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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Deborah D. Hilke
MUSEUM 588
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Museology

In-depth examination of selected current issues within the field of museology.

Class description

MUSEUM 588: 21st Century Professionals: This course is designed to support students as they transition from graduate coursework to taking on leadership roles in the museum field and in the rapidly changing 21st century society that it serves. Through readings, discussions and activities, the class will explore societal trends and how those trends are likely to be reflected in and influenced by changes in museums. Students will explore the opportunities these trends present for supporting their own contributions to the field and develop skills and strategies to prepare themselves for an effective and rewarding career.

Student learning goals

Students will expand their understanding of trends in society and how those trends will be affecting societal needs as well as the work of museums in coming years.

Students will develop in their ability to connect their work, interests and career intentions to potent networks of influence and action currently operating in the field.

Students will develop specific experience, skills, knowledge, and resource materials in support of securing a challenging position in the museum field.

Students will transform their identity from that of a student completing their graduate work to that of a museum professional impacting the field.

General method of instruction

This course is designed to support the priorities of students in their last term of the Museology Graduate Program, while strengthening the skills necessary to be an effective museum professional. Course instruction, discussion and assignments all help students develop essential skills for their ongoing job searches and thesis work, while laying a strong foundation for the aspiring museum professional. Students are expected to personalize the course work to support their ability to be effective in their chosen work in the field, as well as in their ongoing thesis work, job searches and other professional activities.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Each week students will be required to undertake both in-class and homework assignments. Homework assignments will directly follow from work done in class, and many students will be able to complete substantial parts of their homework in class. Students who miss class will be at a disadvantage in completing their assignments.

Generally, students will have at least one reading assignment and at least two “bus stop” assignments each week. A “bus stop” assignment follows from or anticipates work done in class and requires little or no outside reading or reference materials. It is an assignment most students can complete in 15 minutes. In addition, students are required to complete dropbox assignments related to their priority goals for the next six months, their professional portfolio and e-presence, and an instructor approved activity that they will execute in the broader museum field.

This course is offered as a Credit/No Credit course to maximize students’ motivation and control over their learning process. To pass the course, students must satisfactorily complete all assignments, participate constructively in class, and attend all classes unless an exception is pre-approved by instructor.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Deborah D. Hilke
Date: 03/23/2011