Johns Hopkins University
The 2002-03 academic year has been a very busy time for Peabody, due to the simultaneous occurrence of a major construction project and two decennial accreditation processes: for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) (of which the present document forms part), and for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). In preparation for accreditation, the entire Peabody population — faculty, staff, students, and alumni — was surveyed. Most offices were required to provide data and analyses of that data. A very large proportion of the faculty was involved, either through their departments or individually, in preparing material for the NASM self-study. The process of the NASM self-study was guided by a joint committee of faculty, students, and staff. JoAnn Kulesza, Chair of the Faculty Assembly, and Eileen Soskin, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, provided leadership in accomplishing the NASM self-study.
The NASM self-study benefited from the debate on many issues which has been going on throughout the year in a very broad context and reflects the thinking of a wide cross-section of the Peabody community. The present document, therefore, has been prepared mainly from data obtained in the course of the NASM self-study and will frequently refer to it. Additional data have been obtained where necessary.
The NASM self-study attests that Peabody reflects indicators of quality that are appropriate for institutions of higher learning and the basis for judging institutional effectiveness. Peabody has a mission appropriate to higher education, is guided by well-defined goals for student learning, and has established conditions and procedures under which the goals can be realized. Peabody also is accomplishing its goals substantially and has the organization, staff, and support structure to expect to continue accomplishing its goals. Peabody is dedicated to Excellence in Higher Education. Nothing else will do.
The Peabody Conservatory is one of two branches of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, the other being the Peabody Preparatory. Both the Conservatory and the Preparatory have mission statements. The mission statement of the Conservatory was revised in October 2002, and the mission statement for the Institute was written and finalized in April and May 2003, during retreats held for faculty, administrators, and staff of the Institute.
The Peabody Conservatory strives to provide aspiring artists with the skills to pursue professional careers in music as well as the education to become leaders in the cultural life of their communities.
Through comprehensive excellent education, The Peabody Institute nurtures talent and creativity; provides aspiring musicians with the skills to sustain professional careers; fosters lifelong involvement in music and dance; and prepares students in artistic performance at the highest level, providing inspiration and enlightenment to regional, national and international communities.
The revised mission statement of the Peabody Institute strives to reflect the aspirations of the mission and vision of undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins, as described in the CUE Final Report. Particular emphasis has been placed on the aspects of intellectual and cultural leadership within the national and international communities, as well as lifelong learning, civic engagement, and community service.
Peabody is among the finest music schools in the world, dedicated to comprehensive education and excellence, while preparing students to become participative members of society.
Peabody is a place where the most.gifted students desire to study with distinguished faculty.
Peabody is dedicated to a diverse student body.
Peabody is a place that provides lifelong music and dance opportunities through instruction, performance and outreach to regional, national, and international communities.
Peabody achieves its goals through individual and collaborative instruction in a caring and compassionate environment.
Peabody has the finest, state-of-the-art facilities and operates in a secure financial environment.
Peabody affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University in 1977 and became a full division in 1986. Peabody's objectives — both historically and currently — are based on a standard of professional excellence within a diverse community of ideas and, thus, are entirely congruent with those of the Johns Hopkins University.
The admissions process at Peabody has been developed to ensure that Peabody's mission and objectives have the best possible chance for realization. The Admissions Office is charged with the task of recruiting a qualified but diverse group of students. Recruitment materials are designed to attract those students who will prosper; very few students apply based on a false notion of what Peabody is about.
Peabody seeks to hire faculty and staff whose outstanding accomplishments in their fields of expertise are coupled with a dedication to our mission and vision.
Faculty, administrators and staff are constantly engaged in making connections to the past, functioning in the present, and looking towards the future. In trying to balance these three goals, they struggle to reconcile ideals with financial and size constraints. In the past ten years, significant progress has been made in the areas of internal and external connections including:
Erasing some of the artificial boundaries between the Conservatory and the Preparatory divisions;
The creation of fourteen functional departments in the Conservatory and a Council of Chairs where every member of the faculty is represented by their Department Chair;
A greater Peabody presence on the Homewood campus both with course offerings and on University-wide committees;
A more ethnically diverse student body on the Peabody campus, largely as a result of the new jazz undergraduate and graduate degree programs;
A greater number of successful outreach programs;
A significantly higher profile for Peabody in the community as a presenter of cultural events; and
The affiliation with the National University of Singapore and the July 2003 admission of the first class to their Conservatory.
Peabody is fulfilling its objectives and living up to its promises as stated in its mission statement and promotional materials. The past decade has seen a tremendous growth in Peabody's endowment, as well as preparation for and the commencement of a huge construction project that will underscore our aspirations and successes as a major presenter in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Peabody's visibility at Homewood, locally, nationally, and internationally has never been as great, and we are poised to build on our present position. Constraints of space and finances have always been present and continue to nip at our heels; nonetheless, both have been addressed more effectively than anyone could have imagined ten years ago. The future looks bright.
Admissions Policies and Procedures
All admissions policies, auditions and proficiency-testing procedures are clearly described in the current catalog of the Peabody Conservatory supported by various publications of the Public Information and Admissions Offices.
Students are admitted into all performance programs via audition with the major faculty. An additional interview is required for Music Education and Recording Arts applicants. All applicants take placement tests in Music Theory and Ear-Training. The results of these tests become significant when an applicant is otherwise marginal. Academic records are flagged for review if they fall short of established benchmarks. Undergraduate applicants living more than five hundred miles from Peabody may audition via audiotape. All Jazz auditions must be performed live at Peabody.
The Peabody Conservatory prints its academic catalog every two years, with the policies therein applicable for the course of a student's study at the Institute. Among the first elements presented is the Academic Calendar setting out the dates for the opening and closing of semesters, observed holidays and vacations, as well as deadlines and dates of important academic issues (i.e., course drop/add periods, exam periods, and applications for graduation). The catalog clearly articulates information about our history, mission, size, facilities, breadth of faculty, performance and competition opportunities, honorary and professional organizations, career counseling, and outreach. Procedural Information (recital requirements, inter- institutional academic arrangements, the Peabody/Homewood double degree program) and Administrative Regulations (codes of conduct, grading system, and academic standing) also are found in the catalog. The rest of the catalog covers the specifics of all degree programs and their requirements, a list and description of courses offered, student life, financial information (including endowed scholarships, fellowships and graduate assistantships) and a list of current faculty and their biographies.
Admissions Advertising and Materials
In consultation with the Director of Admissions, the Public Information Office (PIO) designs, writes and places recruitment ads in major instrumental and vocal publications. PIO spends about $30,000 a year on space advertising for both the Conservatory and the Preparatory divisions. The majority of space ads are placed in statewide and national publications including daily newspapers, magazines and programs of other arts organizations. Each ad is a custom design, with little or no standardization. Copies of all the advertisements placed by PIO are contained in Peabody's 2003 NASM Self-Study Report.
