Emerson is a member of ProArts, a consortium of local colleges dedicated to the visual and performing arts. Did you know that full-time staff can take undergraduate and continuing education courses at other ProArts institutions? The five other member institutions are: Berklee College of Music, Boston Architectural College (BAC), Boston Conservatory, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (SMFA). New England Conservatory is a new ProArts member and cross-registration is not yet being offered.
Cross-registration at Berklee, BAC, and Boston Conservatory is available for those staff seeking to obtain a bachelor’s degree or take an undergraduate course for fun. Mass Art and SMFA offer both undergraduate and continuing education courses for cross-registration. Staff who enroll in MassArt or SMFA courses are responsible for material and studio fees; SMFA also requires that staff pay a $50 registration fee. Enrollment is on a space-available basis and priority is given to paying students. Continuing education courses may be cancelled if there are not enough paying students enrolled.
Course listings are posted and cross-registration begins at the end of each semester for the following semester; registration dates for Spring 2017 can be found on the ProArts website. It is possible to register during the schools’ designated add/drop periods as well.
The first step of the registration process is to fill out a tuition waiver form and have your supervisor sign it, and then take the form to HR. Once HR sends back the form, you bring it, along with the ProArts registration form, to Maria Mayer (Registrar), who is the College’s ProArts administrator. She confirms your eligibility and then signs the ProArts form. Next, you take the form to the host institution registrar’s office so you can be entered into its registration system. Lastly, you bring the form back to Mayer so you can be registered in Emerson’s system.
Tori Weston (Professional Studies) has been taking continuing education courses at SMFA since 2007. Her first class was figure drawing. For the past few years, she has been taking printmaking classes. She enjoys taking classes at SMFA because all students, no matter their status, are given equal access to studios and the library.
An added benefit outside of the classroom, according to Weston, is the ability to “talk shop” with staff at other schools and learn from each other’s practices and policies. For example, she has given informal advice on pre-college program recruitment to other member institutions.
Al Ragone (Business Services) has been taking continuing education courses at SMFA since around 2008. Taking ProArts undergraduate courses helped him finish the BA in Visual and Media Arts program at Emerson. Lately, he has been taking printmaking classes with Weston. He likes that he is able to take classes Pass/Fail for fun and, in his experience, the SMFA instructors are accommodating. He explained that since the ProArts schools are friendly with each other, the cross-registration process is simple.
If you’re interested in dabbling in a new artistic medium or continuing your studies in a medium, keep an eye out for the ProArts course listings for next semester. If you have questions about the cross-registration process, contact Maria Mayer.
Nancy Howell (Communications)