THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF
Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee
Hilbert College: Master Plan Amendment to authorize a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Degrees
Goals 2 and 4
Decision (Consent Agenda)
Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of
This question will come before the Higher Education and
Professional Practice Committee at its June 2006 meeting where it will be voted
on and action taken. It will then come
before the full Board at its June meeting for final action.
Master plan amendment is required because these would be the
College’s first degree programs in the discipline of Fine Arts.
Staff have reviewed the proposed programs and determined that the
proposed programs, if approved, would meet the standards for registration set
forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
It is recommended that the master plan of
Information in Support of Recommendation
Hilbert College is authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees in
accounting, business administration, criminal justice, forensic science,
economic crime investigation, English, human services, liberal studies,
paralegal studies and psychology. Located in the Town of Hamburg, New York, the
College accommodates an enrollment of 1,100 students, representing a diversity
of background and experiences. The College has transfer articulation agreements
with 24 two-year colleges.
The College proposes to offer B.F.A. programs in Theater and in Film
Studies. This would be the College’s first use of the
B.F.A. degree. Both proposed programs
are now being offered as concentrations in the College’s English and
Communications Studies programs. The
general admission requirements of the College will apply to these programs. All
students fulfill graduation requirements in basic skills, a liberal arts core
curriculum and required courses (including an internship and senior thesis) in
a specified major.
The baccalaureate degree in Film Studies will provide students with a
unique opportunity to study film in two ways.
After learning the fundamental elements of film studies (historical,
generic, theoretical perspectives) students may choose to follow up on this
core by focusing on the more traditional scholarly track associated with Film
Studies and prepare for graduate school by increasing their breadth in
philosophy, theory, and intellectual history. Students may also opt to focus
more on aspects of production, thus gaining knowledge and experience in the
practice of film making, along with the study of film theory and history.
The baccalaureate degree in Theater will educate students in both the
hands-on elements of the discipline (acting, directing, production, technical
elements and scriptwriting) and through required coursework and a broad
selection of electives that will provide students in the program with a solid
foundation in literature and history that informs dramatic art and production. Theater majors will be able to continue their
studies in theater either by focusing on the literary aspects by pursuing a
graduate degree in dramatic literature, humanities, and secondary educations or
by pursuing graduate work in theater that is more performance oriented.
The McGrath Library resources and databases are sufficient for the first
stages of development for each program. Many of the journals, films, and texts to
support the programs have already been added to the collection as part of the
course development processes.
In 2005, the College employed 43 full-time and 55 part-time faculty.
There are faculty who have the necessary education and credentials to teach in
areas such as film analysis, film and television production, theater and mime,
performance and theater troupe operation.
Primarily these two programs are designed as part of an ongoing project
to broaden the liberal arts core of the College’s whole curriculum. Projections
for enrollment within the two programs reflect this purpose. There
are a growing number of requests for independent studies in the areas of film
studies and theater each year. Enrollment
in all film classes is consistently high. The media arts track of the
Communication Studies degree has become the largest in the program reflecting
student interest in film study and production.
The Admissions Department staff report that one of two of the most
common areas about which applicants often ask is the availability of theater
In keeping with standard practice, a canvass was conducted of
institutions of higher education in the Western Region of New York State. Three institutions responded indicating no
objection to the proposed programs.