MISSION: 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 1: 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 BFA or BA 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 emerging developments in the field,
- Utilize the findings of a rigorous program assessment plan,
GOAL 2: To interface with the professional dance world and provide vibrant residencies: with comprehensive professional/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, 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 the their understanding of the field and assist them in refining career goals.
GOAL 3: To expand our national and international recognition:
- Increase national and global visibility through extensive advertising efforts in print (e.g., Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Pointe Magazine) and on-line.
- 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 4: 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/arts organizations.
GOAL 5: 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/scholarly work at national and international conferences, workshops and performance events.
- Increase funding for student projects and summer study.
- Provide sufficient space, equipment and time for creative and scholarly projects.
GOAL 6: Advance innovation and discovery in all facets of faculty and student work:
- Increase the integration of technology and current trends into curricula and creative/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, creative and scholarly research,
Develop a forum for faculty and students to discuss emerging developments in pedagogy and creative/scholarly research.