The College of Creative Arts – West Virginia University is a reputed institute providing courses in art, design, music, theatre and dance. Giving preference to quality over quantity, it carefully selects the best students and places here are highly sought after. With more than 100 academics for the 800 students, the institute offers a close-knit environment where individual growth and molding of talent is possible. Illustrious alumni include Star Trek composer Jay Chattaway, Pittsburgh Symphony musician Chad Winkler, costume designer Mary McClung and actor David Selby.
Guided by the ambitious 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future, WVU soared in this year’s U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. The report ranked WVU No. 89 among ‘Top Public Schools’ – up eight spots from No. 97 last year.
President Jim Clements attributes WVU’s rise in the rankings to the University’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters.
“Our campus community came together in 2010 to create a strategic framework for West Virginia University’s future,” Clements said. “Our early success is evident in these latest rankings. Our faculty, staff and students have brought numerous awards and distinction to WVU in so many ways, and our alumni and supporters have helped us at an unprecedented level this past year. We continue to set new records in a variety of categories and that is due to a complete team effort.”
The College of Creative Arts (CCA) is seen as one of the major sources of fresh creative industries talent in the country. The CCA has some of the most enviable facilities available in the region. It has invested in some jaw-dropping buildings, such as a concert theatre with a seating capacity of 1,400, a choral recital hall with a capacity of 180 people and massive studios and theatres. Huge galleries for displaying works of art, five computer labs, eight visual art studios, dark rooms, studio spaces, and many labs to facilitate students as well as the staff are readily available.
Academics and partnerships
Learning at the College of Creative Arts is divided into three distinct areas: Art & Design, Music, and Theatre & Dance. Every possible effort is made by the institute to make the experience of creative learning even richer at the CCA. Many of the programs are considered the best in the country. The Master of Fine Arts program is ranked among the best fine arts programs in the US News and World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2010. There is extreme emphasis on real-life and direct learning in whatever students study. Through workshops, seminars, events and field trips, the institute ensures that the students live the creative experience and not just study it within the confines of the campus. That is why traveling and learning are an essential part of studying at CCA.
These unconventional and unique ways of augmenting learning are visible throughout the subjects taught. For instance, the very first and only kind of program in the US which involves a travel and study program in China offers students the opportunity to study under Prof Shoji Satake at the prestigious Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute.
Partnerships with leading creative education providers around the world also add a passionate and powerful thrust to the whole learning experience. The West Virginia University’s puppetry program allows students to tour with the puppets in order to have hands-on experience of theatre. The talent of the institute’s puppetry students has even attracted giants such as Disney World, where many of the students have completed internships.
The institute invites the globally acclaimed Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for three concerts each year and students receive master classes from the Orchestra. Students get work and apprenticeship opportunities in Brazil under a partnership called ‘Music Alive’ and get to participate in the carnivals and various other events. Students also travel across the Atlantic to Tuscany, Milan and Rome to studying music, art, culture, art history and more.
Bachelors, masters and research degrees are awarded at the institute in subjects of music, art, design, theatre and dance. Some of the many interesting choices include Master in Studio Art, Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education (PhD). A Bachelor of Music degree is available in Piano, Jazz, Composition, Percussion, Voice, Instrumental Studies and Piano Pedagogy.
After graduation, the employment possibilities are endless. College of Creative Arts alumni have successful careers as professional artists, teachers, or arts administrators, working in studios, theater companies, film, television, publishing and graphic arts companies, design studios, colleges and universities, and more.