Theatre and Media Arts MA
The MA in Theatre and Media Arts is designed to foster disciplined artists and scholars, committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose skills and conduct are models of leadership, inspiration, and achievement. Students emphasize in one of three areas-theatre history and criticism, theatre for young audiences, or media education. Programs of study stress the connection between theory and practice, with particular training in focused research methodologies, scholarly writing, and professional application. Students develop intellectual attributes, spiritual awareness, strength of character, and a commitment to life-long learning and service. They are encouraged to become involved in their fields locally and nationally through membership and participation in professional organizations. Graduates from the program are prepared for expanded employment opportunities and/or placement in competitive terminal degree programs.
Theatre MA students (history/theory/criticism and theatre for young audiences) must have an acceptable undergraduate background in theatre arts; Media Education students must have teacher certification and experience teaching in public or private secondary schools. A minimum of 26 course-work hours plus 6 thesis hours are required beyond the baccalaureate. These courses are divided between introductory classes for all graduate students, core classes in Theatre or Media Education, and electives selected by each student in consultation with the advisory committee. In addition, theatre students must have at least one significant production experience. Students must all pass a comprehensive written examination. Theatre students will then write and defend a thesis that synthesizes core learning with an area of focus supported by elective work. Media education students may write a thesis or may choose to do an action research project that must be presented in a public forum in the form of a presentation, poster session, or roundtable discussion. All students are encouraged to support their program of studies with participation in national organizations and through teaching assistant opportunities in the department.
Requirements for Degree.
- Credit hours (32): minimum 26 course work hours plus 6 thesis hours (TMA 699R) (minimum 20 hours must be in theatre/media arts or theatre/media arts-related courses).
- Required courses: TMA 690 TMA600, 601, 602, 700R 3 hours of history, theory, or criticism in area other than emphasis (theatre or media arts) 8 hours of electives, selected in consultation with advisory comittee.
- Minor (optional): any approved minor.
- Production: at least one significant production experience, determined in consultation with advisory committee (evaluation will occur immediately after the production).
- Thesis: thesis must make a genuine contribution to body of knowledge and meet highest academic standards (departmental style guides are MLA and Turabian). Three kinds of thesis research will be accepted: (A) scholarly analysis of theatre or media arts history, theory, or criticism (B) research and strong creative achievement in theatre or media arts or (C) measurement studies.
- Examinations: (A) comprehensive written examination (B) comprehensive oral examination (C) oral defense of thesis.
- Theatre for Young Audiences students will, in addition to the above, complete the following: (A) TMA 352 and 452 (or a demonstration of comparable course work or experience) and TMA 522R and 772 (B) at least one approved significant teaching or workshop-leading experience demonstrating or teaching principles of theatre for young people (C) a demonstration of writing competence by submitting for publication a scholarly article or reviews of at least four published plays and (D) an approved internship with an organization doing performance, teaching, or research work with young people.
Students will examine how text, performance, and interactivity construct social realities in different historical moments-including the present historical moment.
Students will select and implement appropriate research methodologies.
Students will produce original research in their respective areas of academic interest.
Students will develop a variety of skills and materials that will prepare them for further graduate studies, teaching opportunities, professional production, and/or other performance-related work.
Evidence of Learning
Most formal assessment occurs through comprehensive examination and thesis work. At the level of individual courses, further assessment occurs in exams, papers, teacher interviews, participation in discussions, etc. Informal learning occurs in the production process, in conference participation, and in serving as a teaching assistant for the department.
Theatre and Media Arts graduate faculty utilizes core assessment tools as outlined by the Graduate School in addition to other evidences of learning. They assess these evidences using evaluation tools that include, but are not limited to:
- Graduate School progress reports
- Comprehensive examinations
- Written theses
- Action Research Projects
- Oral defenses of examinations, theses, and projects
- Other written examinations# Written research papers
- Further graduate school placement
- Immediate faculty and student verbal and written assessment of in-class performances
- On-campus public performances with feedback from faculty, students, and published sources
- Acceptance of work at national or international conferences
- Faculty verbal and written assessment of teaching assistant performance
Indirect measures include but are not limited to the following:
- Student Evaluations
- Alumni Questionnaires
- Student Focus Groups
- Feedback from academic and industry professionals
- Feedback from graduates and colleagues in state and national theatre organizations
- Feedback from patrons and off-campus colleagues
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
Theatre and Media Arts graduate faculty members serve together on a Graduate Committee that meets monthly to review student progress. Students are tracked formally through the Graduate School, and informally by thesis advisors. As concerns about students are identified, the committee works together to propose a plan of action for improvement. These are sent to the student in writing and are supported by one-on-one conversations with the advisor. Twice annually, a formal report on student progress is logged with the graduate school where each student is assessed as "satisfactory", "marginal", or "unsatisfactory."
Strengths and weaknesses of the various program areas and courses are also identified and recommendations for adjustments and improvements are submitted to the TMA Curriculum and Executive Committees. Through thoughtful discussion and debate, consensus is reached, changes are identified, and procedures are put in place to refine goals and outcomes. When and if necessary, proposals are forwarded to the College and University Curriculum Committees for approval.