Feb 24, 2024  
Course Catalog 2021-2022 
Course Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LEAPS: GLAMs - Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums

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LEAPS (Liberal Arts and Professional Success)

The LEAPS programs are an optional component of the Compass General Education Curriculum.  Please see the LEAPS (Liberal Arts and Professional Success) section of the Compass Curriculum for more information.

GLAMs: Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums

GLAM is an acronym that references collaboration between galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, institutions that collect, maintain, and/or display cultural heritage materials and strive to make such materials — and the knowledge they contain — publicly accessible. Wheaton College is home to the Beard & Weil Galleries, the Wallace Library, the Gebbie Archives & Special Collections, and the Permanent Collection, as well as other specialized collections including the Computer Museum, the Wheaton College Herbarium, and study collections of shells and avian skins. All of these institutions and collections are regularly used by faculty and students and many of them employ (often large) teams of work-study students. Their resources — and the faculty, staff, and students who work with them — are at the heart of the college’s mission to provide a transformative education. Every year, numerous students graduate and pursue GLAM-related careers, either directly or after postgraduate study. The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that careers in all GLAM areas are expected to grow faster than normal between now and 2029. 

Our GLAMs LEAPS students will take two introductory courses: ARTH 230: Introduction to Museum Studies and a new full-credit interdisciplinary course that introduces them to archives and libraries. They will take at least two additional electives, drawn from a number of existing courses in several departments or programs. Students will complete an experiential component that provides them with the opportunity to apply and practice the knowledge and skills they learn. This could take the form of an on- or off-campus internship, a pre-existing work-study opportunity, or, in some instances, a fifth course with a significant experiential component. Finally, alumni mentors at various stages of their careers in all four types of institutions will regularly engage with students in the GLAMs LEAPS. 

Potential Careers

Archivist, Collections Manager, Conservator, Consultant, Curator, Exhibition Designer, Knowledge Manager, Librarian, Library Assistant, Library Media Specialist, Museum Educator, Preparator/Handler, Registrar, Researcher

Completion Requirements

4 courses are needed for this LEAPS Program (with a maximum of 2 from the History of Arts), and it will take between 2 and 4 semesters to complete.

Experiental Component

A student experience fulfills this program if it involves any or all of the following substantial components:

  • Involves engagement with collection(s) or exhibition(s), physical or digital. 
  • Requires thinking critically about how a collection or exhibition is compiled, maintained, and interpreted by the institution in which it resides, how the knowledge it embodies is disseminated to internal and external audiences, and how the student’s work contributes to these practices.
  • Involves teaching or training; developing exhibitions or educational programming; collections-based care, development, or research; and/or collaborating with those who do such work in a GLAMs institution. 

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