PIO also produces program sheets, information applying directly to the expressed instrument/medium of choice of the applicant. Student search mailing is targeted at a national pool of approximately 17,000 students whose SAT scores and identification of music as a career objective make them potential applicants to Peabody. The PIO also produces a brochure, The Path to Peabody, that discusses with unusual candor the advantages and disadvantages of attending Peabody.
One of the elements which sets Peabody apart from its sister institutions is its entrepreneurial philosophy; this reflects the way of life of The Johns Hopkins University, the umbrella under which Peabody lives. Each department at the Conservatory echoes its own personality in its individualized brochure, outlining the accomplishments of that department's faculty, its particular offerings, the department's unique allure and the specifics of its degrees and requirements. Though perhaps less glamorous than full-color promotional brochures, the black-and- white format provides an unusually quick recognition of the materials as Peabody's (according to the Director of Admissions). This lack of unification of publications across the School as a whole produces a look that we feel is unique and representative.
The Peabody website makes the Conservatory catalog with all admissions and auditions requirements available online. Peabody's website was redesigned during the academic year 2002- 03 to make online inquiries and down-loadable application forms available to prospective students. As an added resource to inquiring minds, computer-savvy faculty and students were able to design their own webpages which show departmental schedules and performance events, including elements of their personal and professional lives outside of Peabody.
The Peabody Conservatory owes its healthy enrollment in large part to the size and scope of its international student population. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Peabody's international student population nearly tripled. In recent years, the international student population has leveled off in total size and in its relationship to the overall population of the School.
The international student population was mostly responsible for the rise in the overall student population from the academic years 1992-93 to 1993-94, but since then has fluctuated rather independently relative to the overall student population. Students from Asian countries represent over three quarters of the overall international student population. The dip in the international student population in the late 1990s is attributable to the difficulties experienced in the Korean financial market. As Korea's financial picture has slowly improved, Peabody has seen a return of that segment of the international student population. Currently, Korean students represent 55% of our international student population; Taiwanese students represent 26% of our international student population.
While the talent and assiduity of these students is often extraordinary, their needs also are great. Nearly every international student has special needs regarding language, academic advising, immigration status and financial resources that require the care and attention of our staff. Faculty, especially at the graduate level, note the impact of the large international student population on the pace at which they are able to teach and, thus, on the content and quality of their classes.
Peabody's African-American population has fluctuated in the past ten years and is now at its highest level although the percentage of these students in the Conservatory has fallen.
Peabody is committed to recruiting a diverse student body and is eager to recruit students of color whose chances for success in our programs are promising based on their audition ratings and their academic records. As noted, a Jazz program has been introduced with the expectation that it will provide musical enrichment and also attract the interest of diverse students and faculty.
Peabody takes retention seriously. The Institute can make its best efforts in evaluating a student's talent, academic pedigree and maturity, and can offer appropriate support services, but no one can ever guarantee a student's success. Retention at Peabody is contingent upon a student following the established guidelines. Improper student conduct, such as underage drinking or use of drugs, is an offense that warrants possible suspension or dismissal. Issues of perjury, cheating or otherwise disregarding the academic code of conduct are serious matters that can result in suspension or dismissal. Probation is a possible disciplinary action that allows a student to remain enrolled/on campus while attempting to change his conduct. The definition of unacceptable behavior is clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which is distributed to each student during the orientation week at the beginning of the fall semester.
Peabody affords its students numerous opportunities to remain at Peabody while working through academic, performance, or personal difficulties. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs handles academic issues which need immediate attention. She brings cases to the appropriate governance committee when matters arise which need their consideration. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and her staff deal with most non-academic student issues, staying well-informed and up-to-date regarding University policies and maintaining a current directory of skilled professionals and resources for addressing those issues for which students may require outside assistance.
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs officially advises all students in all programs. Individual students also may be advised by their major teacher. In addition, the Office of the Registrar reviews every single student file at least twice a year, doing checks of credit hours and program evaluations. All incoming freshman and transfer students are assigned faculty advisors with whom they consult during orientation week and throughout their first-year of study.
Academic advising is undertaken by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in tandem with a student's major-field teacher. Individual teachers also may offer professional mentoring and, on occasion, personal guidance, but these teachers must always work closely with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs because major teachers are not always aware of a student's entire academic record and may not know of academic problems that a student might be experiencing in other classes. Consequently, the major faculty member relies on the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as well as other teachers to provide information and support.
Areas for Improvement
The present system of recruiting and retaining students at Peabody seems to do its job quite well, thanks to the diligence and review of the staff of the Offices of Admissions, Academic Affairs, and Registrar, as well as a regular assessment of what is outdated or inadequate. The review and assessment of virtually each student's progress in the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctoral Committees does not allow a student to wander off track or exhibit signs of distress for very long. Peabody also has the advantage of being a small community. News of every kind travels quickly; if a problem outside the academic realm presents itself, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and her staff are usually able to attend to it almost immediately.
The subject of admissions, however, is always a topic of concern, as far as attracting "the best and brightest." Thanks to an outstanding faculty, and the ability of the Director of Admissions and his staff to market this 'competitive edge,' Peabody usually does not lack a pool of highly qualified applicants for undergraduate or graduate programs. The challenge at Peabody is in having a supply of scholarship money to make a competitively attractive offer with our sister institutions which court the same applicants.
Peabody has lagged in its effective use of technology. We are putting considerable financial resources and effort in upgrading our web presence. It is our intention to place greater emphasis on the newly redesigned website as an additional marketing tool. We have taken the first major step by placing our application forms online for the coming academic year.
Peabody maintains its own student service operations in all areas except health and psychological services. These include housing, food service, a campus fitness facility, and a bookstore/caf‚. Health services are provided by the Mt. Royal Medical Association, which is located six blocks from campus and is accessible by van service. Psychological services are available to Peabody students at the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University, likewise accessible by van service. Peabody students also are eligible to participate in student organizations on the Homewood campus, though few elect to do so, perhaps due to the two mile distance between the two campuses.
The student services program is coordinated and supervised by Peabody's Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Responsibilities of this position include overseeing the Residence Life Office and International Student Advising. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs views her role as that of a facilitator, with a particular focus on the personal development of the students. Other areas that fall within her purview include the process of orientation for new students, matters of non-academic discipline, student government, and student activities. Additional responsibilities include dealing with contractors who staff or contribute to service aspects of student life including the bookstore, dormitory administration, cafeteria, security, and vending services.
The Student Handbook
The Office of Student Life publishes the Peabody Student Handbook. It informs students of all important policies regarding acceptable and unacceptable conduct and its consequences, sources for personal counseling, mediation of problems, specifics regarding the residence hall, the cafeteria meal plan, student organizations, practice room usage, Student and Residence Life personnel, and the like. Peabody students can refer to it often; it is one of the most important sources of information dealing with life at the Conservatory.
