The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

UC Art Requirements Too Strict

What’s worse: enthusiastic freshmen unable to take the art classes that interest them or reluctant underclassmen taking up those spaces to fulfill their mandatory credits? Growing demand for art class spaces has overlfowed visual art classes. This is only amplified by the school’s lack of additional fine arts that satisfy both the graduation requirement and the A-G UC college requirement. With so many students needing to complete these credits, there is less room for students genuinely interested in art.

Although there is a high demand for art courses, the current art classes are locked. That is to say, no flexibility will be offered to the adding of art periods or subjects. And with the large incoming freshman class this year, art teacher Alice Araneda stresses that there is a constant “massive demand” for class spaces.

“Right now it just comes down to money,” Principal Wynne Satterwhite said. “Cutting [budget] makes it hard to add [classes]. I would love to add some other kinds of classes, though.”

Although this means new classes could not be funded, the administration has done an exceptional job keeping cuts away from the classroom. Art classes have remained intact, but at the same time, the current program between visual, performing and practical arts is imbalanced.

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But if more classes were accepted by the UC faculty board to satisfy the fine art requirement, fewer students would need to take visual and performing art. This way fewer spaces would be filled and those expressing a desire to further their art education would be able to do so.

There are three types of fine arts credits: Visual arts, like painting, drawing and photo; performing arts, like acting, vocal music and jazz dance; and practical arts, like auto shop, web design and culinary.

For a course to be approved by UC faculty as fine art credit or the F on UC A-G requirements, it must typically be a visual or performing art (VPA), and meet the five VPA requirements: Artistic Perception, Creative Expression, Historical and Cultural Content, Aesthetic Valuing, Connections, Relationships and Application.

So what doesn’t count? Marching band, color guard, Concert Choir, Varsity Men’s Glee, journalism and creative writing do not earn more than elective credits. Neither do any of the practical arts, including computer application, web design, automotive technology (auto shop) or culinary as they generally “do not adequately address the five strands of the state VPA framework,” according to

In a time when budget cuts have exceeded $3 million, the UC faculty must, at least for the time being, become more lenient on course approval and expand the range of art credits accepted. Fewer students would be forced to take visual and performing arts for college requirements, allowing genuinely interested students to take those classes.

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