Interview with Ms. Jean R. Grosser, Chair of Art Department

Interview with Ms. Jean R. Grosser, Chair of Art Department

What advantages do employees with a graduate degree in the visual arts bring to your company?

We are an art department in which majors select concentrations in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Photography or Art Education. Faculty members with MFA degrees are essential to the successful implementation of our program.

Are there specific positions at your business that must be filled by employees with a graduate degree?

All studio art positions (Drawing, Painting, Graphic Design, Web Design and Animation, Photography, Ceramics and Sculpture) are filled by faculty with MFA degrees. MFA graduates also teach courses in Art History and Art Education.

When considering candidates for employment, how important is their graduate school's reputation?

The most important consideration is the quality of the candidates art production. Among the most important is the reputation of the graduate school as well as the types of courses selected by the candidate. We are interested in faculty who have taken courses in critical theory and art history along with their studio work.

What advice can you give to graduating MA/MFA students on how to find and get the best job?

At Coker College, we are interested in recruiting recent MFA graduates who demonstrate an active commitment to their work and an interest in working closely with students. When applying for jobs, visit the web site of the schools in which you are interested. Determine if you would be a good fit. Think carefully about your teaching philosophy. Be able to articulate it in writing.

Do you recruit from any specific art schools/colleges for employees? Why or why not?

No. We are interested in a diverse faculty and have no allegiance to any particular graduate institution.

What's the salary range for a newly-hired MA/MFA graduate?

Newly hired MFA graduates start at 35,000-40,000 plus benefits.

How is the job market right now for MA/MFA graduates?

In the fine arts (painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics) the job market for college level teaching is VERY competitive. In Graphic Design, MFA graduates have many more choices and many more options both in teaching and in the commercial sector.

Tell us about some of your MA/MFA employees.

We have two new faculty members with MFAs. Professor Jim Boden teaches drawing, painting and photography. Since coming to Coker College in 1999 (from the University of Cincinnati) he has traveled with art majors to Spain, New York, and Northern Europe. His expectations for students are extremely high and they often surprise themselves in the quality of their output. Professor Boden is eager to participate in curriculum development and departmental projects. He is a professional working artist who has enormous respect for his students. Professor Ken Maginnis received his MFA from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He teaches Graphic Design, Web Design and Web Animation. He is our computer guru and keeps the Mac Lab humming. Most of our majors come to Coker with an interest in Graphic Design, so his contributions to the department are significant. Professor Maginnis works closely with students on the development of ideas, and the innovative quality of their completed pieces demonstrates his professional skill and commitment to teaching.

What does your company do?

Coker College is a private, undergraduate, liberal arts college with strong programs in the fine and performing arts and an emphasis on small classes and intensive student-faculty interaction.

What is a question you can think of that would benefit prospective graduate students, and what do you think is a good response to that question?

Question: Can you make any suggestions that would make me more competitive in the job market?

Response:Be sure your application materials are without error and professionally presented. Make sure your letter of introduction mentions the specific job for which you are applying. Demonstrate your knowledge of the program and the schools mission in your letter. Make sure your slides are professional and represent your work to its best advantage.


Employer Profile:Coker College

  • Number of Employees: Four full-time art faculty (55 full-time faculty at the college)
  • Salary range for your MA/MFA graduates: Starting salary $35,000-$40,000, plus benefits
  • Degrees important to your hiring decisions: The MFA is considered the terminal degree in art and it is required of all applicants. We consider it the same as a doctorate in other disciplines with regard to tenure and promotion.
  • You Mission: Coker College is a private, undergraduate, liberal arts college with strong programs in the fine and performing arts and an emphasis on small classes and intensive student-faculty interaction.

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