Counseling and Discipline
The Associate Dean for Student Affairs also serves as an advisor for students and student groups on non-academic matters. In all matters of student life, Peabody attempts to provide a supportive environment. Even disciplinary issues have their primary focus on education and counseling as opposed to punishment. Formal disciplinary hearings regarding social conduct violations or violations of academic integrity are relatively rare, as many matters are able to be resolved through more informal discussions with the Associate Deans.
Over a quarter of the Peabody student population resides in the school's Residence Hall. The six floors of the Residence Hall have a capacity of 168 residents. There is a floor exclusively for women; a floor for upper-classmen and graduate students; and four coed floors.
In recent years, some of the double rooms have had to be used as triples, a less than ideal situation that Peabody is hoping to address by housing some graduate students in the Waterloo Apartments directly across the street from our campus.
Since 1993, Peabody's policy has been the same as that at Hopkins' Homewood campus: we require that all freshmen and sophomores reside on campus. There are several reasons for the two year residency requirement. Living on campus helps students adjust to a new environment and fosters a sense of community. This is particularly important for Peabody's international students. Living in an urban environment has special challenges, especially when combined with the extremely high expectations that are placed on a Conservatory student. The two year residency requirement also assures the financial solvency of the Residence Hall and its food service operation.
The Residence Hall has undergone frequent renovations in the past decade. A major change occurred in 2000, when the Institute's bookstore that at one time occupied a portion of the Residence Hall's first floor was moved across the street from the Peabody campus. What was once a very cramped and limited store is now a spacious bookstore located on Centre Street, just south of Peabody. The relocation of the bookstore made possible the creation of a sophisticated student computing center with 16 complete computer workstations. The other two computing centers available to students are located in the library and in Leakin Hall. They have midi keyboards and multiple workstations.
A new Peabody fitness facility was dedicated in October 2002 and is located in Leakin Hall. Before its creation, Peabody students had only one exercise bike and one universal machine wedged into a small alcove of a dance room. The new facility has four Stairmasters, three exercise bikes, and two treadmills.
Although cafeteria food is often a source of dissatisfaction for students, the offerings have become more varied, and the amount and quality of fresh food has increased in the past few years. In addition, there is a greater sensitivity to individual needs. In recent years, the configuration of the cafeteria has been improved to help traffic flow, especially at high volume times. The cafeteria is not just for students; it is also a gathering place for many faculty and staff at lunchtime as well as participants in the Elderhostel program. In the warmer months, the plaza is full to overflowing with all the constituents of our community. The cafeteria and plaza remain the central gathering place at Peabody outside of concert and recital halls.
Once students are eligible to move off campus, many choose the convenient and affordable housing across St. Paul Street (to the east of Peabody). Other students choose residences within walking distance of the campus. A shuttle van service run by Peabody Security is available to students 24 hours a day.
Residence Life Coordinator
Along with the coordination of campus-wide student activities, the Residence Life Coordinator is responsible for the physical and programmatic life of the Residence Hall which includes arranged talks on Substance Abuse Awareness and Diversity Training, the organization of a Relaxation and Health Fair, the organization of a Career Development Day in conjunction with the Ensemble and Alumni Office, and the supervision of several blood drives. The Residence Life Coordinator works closely with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs in crafting and scheduling events of interest to our diverse student population. The Residence Life Coordinator also reviews students' requests for exemption from the two year residency requirement.
In 1996, the Peabody Student Council, which was a rather ineffectual elected student government, was replaced by a volunteer collective called OASIS. OASIS is described by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs as "a non-hierarchical organization that seeks to foster student activism by interest rather than popularity." On average, OASIS sponsors two to three new formally recognized, student-run organizations annually. Students are responsible for most of the funds available for student activities, including social activities and excursions that take students away from the Peabody campus. New educational programs tend to originate in the Office of Student Affairs in conjunction with the Residence Life Office. The most popular offerings in recent years have been classes that address the stressful and physical nature of music performance: yoga, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, and Tai- Kwon Do.
Consistent with a major CUE objective, in the past few years, our faculty has been discussing how to foster a greater sense of community with our students from the very first day they set foot on campus. There have been many discussions concerning the creation of a Freshman Seminar with an open sharing of ideas on broad topics of interest to musicians and, more specifically, musicians at Peabody. During the 2002-03 academic year, three seminars were held in the lounge areas of the Residence Halls, led by faculty volunteers. All students were invited. Topics included How to Practice and How Not to Practice, Preparing for Juries, and How To Practice Over the Summer.
Administrative Support for ESL and International Student Services
Since the 1993 NASM and MSCHE reaccreditations, additional staffing has been added to support the international student population. One staff member formerly served as International Student Advisor and Residence Life Coordinator. In 1993 these responsibilities were split into two full-time staff positions. Ms. Janice Shannon was hired in 1993 as International Student Advisor, a full-time staff/faculty position. She continues in that role today, working out of the Office of Student Affairs. A part-time ESL teacher was hired in 2002 to assist her.
International students also travel extensively for competitions and summer music festivals, and more than their amateur counterparts, they must change their immigration status to enable them to remain in the United States after they conclude their studies. Each trip out of the country requires the attention of the International Student Advisor, as does every request for change of status, permission to work, and approval for professional training activities.
The amount and complexity of paperwork and staff-to-student time has risen exponentially in response to new Department of Homeland Security regulations. There is a new federal tracking system and new University student regulations, both accompanied by long applications and longer waiting periods. The increased demands on an already short-handed staff are both worrisome and significant. The tighter regulations make it harder for students to apply for an extension of their visa. Students must often return to their home country in order to seek an extension. First-time students can enter the United States no more than 30 days prior to the start of school. This is a handicap since they would benefit greatly from taking English classes or special summer programs prior to their studies at Peabody. This past year has been particularly difficult for international students and their staff support in light of the world situation and the SARS outbreak. There has been an increased need for student advisement.
Language and Instructional Issues
Issues related to English language proficiency are among the most challenging student issues. Peabody does not impose a strict standard for English proficiency prior to admission. The School requests the submission of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores and informs students that they must demonstrate a score of at least 550 to gain full admission to the programs offered. Students who test below the 550 levels at admission are re-tested at orientation. If our applicants without TOEFL scores or with poor TOEFL scores were admitted conditionally, many would be unable to secure papers allowing them to come to the U.S.; therefore we admit them unconditionally, but warn them that their course of study may take longer due to language problems. All international students are interviewed when they arrive at Peabody to help assess their English proficiency. On average, some 40 students per year are not tested at the time of admission and must be tested at orientation. Upon completing the TOEFL and an interview, international students are advised to take one of the following classes as appropriate:
English As A Second Language, Level 1: For undergraduate and graduate students with poor English skills; a non-credit class that meets six hours/week. Students may not enroll in any academic classes until they complete this course, but students may enroll in lessons and ensembles.
