Fall 2020: High School Academic Program Climate Progress Report

Mission Statement: Here, artists and educators strive to create a more just and compassionate community.

By embracing this mission, we are adhering to the following commitments:

  • Building our principles of equity, diversity and inclusion into our curricula, our instruction and our culture;
  • Educating the whole artist;
  • Fostering academic excellence for the purpose of better understanding the role that students can play as change agents in the world; and
  • Ongoing intellectual and professional growth for ourselves and our colleagues.

These commitments imply actions. Here are the immediate projects which we will bring to fruition in the next five years:

Building a new graduation requirement: the citizen-artist capstone.

Currently in the pilot phase (spring 2021) with full implementation of the requirement scheduled for the class of 2023.

Recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty and student body.

1. Continued review and revision of our hiring practices. We no longer require candidates to hold a masters degree in order to apply. If the successful candidate does not hold a masters degree, the High School Academic Program will pay for that candidate’s degree from any UNC system institution.

2. Developing and extending our social justice master class series in partnership with our colleagues in the arts schools. Artist Endia Beal was our inaugural speaker in October 2020; upcoming for spring 2021 are:

  • Mathematician Lauren Baucom
  • Alumnus and musician Steven Banks
  • Artist and mathematician Eugenia Cheng
Endia Beal

Guest artist Endia Beal held a master class with High School Visual Arts students in October.

3. Recruiting students from underserved communities across North Carolina. First outreach occurred in February 2020 with four public high schools in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.

4. Supporting historically marginalized students by developing and extending the Launch Program. Virtual version ran in August 2020 and served 14 students; currently planning for in-person version for Aug. 8-11, 2021.

5. Student Device Scholarship. Began 2019 and continues providing 10 students with demonstrated need for a 2-in-1 tablet device to keep.

Developing and extending programming like the High School Experience Day in partnership with our colleagues in Student Affairs and the arts schools.

In 2021, we will institute our first-ever required EDIB-focused summer reading for faculty and students with book discussions to take place on High School Experience Day following the high school-only convocation.

March 05, 2021