 2007 and is also a speech instructor for the college.