English As A Second Language, Level 2: Survival at Peabody is offered to graduate students for four and a half hours a week. It is a non-credit class with an emphasis on reading and writing skills and making oral presentations. Students can register for any academic classes as well as lessons and ensembles.
English As A Second Language, Level 3: This 3- credit class (6 credits for two semesters) is for undergraduate students whose English skills are more advanced than Level 1. This class counts as a language credit.
International students are offered additional organized support in study groups. International students who are enrolled in "Music History Intensive" (a graduate level review course) meet with Ms. Shannon to discuss and review class work.
Conversation Partners: International students are given the opportunity to converse with American students to practice their English skills. Peabody provides a partial assistantship to a graduate student for organizing these groups.
The Office of Alumni Relations is headed by Ms. Debbie Kennison. Alumni are contacted by mail, e-mail and phone throughout the year by both Peabody and Johns Hopkins and are solicited for both professional information and financial support. Professional information about alumni is collected and published in the Alla Breve section of Peabody News (published five times a year), in a Reunion Book of Alumni, and in an annual newsletter. The Office of Alumni Relations also compiles a National Calendar featuring alumni performances and other activities. Peabody also hosts a Homecoming Weekend every second year, usually scheduled to coincide with a large musical event on campus. 2004's Homecoming will take place during the Grand Opening festivities to celebrate the completion of the campus construction project. In Homecoming's off years, an Annual Meeting for alumni takes place at Peabody.
Office of Career Counseling and Placement
The Office of Career Counseling, in conjunction with the Alumni Office, offers career preparation seminars on a regular basis. These seminars and workshops cover the most important aspects of career preparation for musicians, from effective resume writing to mock auditions for orchestral positions. The office also publishes a "Job Vacancy Bulletin" on the 15th and 30th of each month. The Bulletin opens with a list of performances, accomplishments and reviews of various Peabody students and departmental performances, followed by job vacancies in a variety of venues, frequently closing with pertinent articles on careers, orchestras, and other related items. The Office of Career Counseling also offers a gig placement and musician referral service for the greater Baltimore community.
Areas for Improvement
The Student Survey conducted for the self-study consistently reflected the concerns closest to the hearts of our students. Students living on campus are often critical of those who most closely represent parental authority, and comments and ratings for the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Residence Life reflect this bias. This is not surprising in light of the many inconveniences caused by the construction (including hot water outages and climate control outages). Our current staff (the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and the Coordinator of Residence Life) are dedicated professionals whose tireless efforts continue to have a profoundly positive effect on student housing, cafeteria food, and community affairs.
We have identified the following areas for improvement:
Better mechanisms for advising international students (more staff);
More workshops for faculty, staff, and students to explore cultural differences; and
More frequent formal solicitations of feedback from students concerning quality of life issues.
Qualifications, Number and Distribution
Peabody's faculty numbered 166 members in the 2002-03 academic year. The following table summarizes general information for the 2002-03 academic year as compared to the 1992-93 academic year. Additional detailed information as to the professional qualifications of Peabody's faculty is provided in the current Peabody catalog as well as the Higher Education Data Services (HEADS) Report and the Faculty Record Reports submitted as appendices to the NASM Self-Study Report.
Ultimate responsibility for all matters pertaining to faculty positions and appointments resides with the Director of the Institute; the Dean of the Conservatory acts in consultation with the Director and makes faculty appointments on his behalf. The Academic Council is charged with advising on all faculty appointments, ensuring due regard to the needs of the Conservatory and to its instituted hiring policies and procedures, as outlined below.
Full-time faculty appointments are made only to fill full- time continuing positions. Full-time faculty are recruited via a national or international search. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may appoint a full-time faculty member without a search, following approval at a regular or special meeting of Academic Council. Full-time faculty are issued yearly contracts with normal expectation of renewal. In some cases, the Dean may offer an initial multi-year contract to a new full-time member of the faculty.
Limited-time faculty appointments are made only to fill limited-time continuing positions. The Dean in consultation with the appropriate department appoints limited-time faculty. All limited-time appointments must be approved at a regular or special meeting of Academic Council. In exceptional circumstances, when time is of the essence and when no meeting of Academic Council can be scheduled, the Dean may seek the written endorsement of the appropriate Department Chair and four or more voting members of Academic Council in lieu of formal approval by Academic Council. Limited-time faculty are issued yearly contracts with expectation of renewal.
Adjunct faculty appointments are made only to fill non- continuing positions. The Dean, in consultation with the appropriate department, appoints adjunct faculty. Academic Council is to be informed of all adjunct appointments, but such appointments are not subject to its approval. Adjunct faculty are issued a one year contract with no guarantee of renewal. Successive one year contracts may be issued to meet the needs of the Conservatory.
Temporary faculty appointments may be made either to fill a full- or limited-time continuing position on a temporary basis, or to fill a non-continuing temporary position. Temporary appointments are typically made in the following situations: when a continuing position is temporarily vacated by sabbatical or leave of absence; when an unexpected vacancy of a continuing position (for example, a resignation late in the academic year) does not allow time for a national/international search; or when an unexpected situation, such as a surge in enrollment, renders a department temporarily unable to meet the instructional needs of its students.
The Dean, in consultation with the appropriate department, makes temporary faculty appointments. Academic Council is to be informed of all temporary appointments, but such appointments are not subject to its approval. Temporary faculty receive appointments of one year's duration. A temporary appointment may be extended to, but is generally not to exceed, a period of two successive years. In the event that extension beyond two years is desired, the Dean will present a recommendation to Academic Council after consultation with the appropriate department.
When the Dean is making an adjunct or temporary appointment to an individual of great distinction, these titles may be considered inappropriate. In such cases the Dean may offer an appointment to such an individual as "Distinguished Visiting Faculty," informing Academic Council of the decision. In all other respects, the conditions for adjunct or temporary faculty apply to such appointments.
Appointment, Evaluation and Advancement
To achieve its educational mission, the Peabody Conservatory encourages members of its faculty to fulfill their potential as performers, composers, scholars, and educators, and to uphold its academic and personal codes of conduct. Peabody and its faculty must act together to model the highest moral and ethical standards for the community of students, faculty and administrative staff. Both Peabody and its faculty have basic and general obligations to one another.
The obligations of the Peabody to all its faculty members are:
To honor the right of each faculty member to academic and artistic freedom;
To cultivate a stimulating intellectual and artistic environment conducive to excellence in teaching, and to encourage professional growth and achievement;
To inform the faculty in written form of the criteria and procedures by which decisions regarding hiring and the renewal of contracts will be made;
To seek fair and expeditious resolution of faculty grievances and concerns; and
To provide equitable compensation for the contracted services of its faculty members.
In order to understand the significance of developments in faculty evaluation and compensation at the school since the arrival of Director Sirota, it is essential to understand the norms under which we have operated since the affiliation of Peabody with Johns Hopkins University in 1977. Peabody's faculty is neither formally ranked nor tenured, with the exception of a very few individuals who held tenure before 1977. In questionnaires and in formal votes, the Peabody faculty has rejected tenure, preferring to remain with a system that better fosters the School's prized collegiality.
