The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago is a member of the Art Institutes network of for-profit colleges that focus on developing a craft in a number of industries such as culinary, fashion, film/video, game design and audio production. As a full-time Associate Professor in the English department for 14 years, I provided Bachelor’s degree students with a foundation in the Medieval Trivium of grammar, rhetoric and logical thought.
At the Art Institutes, I taught creative writing, literary analysis, research techniques and sentence structure. In my courses, I encouraged students to tell each other stories, real and fictional, and I gave them tools to analyze texts that I provided for them.
As department Coordinator at the Art Institutes, my most important responsibility was to develop curriculum that would be used by adjunct professors in English classes in my department. I shared lecture notes, handouts, lesson plans, essay assignments and class activity ideas with colleagues in my department; I also shared midterm and final exams, which everyone in the department was required to use. All of my material was vetted thoroughly in a method that encouraged a critical and positive collaborative approach. All material was designed not only to engage our students but also to ensure that they could meet clear exit competencies upon completion of each course.
A favorite project of while employed at the Art Institutes was the student-run magazine called A-Eye. I served as Faculty Advisor and as Chair of the Advisory Board for this publication, which I founded along with my partner and Staff Advisor, Molly Shanahan. I worked closely with a rotating group of student head editors, who managed an ever changing all-student staff of writers, photographers, layout designers and copy editors in order to meet quarterly deadlines. I was responsible for providing resources to students, for guiding students to produce a quality publication and for ensuring that students avoided problems such as libel and plagiarism.