College Learning in the Arts:
A Summary and Analysis of Recommendations and Expectations
for Arts Instruction at the College Level
Phase 1 of 2

The Unites States features robust educational standards for arts education from early childhood to grade 12, but in order to understand what college-level learning in the arts involves, we must rely on a series of secondary sources for insights. This report offers a summary and analysis of the recommendations and guidelines found in three sets of documents that offer insights into the current standards and expectations of students in the United States pursuing study of the arts after high school.
The first phase of research is a summary and analysis of accreditation standards – specifically those standards related to course content and instruction -- for schools offering two- and four-year degrees in the arts. The second portion is a review of course goals for all AP courses in the arts, including AP Studio Art, AP Art History, and AP Music Theory. Finally, a survey of college textbooks in the arts is presented, in an effort to identify which types of arts information and content are most widely available on college campuses.
Most of the material that was reviewed was rather broad in its treatment of the standards, and consequently the analysis of these resources is equally broad. This review offers a general overview of the types of content and ideas that are being emphasized in the arts at the college level, but fewer insights as to what specific student expectations are, or how college-level achievement in the arts is measured.

The full Phase I report may be downloaded here.

College Standards Phase I


Prepared by:
Amy Charleroy, The College Board, New York
Individuals are encouraged to cite this report and its contents. In doing so, please include the following attribution:
The College Board, College Learning in the Arts: A Summary and Analysis of Recommendations and Expectations for Arts Instruction at the College Level. New York, NY, September 2011.

The College Board

Office of Academic Initiatives

45 Columbus Avenue

New York, NY 10023

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards

.collegeboard.org/preparation-access/arts-core.