Faculty are offered one year contracts that allow for non- renewal with reasonable notice (equivalent to a year and a half for faculty who have gone beyond their first-year of employment), but the system leaves the faculty fairly vulnerable. This administration feels that once careful search procedures have been followed, it is better to help current faculty solve whatever teaching problems may exist than to terminate faculty members. Many faculty feel that the current approach amounts to de facto tenure, which may explain why the school has always been able to attract tenured faculty from other schools.
Over the past two academic years, the approach to evaluation and advancement has become more systematic, and a more formal salary structure has begun to be introduced to replace the previous reliance on the market. Each faculty member previously negotiated a base salary with the Dean; that salary was increased by a common (across the board) percentage annually. Salaries have grown incrementally from their own unique starting point, which creates, over time, endemic salary compression. The highest paid faculty earned a greater share of the salary increase pool; the lesser paid earned a perpetually lesser share of the pool.
When persistent problems of performance have arisen, the administration has sometimes not given a raise, or given only a very small one. Individuals can and do petition the Dean on an ad hoc basis for increases. Until recently, when measures were put in place to address salary equity and compression issues, salary distribution was primarily the product of independent hiring negotiations brokered by a long succession of deans and hardened into place by the salary compression phenomenon.
The absence of any promotion scheme or salary structure is tolerated and even championed by some. It is a widely cherished Peabody value that when an individual is hired for a position at the school, he or she joins an artist community of equals. Another popular and parallel notion is that Peabody is a community of entrepreneurs, where people of talent and energy can create their own niche, shape their own jobs in their own unique way, make their own unique contribution to fulfilling the educational and artistic mission. Though the Working Group of the Provost's Committee on the Status of Women's survey of spring 2000 indicated some feeling that this works better for men than for women faculty, the often cited "collegiality" of the Conservatory is prized. Professional parity is surely one reason that the lack of a mechanism for achieving salary progress was tolerated.
The challenges and costs posed by the lack of an equitable system have begun to be addressed in recent years. Since 1993, Peabody's culture concerning evaluation and compensation has begun a remarkable evolution. The single most influential change is an increasing involvement of the faculty in planning and decision-making at the Institute, supported — indeed welcomed and encouraged — by Director Sirota and Dean Justen. Three substantial efforts all arising from the Faculty Assembly prepared the way: a Faculty Long Term Contracts Committee in the 1993 and 1994 academic years; an Academic Faculty Concerns Group, which met in 1995 and 1996; and as passed in spring 1995, a resolution urging that the new administration work towards improving conditions for faculty development for studio and academic faculty alike. This last resolution urged the following improvements:
Reducing teaching loads in order to free time and energy for professional development;
Instituting sabbatical leaves;
Increasing and standardizing the procedures for obtaining funds for travel to enable faculty to participate in professional conferences;
Making available seed grant money for faculty performances and research;
Assisting in the subvention of publication expenses; and
Addressing the questions of salary scale and salary equity.
In the fall 1998, the Faculty Assembly and the administration created a joint Faculty/Administration Evaluation/Compensation Committee charged with considering a future course of action for the Institute. This committee generated a proposal for a trial Merit Plan for full-time faculty whereby full-time faculty would submit a self-report of annual activity in areas of teaching, professional activity, and service. Each report would be assessed by a Faculty Self-Report Review Committee, whose ratings of the report would constitute a judgment of job performance. These ratings, accompanied by a short commentary by each person's Department Chair, would be used in an advisory capacity by the Dean to award merit increases drawn from a special pool set aside for the purpose. Self-Reports were used for the 2002-03 contract season, but the Dean was hampered by the Committee's recommendations that every single member of the faculty was worthy of a meritorious salary increase. For that reason, the Evaluation/Compensation Committee, after a vote by the Faculty Assembly, put the trial Merit Plan on hold for the academic year 2002-03 and authorized Dean Justen to grant equity increases based on longevity, teaching load, merit, starting salary, and salary compression. The Faculty Self-Report Review Committee did not convene, per the faculty vote giving the Dean their endorsement to ameliorate the salary compression and bring those affected up to a more equitable salary.
Reflecting faculty awareness that we should continue the momentum for change, in September 2002, the Faculty Assembly called for the Evaluation/Compensation Committee to convene once again in order to come up with a plan for salary structure that might continue the momentum for change begun in the trial Merit Plan. That committee continues to meet to craft a mutually agreeable solution.
The Administration has, to a great extent, sought to address salary equity in the following ways:
Remedying the grossest salary inequities stemming from both historical gender bias and the salary compression phenomenon; creating one semester and full-year faculty sabbaticals at half salary;
Establishing a Faculty Development fund for travel and special projects; and
Instituting endowed chairs, such as the two funded by money obtained in the Singapore initiative, which have the effect of freeing up funds for other purposes, including improving salaries and augmenting scholarship funds.
Great strides have been made in addressing gender differences in average faculty salaries at Peabody, as shown in the following chart.
As described in the 1983 NASM Self-Study Report, the faculty have for a long time been resistant to the kind of student and peer evaluation common in universities. The old conservatory tradition of the master teacher inviolate in his own studio dies hard. There also was a legitimate pride in the history of academic and artistic freedom at Peabody, and the value of being part of a community of artists, which the faculty sought to preserve at all costs. Many faculty who have come here from state institutions have welcomed the comparative freedom from red tape and attendant paranoia that is all too common elsewhere.
Challenges for the Future
The Peabody faculty is at something of a crossroads, realizing that any improvement and maintenance of excellence go hand in hand with evaluation. Our challenge is to come up with a system that preserves the sense of the dignity of each person's contribution and the resulting collegiality that is so prized here while introducing our own version of evaluation processes. The healthy market competition for students means that we are all being evaluated all the time.
We need to find some way of corroborating this informal evaluation with a scheme that rewards the achievements and progress of a Peabody career with stepped compensation. Besides the self-reporting involved in the trial plan, we also have a requirement for compulsory distribution of anonymous student feedback forms for studio, classroom, and ensemble situations at the end of each course or annual study period. These forms were generated by an ad hoc committee of the Faculty Assembly, ratified by the full Assembly, and approved by the administration, but faculty have the option of substituting their own forms. These forms are compiled by the faculty secretary into typed readouts that are returned to the faculty member. Faculty members are not required to show these reports to their Department Chair or the Dean. It is therefore difficult to have the benefit of this input in strengthening the quality of instruction at the Conservatory.
A full listing of all undergraduate curricula and the present course offerings are found in the Peabody academic catalog. The NASM Self-Study Report thoroughly describes the standards leading to graduation with the Bachelor of Music degree so that only an overview is provided here.
