While there has been a great deal of research looking at the impacts of K-12 arts education, little research has focused on the co-curricular impacts of arts engagement in the college years. The Arts Engagement Project takes a step towards filling this gap and compiling critical data on arts engagement at the collegiate level by rigorously and comprehensively collecting and analyzing more than 4000 individual student responses from a multi-modal longitudinal study conducted at the University of Michigan. During this webinar, the hosts—a2ru Research Director Gabriel Harp, ArtsEngine Managing Director Deb Mexicotte, and a2ru Research Program Manager Veronica Stanich—will report on the findings of the Arts Engagement Project; a number of interesting and innovative statistical methods used in the analyses; and how these findings may be used more broadly to better understand the far reaching impacts of college arts engagement for student success in college and beyond, and to bolster the arguments for the arts and arts integration efforts in higher education. Participants will leave this webinar with a better understanding of the important role that co-curricular arts engagement plays in student development, and will be able to articulate with confidence the specific learning and developmental outcomes associated with college arts engagement (i.e., innovation, creativity, empathy, critical thinking, cultural competencies, and collaboration).
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Deb Mexicotte received her BFA and MA in Theatre from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan, and worked in local and regional theatre as a designer and painter before joining the University of Michigan. She has spent her career working initially with students and student organizations engaged with the arts to help them achieve their highest developmental aspirations, and more recently with faculty and administrators to integrate the arts and design with science and engineering across the curricular and co-curricular spheres. Deb was named Student Organization Adviser of the Year in 1999 and has led research efforts on the impact of the arts on students at U-M. Prior to the last four years at ArtsEngine, she spent eight years as the Program Director for Arts at Michigan, a co-curricular arts engagement program. Her experience in the community includes 13 years as a Trustee on the Ann Arbor Board of Education, Chairing the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County, and currently serving on the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission.