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Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008 - 11:15pm

sed seal                                                                                                 





signature of Johanna Duncan Poitier


Higher Education Committee


Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Master Plan Amendment: Briarcliffe College, Patchogue Branch Campus, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design




February 27, 2008




Goals 2 and 4







Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


Should the Regents authorize the amendment of the master plan of Briarcliffe College in order for the Patchogue Campus to offer the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design?


Reason for Consideration


              Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


The question will come before the Higher Education Committee at its March 2008 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its March 2008 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


              Master plan amendment is required because this would be the College’s first baccalaureate degree program in the discipline of Fine Arts.





Background Information


Briarcliffe College, 1055 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, NY, seeks to amend its master plan to authorize its branch campus at 225 West Main Street, Patchogue, NY in Suffolk County, to offer instruction leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design in the disciplinary area of Fine Arts.  A master plan amendment is necessary as the proposed program will be the Patchogue Campus’ first baccalaureate degree program in the MPA discipline of Fine Arts. The College has been authorized to offer the B.F.A. program at its Bethpage campus since September 2000.


The proposed program leading to the B.F.A. degree in Graphic Design is designed to prepare and graduate focused and knowledgeable candidates for employment in the field of graphic arts or related art and design positions.  Graduates of the proposed B.F.A. program will be well versed in visual and practical applications of graphic design.


Students in the proposed program will complete 129 credit hours of undergraduate coursework consisting of a 75 credit hour graphic design core; 9 credit hours in graphic design technical electives; 36 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences; and 9 credit hours in general electives, including an internship.  The proposed program integrates theory and practice and encourages critical thinking, communication skills, and numeric skills required for the field.  It also requires completion of a capstone course requiring students to prepare and defend an advanced design project.  A course in Portfolio Preparation is also a program requirement and culminates in industry professionals reviewing and critiquing student’s work. 


Applicants to the proposed program must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or a college degree from an accredited institution.  Math through pre-calculus and general chemistry is desired.   Students in the College’s existing A.A.S. program in Graphic Design will be able to transfer seamlessly into the program.  The College anticipates a first-year enrollment of 50 freshmen, increasing to 250 students by year five.  It expects that 75 percent of these students will be full-time and that the majority of the students will be residents of Suffolk County, where the Patchogue Campus is located.


The College has budgeted sufficient resources to implement and support the program. Its current facilities are sufficient for implementation of the proposed program and include graphic design laboratories and a dedicated computer laboratory for the program with appropriate software and computers.  All faculty hold appropriate graduate degrees and the College has committed funds to hire an additional full-time faculty member as the program expands.


The College reported that the entry-level requirement for graphic designers has become the bachelor’s degree.  There is currently only one college in Suffolk County offering a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and three colleges offering related but not equivalent programs in the fine arts.  The College conducted a survey of area employers to assess local need for graphic artists.  Overall, employers responded that there continues to be an increased need for graphic designers. The survey results are supported by labor market projections.  The online Commercial Art and Graphic Design Encyclopedia of American Industries cites Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projections that jobs in the graphic design industry will increase by 72 percent by 2010, faster than average for all occupations.  In the Long Island region of the State, the New York State Department of Labor projects the prospects for hiring in the Graphic Design field as “very favorable” through 2014. Statewide median annual wages in Graphic Design are $51,100 and for Long Island $44,940.


 A canvass was conducted of institutions of higher education in the Long Island region.  There were two responses received for this canvass, both stating that the program would not negatively impact their respective institutions. 




              The Department has determined that the proposed program, if approved, would meet the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the amendment to the master plan of Briarcliffe College authorizing its Patchogue Campus to offer the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design.  This amendment would be effective until March 18, 2009, unless the program is registered by the Department prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


If the Board of Regents approves the degree authorization and the master plan amendment, the Department will register the program and the College will proceed to recruit and enroll program students.