The NASM standard is a minimum of 120 semester credit hours for the granting of a Bachelor of Music degree. Peabody requires a minimum of 122 semester hours (excluding ensemble credits) for a BM, putting it above the NASM norm. Most students exceed the minimum requirement and often expand the usual four year residency into five.
The post-baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of thirty semester hours and the equivalent of one academic year in residence to meet NASM requirements. Peabody's Master of Music degrees have a minimum residency of one year and between 32 and 42 credit hours for completion of the degree. Master's programs carry a five year completion deadline; petitions to extend this limit must be approved by the Graduate Committee. The doctoral programs require a one year full-time residency (between 18 and 36 credits for this one academic year, including eight credits of private study) with a normal two year residency. The total number of credits required is between 60 and 62. Doctoral degrees carry a seven year completion deadline; petitions to extend this limit must be approved by the D.M.A. Committee.
NASM is appropriately non-specific regarding time requirements for non-degree granting programs, leaving it up to the individual institution to structure the framework appropriate to the goals and objectives of the defined programs. The Performer's Certificate at Peabody, an undergraduate track, is normally a three year course of study demanding a minimum residency of two years. At least 80 semester hours of course credit are needed to complete these requirements. The Graduate Performance Diploma generally takes two years of study and 32 semester credit hours to achieve. Completion in less than two years requires the permission of the major teacher and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Performers in the Artist Diploma program are expected to complete a minimum of two years of study and accumulate 32 credit hours. The program must be completed in five years; petitions to extend this limit must be approved by the Graduate Committee.
Awarding Credit and Transfer of Credit
The grading system at Peabody falls into two categories: letter grades and credit/no credit. Grade point averages are computed each semester. The cumulative average is used in determining status prior to graduation. The system is clearly spelled out in the catalog, as are Peabody's policies regarding transfer credits, transfer students, and their incoming standing.
Transfer students must fulfill a two year full-time requirement and obtain a minimum of 60 hours at Peabody in order to receive the Bachelor of Music degree. The applied level of transfer students is determined by the department at the time of the audition and validated by the year-end departmental jury. Required music course credits may be established through verifying examinations taken at Peabody. Elective music course credits with a grade of C or better may be transferred pending approval of the Registrar in consultation with the faculty. Liberal arts credits with a grade of C or better may be transferred from an accredited college or university without examination, pending approval by the Registrar in consultation with the Humanities Department Chair.
Each student accepted into a course of study at Peabody receives a copy of the current Peabody catalog at the time they matriculate. The catalog clearly lists policy, credit hours, and classes required for each level of study. Each individual department also publishes its own flyer outlining courses required for the competition of degrees and diplomas. A tentative schedule of course offerings for the next semester is published by the Registrar's Office at the end of the current semester which includes the course name, level, and scheduled meeting times. Course descriptions, prerequisites, and competencies are given in the catalog. Each classroom and studio faculty member is required to file with the Faculty Secretary a copy of each class or studio syllabus, including attendance and grading policies. The Ensemble Office and Opera Department publish their policies in the catalog or in separate publications distributed to the students participating in these activities.
Undergraduate curricular innovations in the past ten years have moved the Conservatory forward in many ways. These include:
New curricula: BM in Jazz Performance (NASM approval in December 2000; State of Maryland approval in April 2001);
BM in Early Music Instruments (Baroque Violin/Viola, Baroque Cello) (internal approval in 1993);
Revitalized courses of study due to the dedication of a new organ in the newly- named and renovated Griswold Hall (B.M. in Organ, G.P.D. in Organ, M.M. in Organ, D.M.A. in Organ);
Expanded English as a Second Language offerings and an intensive graduate level ethnomusicology seminar for international students;
A revised three year curriculum in music theory for all undergraduate students;
Institution of half- recitals in some departments as a requirement for juniors in the BM programs to be given in lieu of third-year juries; and
New elective courses beginning in the 2002-04 academic years taught in a two year rotation (English Poetry, Italian Poetry, French Poetry, German Poetry).
Areas for Improvement
The Undergraduate Committee began work in the 2002-03 academic year on a proposal for a five year BM/MM degree. It is hoped that this program can begin to be advertised for the 2005 admissions cycle.
Peabody's Humanities Department provides a complement to the structured musical training of the Conservatory, bridging the focused life of musical endeavor and the broader, ever-changing world from which that life draws shape and meaning. The Humanities Department offers programs in liberal arts and languages, a forum in which students are urged to formulate, explore, and express their ideas. Humanities classes rely heavily on student participation; writing also receives special emphasis. The courses are flexible in order to serve the widely diverse academic backgrounds and needs of our students. While humanities offerings serve the entire student population, they are mostly required of and taken by undergraduates.
The Peabody Liberal Arts program offers, as its required undergraduate core, a historically organized sequence of two interdisciplinary courses which explore the development of the intellectual and cultural traditions of Western Civilization. The main goals of this yearlong study are to help students develop an understanding of the key values and modes of inquiry that inform Western thought and to refine the students' own ability to analyze and apply these concepts. These courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are built on discussions rather than lectures. All undergraduates also are required to take two courses in Advanced Studies in Liberal Arts and two courses in Liberal Arts electives. A special intensive course is offered to international students, as are an English skills laboratory and several other courses and tutorials in writing and research. Peabody offers a variety of courses to fulfill the Advanced Studies in Liberal Arts and Liberal Arts electives requirements. During the 2002-03 academic years, the two Liberal Arts courses offered were "Art and the Human Body" and "Art and Censorship."
Four new undergraduate liberal arts elective courses were approved by the Undergraduate Committee in the spring 2002 semester. These four courses (Explorations: English Poetry, Explorations: Italian Poetry; Explorations: German Poetry; Explorations: French Poetry) are being offered on a two year rotating schedule.
The Writing Skills course offers two options. Highly motivated students with excellent skills can petition to take the "Independent Option," working at their own pace and meeting individually with the instructor. Most students take the "Classroom Option" in which they participate in class presentations and work on specially designed assignments while receiving individual help and direction from the instructor. Students who do not reach an acceptable level of competency in one semester of study must enroll in a second semester of study.
A minimum of four semesters of Language Study is required in all baccalaureate programs with the exception of Recording Arts, Music Education and Jazz. Students may fulfill this requirement by completing two years of study in one foreign language or one year of study in each of two foreign languages. Instruction in French, German, and Italian is offered in sequences of up to four semesters. All language classes meet three times a week for fifty minute periods. All voice majors must complete one year of study in each of the three primary languages (French, German and Italian) with the objective of the mastery of grammar and diction. Active participation and discussions in the foreign language are stressed in all classes, although maximum effectiveness is limited by the lack of a language lab where students could practice their aural comprehension skills. Special courses in French, German, Italian, and English which combine instruction in language, diction, and musical style also are offered to singers. Singing in Russian has been offered in alternate years since the 1993-94 academic year.
