Professional Practice


Each major at KCAI has a dedicated three-credit hour professional practice course offered during the junior or senior year. This course is taught by qualified professionals from the specific discipline, and it is designed to give students the information they need to successfully enter their chosen career path upon graduation. Professional practice topics include how to prepare job search materials, including a resume and artist statement, how to seek freelance opportunities, how to work with a gallery, and how to propose an exhibition or collaborative project. Students learn about residencies and graduate schools, and they practice their written and oral communication skills by writing proposals and applications and making presentations. In addition, students have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and financial matters for the artist and designer. This required course is complemented by workshops offered by the Academic Advising and Career Services office.

2017/2018 AACS Programming

Professional Development Workshops and Presentations

Taxes For Artists with Dean Vivian
Description | This workshop geared to all students addresses the tough questions about taxes and the arts. Do you know what you can write off on your taxes? How about what expenses you need to be documenting? Dean Vivian, the tax guru to Kansas City artists is here to answer all your questions. This workshop is part of the Professional Practice Seminar Supplemental workshop series. Participating juniors and seniors are encouraged to attend.

Graduate School | Programs, Funding, and the GRE
Description | This timely workshop gives juniors and seniors an idea of preparing to apply for graduate school. We will be discussing a basic overview of national programs, grants/scholarships, and the GRE requirement.

From the Job Search to the Interview
Description | This workshop combines the job search process with the eventual interview process. We will discuss tips and tricks to nail the application and get you an interview. We will review best practices in interviewing. This workshop is for all students on campus, but is targeted to juniors and seniors and their Professional Practice Studies.

From Contracts to Copyright | Ask an Attorney with Danielle Merrick of the KCVLAA
Description | Ever have an issue with drafting a freelance contract? Did you spot a clothing company using the exact same design as you? See someone illegally using your copy-written image? Bring all your questions to Danielle Merrick of the Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts. This workshop is for all students.

Résumé and Cover Letter Writing Workshop
Description | This workshop invites all students from all majors to begin their résumé, edit it, or revamp it. We will also go over the basic formatting of the cover letter and how it can translate into the introductory email. This workshop will help you to get your résumé to the top of the digital stack of applicants.

Website Building
Description | Want a website but don’t know where to start. With services like WIX, Weebly, Other People’s PIxels, and Squarespace, we will make sense of it all and show you how to get you a website up and running in less than a day. Bring your laptop if you have one. All students are welcome, but those in the junior and senior Professional Practice Seminars are especially encouraged to attend.

Image Editing for Your Portfolio
Description | This Professional Practice Seminar workshop supplement is designed for those juniors and seniors wanting to get their portfolio looking as professional as possible. We will talk about the basics of shooting a good photo of your 2-D and 3-D art, how to best save your work, and the basics of using Photoshop to refine your images.

The Online Entrepreneur: Selling Your Art Online with Ashley Heyburn
Description | This workshop is designed for students wanting to sell their work or product online. Want to generate buzz about your art and products online? Let Ashley Heyburn, online goods guru, guide you to get selling. This workshop is for all students.

Financial Literacy: Understanding Your Money
Description | We invite a financial specialist to come in to speak with you about your personal budget, saving, and the basics of interest and loans. The more you know about your money, the more inclined you are to success. This is a Professional Practice Seminar supplemental workshop for juniors and seniors, but all students are welcome.

Public Speaking and the Art of the Presentation
Description | Having anxiety about giving a presentation? Do you get tongue tied when trying to talk about your work in critique? This workshop will give you tips and pointers to overcoming your anxiety and/or letting it work for you when trying to communicate effectively with an audience of strangers or your peers. This workshop is open to all students.

Life After KCAI Senior Series – A Four Part Series

Time Management with Jessica Castaneda
Description | This Life After KCAI series workshop is designed for graduating seniors to learn more about time management after they graduate. Life changes dramatically post-graduation, and so does your schedule. Jessica Castaneda and AACS will talk about the basics of calendar construction and tasks lists. This workshop is for seniors only.

Financial Literacy: Understanding Your Credit and Finances After You Graduate
Description | Julie Nelson-Meers of Missouri Bank speaks to our seniors only about finances after graduating. Learn how to best work with your bank, establish your credit, and pitfalls to watch out for in this Life After KCAI Senior workshop.

From the Job Search to the Interview Post-Grad
Description | This workshop combines the job search process with the eventual interview process. We will discuss tips and tricks to nail the application and get you an interview. We will review best practices in interviewing. This workshop is for seniors only and is part of the Life After KCAI workshop series.

Life After KCAI Panel Discussion
Description | This workshops is directed toward graduating seniors and invites four alumni from KCAI to discuss their lives after KCAI. We will have alumni from one year out, five years out, 10-15 years out, and 20+ years out of school.