Erin McNemar

Arts & Entertainment Editor

At Keene State College, students are able to pursue their desired field of study while also obtaining a liberal arts education. This is in part due to the college’s Integrative Studies Program [ISP].

The Keene State College website states the following about the ISP program.“Yes, you’ll develop the skills you need to be proficient in your major, but you’ll also understand how those skills are connected by studying the arts and the sciences. That way, if the specific skills you learn, or the career you’ve prepared for, become replaced by something new down the road, you’ll have the flexibility and creativity to adapt to a changing world.”

Part of ISP is completing 1-2 Fine and Performing Arts classes, or IA classes. IA classes include music, art, theater and dance, film, english and architecture. In order to graduate, students will need to take at least one class in one of those fields.

Senior Ashley Chapman, who is majoring in Graphic Design, stated what she thinks the value of having art as an ISP is. “I think it’s important that the art requirement is part of the ISP program,” Chapman said.

First year Christopher DeMarco shared in this opinion explaining that although he is an exercise science major, he thinks that the arts are valuable to learn. “I think it’s important because art allows you to express yourself. Whether it be through film, film production or even just drawing,” DeMarco said.

However part of the criticism of including art as an ISP is the cost of the material for classes. Students taking studio art classes are required to go out and buy materials as they would for any other class, but these materials carry a large price tag according to some students.

Sophomore Dylan Fitch, who took Drawing 1 last semester, talked about what it was like having to pay for the supplies for the class. “I didn’t like it. From what I have been told the prices fluctuate a lot and last year was better than normal, but still it costs a lot of money for art supplies and they run out pretty quickly. It’s like paying for textbooks that wear out,” Fitch said.

Although the cost of art supplies for these studio art classes is high, Chapman explained there are other options and it’s up to the student to decide what they want to take. “ There are different ways you can fulfill a program. There’s music or dance or studio art or graphic design or theater, there’s a whole bunch of different ones, so it’s really up to the student to decide which one they want to take. If you decide you want to take a studio art class, there should be a notice saying that there will be an expensive list to buy, but at the same time every course has materials that they need to purchase.”

Chapman went on the state her opinion on the ISP program as a whole. “I think the ISP program is important because it’s supposed to integrate all the majors together so you can tie what you’re learning to different areas of interest and be able to connect better to the campus as a whole,” she continued. “In order for the campus to be more well rounded and part of the liberal arts curriculum, it’s important to have art included in that as well.”

Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinox.com