Although the lack of synchronization of the weekly course schedule makes it difficult, Peabody students can choose to take courses at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences on the Homewood campus to fulfill their liberal arts requirements or otherwise augment their Peabody experience. Some may complete their humanities requirements entirely at Homewood. International students also may follow a sequence of courses diverging from the norm. Entering international students are tested for English language competency. Some are then placed in required English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. A two semester course, "Introduction to Liberal Arts," serves as a first-year course for these international undergraduates who then take "The Western Tradition" and "Writing Skills" in their second year. Other ESL courses also are offered to serve the range of needs of our international student population.
The Humanities Department is staffed by three full-time and three limited-time faculty members, and the equivalent of one adjunct faculty for two semesters.
Areas for Improvement
There is consensus among administration, faculty, students, and staff about the good quality of our instructional programs in basic musicianship. This assessment is reinforced by the experience of Peabody graduates who generally report that they are prepared to meet the musicianship requirements and succeed in courses at their graduate schools. Peabody's success in this area is the result of a strong curriculum developed with the cooperation of many members of this administration and faculty. The Liberal Arts courses also are a matter of pride, and they are treated by their faculty as a central element in the education of the students.
The range of students' academic abilities causes special problems in the Liberal Arts. While some students write well enough to succeed at the most competitive colleges and universities, others write at a pre-college level, and still others have difficulty constructing a coherent English paragraph. Some students are articulate in discussion; others have difficulty speaking in class or understanding what is said in class. In a liberal arts college, this spread would be accommodated by an equally broad range of courses. Peabody is not able to do this, partially because of faculty constraints and partially because of scheduling difficulties. The scheduling difficulties make it impossible to assign students according to their skills and preparation. On the other hand, the Writing Program, which has been growing rapidly since its establishment in the 2001-02 academic year, does allow some flexibility, since it is based on the assumption that each student is different and offers some degree of individual instruction to all students. It matches writing assistance tutors (select Peabody undergraduates and graduates) with students who seek help. A small training program for tutors and drop-in sessions have helped this program grow in the past two years.
Multi-level assessment has always been standard procedure at Peabody, beginning with assessment before admission and continuing through graduation. They include the following:
Targeted recruitment, based upon giving potential students as full a picture of the program as possible, so that the actual applicant pool is self-selective;
Entrance auditions before the full faculty of each department;
Placement tests in core subjects;
Auditions for instrumental and/or vocal ensembles, held at the start of each year and required of all undergraduates;
Jury examinations, before the full faculty of each department, held at the end of each year except the last;
A special review at the end of the sophomore year, examining both musical and academic performance;
A graduation recital during the senior year;
A variety of ad hoc auditions for special purposes, internal and external competitions, held at various times during the course of study; and
Nomination and selection for prizes and awards, especially in the graduating year.
Aspects of Assessment at Peabody
The processes given above are well-established and provide an accurate picture of the progress of each student. However, the Conservatory tradition places much emphasis on the central relationship between a master teacher and his or her "private" students. The greater part of the assessment, and the majority of the feedback, will come in the weekly lesson with the major teacher, and this individual nurturing is essential to conservatory education.
Given the highly personal relationship between student and teacher, and the individualized course of instruction, the Assessment Committee for the 1993 MSCHE self-study under the leadership of faculty member Roger Brunyate had articulated four tenets upon which the assessment process at Peabody has traditionally been based. Each of the assumptions emphasizes some particular aspect in which the conditions at a conservatory of music tend to be different from those at a liberal arts college, for example. Since these four assumptions have not changed, they will be restated for the purpose of this document.
Assessment should be goal-related.
The purpose of outcomes assessment is to test the stated goals of an institution against its actual results. The closer the focus on a particular area of the institution, therefore, the greater the need for detailed definition of the overall goals as they apply to that area. For that part of the Peabody mission which is concerned with professional training, goal definition is seldom a problem. The profession sets its own standards, and the training goal is simply to help the student attain those standards. But Peabody can and should go somewhat farther than it has in defining goals for those components of its education which support and balance the professional one.
Certainly, there are goals for the training of a musician, over and above the development of technical skill. Specific goals might include imparting knowledge of the history of music, an understanding of its structures, and the ability to "see with the ear and hear with the eye." General goals, in common with other fields of liberal education, might include developing the ability to contextualize information, to question it, to redefine it, to integrate it with knowledge from other sources, and to use it in solving problems. In addition, the musician, like any other artist, will be taught how to balance instinct with knowledge, how to take risks, and how to suspend immediate judgment by taking the long-term view.
Assessment should take a long-term view.
One set of goals listed in the previous section — those related to the suspension of judgment — call for great subtlety in the assessment process. A key principle in the education of an artist is the idea of continual learning, keeping an open mind, amassing experience over time. A student will be taught to mistrust the seduction of the immediate payoff. The best teachers aim to sow seeds, many of which may not germinate until many years later. If the assessment process should create pressures which run counter to this, it would be immensely harmful. Notwithstanding the value of defining goals, as discussed above, the only acceptable process for outcomes assessment is one which recognizes that artistic excellence is not reached by a single path or at a single rate.
It also should be noted, however, that while the present focus on assessing learning outcomes is confined to undergraduate students, almost half of the teaching at Peabody is on the graduate level. While the undergraduate curriculum can give adequate preparation for some musical careers (Music Education, Recording Arts, and some orchestral instruments), it cannot allow sufficient time for a student to develop the level of excellence and wealth of experience necessary to compete as a solo performer. So, for the most part, the true outcome of undergraduate education in music is measured in terms of its preparation for graduate study, rather than as a gateway to a career.
Assessment should be formative rather than summative.
The distinction is often made between "formative" and "summative" approaches to evaluation. Formative approaches are concerned with improving the content of a program; summative evaluation attempts to measure its success in quantitative terms for comparison with other programs and other institutions. The Peabody approach is to emphasize formative evaluation almost exclusively, since the principal goal of assessment is to enable us better to fulfill our mission. In that Peabody has a unique mission, not duplicated by any other institution of higher education in the State of Maryland (and by few beyond), comparisons between institutions are meaningless. And, it is of little value to compare one program with another, even between departments at Peabody, since the various disciplines are themselves so different.
Quantitative approaches are especially suspect in the field of music, since the musical talent itself is such an individual matter. Success in music comes from a combination of technique, motivation, knowledge, personality, inborn talent, and sheer luck. We can and do set technical goals for each level, and measure each student's success in attaining them. We can grade on assiduity, consistency, and hard work. We can ensure that our students acquire a body of knowledge which will support them in their professional endeavors. As for talent and personality, we can nurture and encourage these qualities, but not pin them down with numbers — yet these are probably more important to a musician than any of the factors which can be quantified.
Assessment should emphasize the individual.
