Fine Arts changes requirements, adds new classes

By Angela Le Quieu, Staff Reporter | Photo by Angela Le Quieu

Art Practices I teacher Harley McDaniel looks over his students’ progress.
Art Practices I teacher Harley McDaniel looks over his students’ progress.

In the Fall 2014 Course Catalog there will be changes that will effect students with a Fine Arts major, including new program approved electives and classes such as jewelry making.
Fine Arts Instructor, Harley McDaniel said that the changes are intended to allow them more flexibility, to make the transfer to UNM simpler, and give students applicable skills in the work force.
“There are pretty major changes, previously we basically dictated every course you had to take and that was kind of difficult for students because it didn’t give them a lot of options,” McDaniel said.
The new curriculum for the Fall 2014 term is part of an effort that McDaniel has made to streamline both Fine Arts degree concentrations, Studio Arts and Art History, he said.
Rather than having specific classes that students would be required to take, they will be able to choose three classes from program approved electives, and this will allow students more freedom to tailor their classes and learning to their own needs, McDaniel said.
One of the big advantages of this is that new art classes can be added to the program approved electives without changes to the greater curriculum being needed, and McDaniel said that the new catalog will reflect that as three jewelry classes that will be added as well as a second level ceramics class.
Facilities for the jewelry classes are still in the works, so the classes will not be offered in the fall, but McDaniel hopes to have the classes available for the 2015 catalog, which would offer students embedded certificates such as a bench jeweler’s certification, he said.
“So the dream is that down the road we’ll have the opportunity for people to have other embedded certificates like production pottery, portrait photography, things like that that would increase employ-ability at local employers,” McDaniel said.
Another aspect of the changes that have been made involved cleaning up the requirements to match with UNM, and McDaniel said CNM already has an articulation agreement with UNM, but that the changes will be more in line with what UNM is doing currently.
It was changes in UNM’s classes from 2D and 3D design to Art Practices one and two that spurred the rewriting of CNM’s curriculum for Fine Arts majors, he said.
“I went and I worked with their curriculum, I worked with their fine arts advisement coordinator, so that we would be able to have a more flexible program that would serve the needs of everybody, those who are transferring and those who are just interested in getting their associate,” McDaniel said.
These changes should also make it easier for students to get their Fine Arts degree as some of the other requirements will be changing as well, such as students only being required to take one foreign language class instead of two, McDaniel said.
McDaniel’s intent when he was working on the changes was not to make it easier for more people to get degrees, but that he wanted to work with the program already in place to make it serve the needs of the students in a better capacity, he said.
“It removes some of the hurdles that were more difficult and of course there is an underlying goal to get more degrees, but it is my primary goal to best serve the student, and what is best for the student, and what is going to be best for their educational needs,” McDaniel said.
The changes will not be official until the fall semester 2014 Course Catalog is published, and once the changes are in effect any student who takes one class under the new catalog can use it; any Fine Arts majors interested in learning about the changes can speak to McDaniel, he said.
“I like to try to kind of serve as a faculty advisor to students who are trying to navigate the curriculum, because I know it really well after building it—I know it inside and out. I can look at what they’ve done, so if someone shows up with their transcripts, I can really give them a sense of clarity of what they should do moving forward,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel can be contacted by email at to set up a time to meet, and said he is willing to help any students planning for the changes who bring an unofficial printout of their transcripts.

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