Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance is nationally recognized as a community that values aesthetic breadth, student choice and disciplinary excellence. In our mission as a dance community, we are committed to:
- The highest aesthetic standards.
- Being of service to our diverse cultural global community.
- Excellence in creative and scholarly research.
- Exemplary, experientially based teaching.
The department goals and strategic action plan are aligned with the University and college strategic plans and focus on degree programs and co-curricular activities that are learner centered, globally engaged and discovery driven.
Goal one: to recruit, retain and graduate the finest students who are active contributors to the field of dance
- Offer students the opportunity to pursue either the B.F.A. or B.A. degree.
- Guide students in tailoring their education to their career goals.
- Provide substantial tuition scholarships and funding for special student projects and summer study.
- Provide strong advising and mentoring services.
- Maintain vigorous recruitment efforts.
- Provide performance opportunities that maximize student involvement.
- Offer innovative curricula that reflect the emerging developments in the field.
- Utilize the findings of a rigorous program assessment plan.
Goal two: to interface with the professional dance world and provide vibrant residencies with comprehensive professional and student interactions
- Pursue sophisticated projects that are meaningful for skill building and professional development through the Great Works Dance Project.
- Bring nationally and internationally recognized artists to campus to lead learner centered, globally engaged and discovery driven opportunities and educational events.
- Partner with professional dance companies and individual artists.
- Provide senior dance majors with off-campus immersion experiences that expand their understanding of the field and assist them in refining career goals.
Goal three: to expand our national and international recognition
- Increase national and global visibility through extensive advertising efforts in print (e.g., Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Point Magazine) and online.
- Promote the department and University through the National Choreography Competition.
- Implement a National Honor Society for Dance Arts at the collegiate level through the National Dance Education Organization.
- Foster connections between current students, alumni, faculty and dance professionals.
Goal four: to educate and serve our regional community
- Build relationships with community organizations through service learning, internships and workshops.
- Provide performances and educational events that are free or low cost and open to the community.
- Advocate for dance in the greater Kalamazoo community in tandem with Partners in Dance and other dance or arts organizations.
Goal five: to secure the necessary resources to meet departmental goals
- Hire faculty and staff to support the size and scope of the department.
- Increase mentorship for faculty and students who seek internal and external funding for creative and scholarly work.
- Secure Student Investment Project funding for projects that enhance employment readiness.
- Seek new funding sources and opportunities for faculty development and presentation of creative or scholarly work at national and international conferences, workshops and performance events.
- Increasing funding for student projects and summer study.
- Provide sufficient space, equipment and time for creative and scholarly projects.
Goal six: advance innovation and discovery in all facets of faculty and student work
- Increase the integration of technology and current trends into curricula and creative and scholarly work.
- Investigate viability of online theory and survey courses.
- Explore opportunities to work with other units to expand interdisciplinary offerings.
- Integrate global perspectives in curriculum and creative and scholarly research.
- Develop a forum for faculty and students to discuss emerging developments in pedagogy and creative and scholarly research.