A similar distinction may be made between "individual" and "aggregate" assessment. Peabody has a detailed and comprehensive system of individual assessment already in place, which tracks the progress of each student from admission through graduation and beyond. Several times each year, we assess students by means of auditions, juries, and academic reviews. Although we may use quantitative means in some instances, our main purpose is to form a picture of our students as individuals, so as better to help them achieve their potential. Since we have a relatively small student body (approximately 300 undergraduates) and know our students as individuals, we have little need for aggregate methods to tell us how they are doing. But the fact that the information comes to us on an individual basis does make it harder for us to extrapolate to a wider picture when we need to do so.
Much of the problem has to do with music itself. The assumption behind most assessment schemes is that one is dealing with evidence which can be picked up and handled — an essay, a test paper, even a drawing. These things exist in space; music, by contrast, exists only in time. The portfolio approach to assessment implies looking at a number of pieces, of work side by side. But to do the same thing for a musical performer would involve listening to recordings of many performances, each of which would have to be played in real time. The process is enormously time-consuming and objective comparisons, whether between individuals or between various stages of the same individual's work, are virtually impossible because of the difficulty of juxtaposing the materials.
In practice, what we can compare is not the students' performances themselves, but the faculty evaluations of those performances. Each individual evaluation will be somewhat subjective, and it is generally impossible to set down absolute standards. But if sufficient faculty are involved in evaluating each student (as is the case with Peabody juries and recitals), and if each faculty member tracks the student's progress over a substantial period of time, then there is likely to be a reliable consensus as to how that student is doing. This works very well for individual departments, since the entire faculty evaluates the same group of people. But it is very difficult to compare performance standards across departments, except through the indirect evidence of the orchestras and other ensembles in which students of different majors all work together.
Assessment by Jury and Jury Comment Sheets
Students in performance programs (who constitute 98% of all undergraduates) are evaluated on an annual basis by means of jury examinations performed before the entire faculty of their department. In spring 1993, a new type of jury form was introduced. These are three part self-carbon forms: one copy goes to the files, as before; one directly to the student; and one to the major teacher. Individual faculty members fill out grade sheets with written comments which go into the student's permanent file. Students are encouraged to visit the Registrar's Office to examine these comments.
Normally, the teacher also will discuss the jury performance with the student and use this as a means of summing up the work of the past year and setting goals for the future. All teachers, however, have their own methods, and there is no means of ensuring that 'the loop will be closed' in the same way in every case, or that it will even be closed at all. It does enable the teacher, however, to calibrate his or her judgment against that of the other faculty — and for the student to see the range of opinion that commonly exists in the profession.
Graduation Recital: Capstone Experience and Final Assessment
Prior to graduation, students in performance programs also are evaluated by means of a senior recital performed before a committee of faculty of their department. Some performance areas also require a junior recital prior to the seventh semester. Passing the junior recital will advance the student to senior status and is a prerequisite for obtaining permission to prepare the senior recital.
Senior recitals are true capstone experiences of the kind the Commission on Undergraduate Education on hopes to encourage in other disciplines. They represent the culmination of several years of intense instrumental, vocal, and linguistic skills and repertoire acquisition, supported by the theoretical and historical knowledge which, by necessity, support this artistic enterprise. Both junior and senior recitals are public performances under the scrutiny not only of friends, family, and peers, but also of faculty who grade them.
Areas for Improvement
The existence of a formal mission statement is essential to outcomes assessment, since it articulates the goals against which outcomes may be measured. The revised Peabody mission statement is remarkable in that it places musical training firmly within the larger context of the musician's place in society and role as a human being. Professional success as defined by career moves and competition awards is thus by no means the only desirable outcome. In addition to the rigorous technical training which can so easily become the single narrow goal of many young musicians, and even for those who do pursue a career in these terms, the mission statement emphasizes "the education to become leaders in the cultural life of their communities."
Peabody produces many musicians who are leaders in their fields. To maintain this ideal and to strengthen the preparation for leadership among its graduates, Peabody will have to make progress in a number of critical areas:
The system of departmental self-studies leading to a written report to the Academic Council is long established, but does not have an impact due to the descriptive nature of these studies. The immediate discussions need to center on clear statements of pedagogical objectives and learning goals and the commitment of the faculty of the respective departments to assess their students' achievements with respect to these goals. This pertains to academic as well as to performance faculty.
Course Syllabi and Grading Policies
Peabody requires all classroom faculty to submit course syllabi to the Faculty Secretary. Most syllabi have grading and attendance policies spelled out, but desired course outcomes are not routinely stated. Greater consistency will be sought in this area.
Grading Policies for Studio Lessons
The Peabody Undergraduate and Graduate Committees passed a resolution at their November/December 2003 meetings to require all faculty to file grading policies for their courses. The resolution will be submitted to a vote by the Council of Chairs, with the hope of giving students clear guidelines as to expectations and grading policies for private lessons. As previously mentioned, some syllabi have this information. This policy will include studio faculty, however, who generally do not use course outlines and, up to the present, have not been asked to furnish this information.
As described under Standard 10, great strides have been made during the last few years to convince faculty that a formal review process will be inevitable if there is to be any kind of progress towards long-range contracts, a formalized salary structure, or any kind of ranking. Unlike many schools, Peabody has never had a formal system of faculty evaluation, whether through peer evaluation or student feedback. The reasons for this lie in the Conservatory tradition, which has grown up around a number of master teachers and their individual pupils. The privacy of the studio has been regarded as sacrosanct, and faculty have long resisted any attempt to prescribe teaching methods or to make value judgments between one teacher and another. It is significant that Peabody faculty have neither rank nor tenure.
However, several things have happened in recent years to break down the faculty's resistance to evaluation. One has been the gradual acceptance of the educational philosophy stated in the new mission statement, which gives classroom, ensemble, and social experience equal place with the technical training which goes on in the studios. Along with this has come the appointment over the past decade of a large number of new faculty, especially in the classroom areas, who come from different traditions and who look for the support which orderly feedback can provide. Also, the Director of the Institute as well as the Dean of the Conservatory have been insistent that some form of faculty evaluation must be put into place and are working with the Faculty Evaluation and Compensation Committee to establish a mechanism for mandatory classroom and studio evaluation. This move towards greater accountability by all segments of the Peabody community also is supported by the Change Team, a group of faculty, administrators and staff members charged by the Director of the Institute to examine a number of criteria deemed crucial as Peabody prepares itself to rise to the next level of excellence in the years and decades ahead.
Peabody's former mission statement ended with the following paragraph:
The Peabody Institute has become an acknowledged leader in the cultural life of Maryland and has built a reputation that is truly international. As a division of the Johns Hopkins University, Peabody takes its place beside the other world- famous centers of research and learning in the sciences, humanities, and medicine, poised to define the contribution of music in our lives as we enter the twenty-first century.
We believe this to be a true assessment of the past as well as of Peabody's path and commitment for the future.
Go to Middle States Commission on Higher Education Self-Study Report
Go to Johns Hopkins University Reports
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