Academic Facilities

Academic Facilities currently include the Metalshop and Foundry, Model shop and Digital Fabrication Lab (CNC/rapid prototyping, and laser cutting), and the Wood shop. These are a group of individually budgeted and managed shops or departments that operate under the Academic Facilities umbrella. The Director reports to the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the College. There is a direct line of communication with Academic Affairs and an informal lateral reporting structure with the technical staff for the departments of Art Practice, Craft and Material Studies, and Foundation.

Academic Facilities maintains consistent open shop hours to facilitate the needs of the students, faculty, and staff. These hours are posted at the beginning of each semester and are aligned with the building hours posted by Campus Safety.  

Currently, the educational structure for students to be able to work in all of the shops is to complete the Foundation course – DFN 116 3D Design Techniques.  Limited access to the Model shop and Digital Fabrication Lab and the Wood shop requires completion of DFN132 – Process and Making. Students who pass these courses with a C (2.0) or better are allowed access to the corresponding shops during their curricular tenure at the college. This provides for entry-level access and does not mean they can use every tool in the shop. Department specific courses are offered that build on these basic skills. Permission to use certain tools must be obtained from the individual shop Manager(s).

The Digital Fabrication Lab, Foundry, Metalshop, Model shop, and Woodshop are not instructional facilities.  All faculty are responsible for teaching their students how to utilize the tools and techniques they expect their students to use in the construction of finished projects.

Faculty must notify the shop managers if they wish to instruct their classes in any of the shops at the beginning of each semester. An Academic Project Form is required with a copy of the course syllabus, a complete timeline, roster, and support materials. These forms are necessary for any class project that needs to utilize the shop and will help us to schedule and communicate more effectively. These documents need to be turned in to your Department Chair and to the appropriate Academic Facility Manager at the same time syllabi are due. The reason for this are:

  1. Overall student experience, safety, and health precautions.
  2. Timelines and scheduled appointments to let the shop be better prepared for your class and identify potential overload. There are classes that are scheduled in the shops and shop classrooms that have priority for work space and equipment.
  3. Identify potential training, supplies, equipment, staff, and budget needs.
  4. Faculty Training. A Faculty member’s personal understanding of how to use the shop equipment does not mean they are teaching consistent and proper safety techniques to students or know the limitations and requirements of the individual facilities.
  5. Open shop time is required for students who have course work in the shop for their curricular requirements. This open work time is at a premium with the current number of scheduled courses in all Academic Facilities.  

Classes that wish to be held in the classroom within any Academic Facility; foundry, metalshop, model shop or wood shop for the entire semester need to be scheduled appropriately through Colleague. The curriculum, course content and learning outcomes for these courses will need to be developed and approved with the Director of Academic Facilities and the appropriate shop Manager to ensure that proper operation and safety protocols are included and competency is benchmarked.

If faculty are not capable of teaching the techniques needed to complete an assigned project the project should be modified to accommodate the skills of the instructor, or the instructor should give themselves ample time to learn the skills they wish to pass on to the student.

Shop technicians and work-study are not necessarily qualified to teach faculty and students how to use equipment. Nor are they allowed to complete work for students or faculty during working hours.

 A Mandatory Safety Orientation for each individual shop area is required for all faculty and staff of the college that would like to use the shops in their course curriculum or would just like to utilize the shops in any capacity. There is at least one orientation session at the beginning of each semester. Contact the appropriate shop manager for scheduling.

Forms are required for: Academic projects, individual projects, and independent student projects. Hold Harmless Waivers are required for any visiting artist or any one that is going to be in the shop working in any capacity and is not enrolled or in the College payroll system, as they are not covered by any liability insurance.