Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Arts Requirements in Higher Education




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Since the Bush administration enacted the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, American education has focused increasingly on the math and reading skills that are required to be tested in NCLB. Because the testing required by NCLB does include the arts, schools have no incentive to examine or improve their arts education programs in order to meet the requirements of adequate yearly progress required by NCLB. The focus on math and reading, along with the funding requirements of testing has led to the decline of financial and administrative support for non-test areas, including arts education. This has forced administrators to reconsider how advocacy for the arts should be approached. If a purpose of a secondary education is to prepare students for success in college, then colleges can influence secondary educational policy by demanding certain entrance and general education requirements. This study examined arts education policies in colleges in the Great Lakes region and how that related to the graduation requirements for the state in which that university is located by gathering data to answer the following questions: a) what are the state-mandated art requirements for graduation in all 50 states, b) how are those requirements used in general admissions decisions (GPA, course requirement, transfer credit) and c) what are the arts requirements for general education? Data analysis examined how arts education policy across the Great Lakes Region shows significant variations, dependent on Carnegie Classification, accreditation status and institution mission. Suggestions for further research and arts policy are discussed.

Conference Name

College Music Society'+I222s Great Lakes Regional Conference

Conference Location

Appleton, Wisconsin

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