Integrative Degrees Added to Proposed Taxonomy of Instructional Programs

May 9, 2019

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) sought public comments on the taxonomic scheme used for the classification of instructional programs (CIP) in higher education — currently undergoing revision for 2020. The CIP taxonomic scheme is employed for a wide array of data and institutional tracking activities — from credentialing to enrollment numbers, research funding data, equity, and more. In an effort to advance the awareness and impacts of integrative programs that span the arts and other fields, A2RU prepared comments on the proposed CIP revisions and submitted them in March. A2RU’s Research Director, Gabriel Harp, prepared the comments based in part on research being undertaken through the support of A2RU, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts — with additional input from A2RU’s network of alliance partners and email list members.

NCES recently posted its responses, and as a result of A2RU’s comments, NCES has:

  • added a code for “Arts in Medicine/Health” under Series 51.32 “Medical Education, Ethics, and Humanities” (51.3206).
  • added a code “Community/Environmental/ Socially-Engaged Art” under 50.04 “Design and Applied Arts” (50.0412).
  • added a CIP code for Digital Humanities (30.5202) under a new 4-digit code, “30.52 Digital Humanities and Textual Studies” in Series 30.
  • added a code for “Drama Therapy/Therapist” in Series 51 (51.2315) with “Applied Theater” and “Applied Drama” as examples. This placement is consistent with other forms of applied, art-based therapies, e.g., Art Therapy (51.2301), Dance Therapy (51.2302), and Music Therapy (51.2305).

In response to the suggestion to add “engagement” and “research” to definitions in Series 50 (fine and performing arts degree program descriptions), NCES found insufficient evidence that a change in definition is warranted at this time. It’s not yet clear what forms of evidence would help make the case for including “engagement” and “research” among the purposes of arts-driven instruction, but it is worth pursuing. It’s possible that if degree program descriptions were more explicit about the role of research and engagement in their coursework, that this would help lend additional evidence for future revisions.

The full list of NCES responses to all public comments can be found at regulations.gov.