M.LiT: Policies and Guidelines

M.LiT Calendar

Training sessions occur weekly on Saturdays. Specifics dates and times are outlined below. Go to Work with the VMFA Day is a unique opportunity for M.LiTers to spend a full 8 hr day at VMFA shadowing a VMFA staff person. (See Syllabus for specifics)

2015 Events
Sep 26, Orientation (attendance is mandatory, no exceptions)| Sat, 11—2:30 pm
March 30, Go to Work with VMFA Day | Thursday, 9 am—5pm
Dec 20, M.LiT Exhibition Opens to Public
Apr 24, M.LiT Exhibition Closing Reception | Friday, 6—9 pm
June, Summer Orientation |
Jul 11–Aug 26, Summer Teacher Assistantships (as scheduled)
*Scheduling conflicts can be discussed with the program coordinator

2015–2016 Standard Training Sessions | Saturday, 11 am—2:30 pm
Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 | Nov 7, 14, and 21 | Dec 12

2015–2016 Exhibition Fabrication and Installation Sessions | Saturday, 10 am—4 pm
Dec 5 and 19


This is a 14-week program in which enrolled students must meet the following requirements to successfully graduate with a VMFA M.LiT (Museum Leaders in Training) Certificate:

The student must:

  • Have an e-mail account and check it frequently;
  • Be able to use Microsoft Word, e-mail, Dropbox, Facebook, Google Drive and have basic Internet research skills;
  • Attend all scheduled programs from Sept through Dec;
  • Notify Jessica Bauserman, Program Coordinator, 24 hours in advance of an absence;
  • Jessica Bauserman
    Phone: 804.340.1573
    Email: jessica.bauserman@vmfa.museum
  • Have transportation to and from the M.LiT sessions (If you are concerned about transportation, contact the Program Coordinator);
  • Be punctual and participate fully in each session;
  • Practice appropriate behavior for the  museum and classroom setting that is respectful to instructors, peers, VMFA trainings, and program objectives;
  • Attend 47 hours of M.LiT training;
  • Complete 14 hours of out-of-program research and work;
  • Complete 8 hours of Go to Work Day at VMFA;
  • Complete 20 hours of Summer Teacher Assistantships at VMFA;
  • Learn to talk about the VMFA collection with your peers;
  • Turn in all M.LiT assignments to designated instructor and Program Coordinator, Jessica Bauserman, jessica.bauserman@vmfa.museum
  • Allow your peers and Museum staff to evaluate your progress; and,
  • Be receptive to constructive criticism and demonstrate willingness to change as needed.

Attendance: M.LiT students will be allowed no more than 2 absences total; of which no more than 1 may be unexcused. An unexcused absence occurs when you (the participant) neglect to provide the program coordinator (Jessica Bauserman or her representative) with a detailed explanation for your planned absence at least 24 hours before the date of the class/program; unexpected illness is an exception. Routine tardiness will accumulate to equal an absence. Failure to meet these guidelines may result in dismissal from the program.

Please note that all absences are counted in the total number allowed; this includes planned vacation time, scheduled school programs or sporting events, testing, etc.

Behavior Model: Students are asked to adhere to the following program rules and will be required to sign-off on a student/teacher contract during the program orientation.

1. Students will safely care for themselves and other students, staff, teachers, and VMFA guests through proper use of art materials and equipment while in the studios, training spaces, and the museum galleries. Students agree to fully participate in the set-up and clean-up of materials and spaces. Students agree to always wear the proper safety equipment such as gloves, goggles, and aprons, when handling materials. Students also agree to follow all rules, pay close attention, and act carefully when handling materials so as not to harm themselves, classmates, and/or instructors. If students, or another student, accidentally, or purposefully, use the materials in a careless or harmful manner, students will inform an instructor.

2. Be courteous and respectful to staff, teachers, and other students.

3. Understand the program schedule and plan to attend all required training sessions on the scheduled days from Sep through Dec. (Attendance is mandatory. If you are unable to attend a session you must notify Jessica Bauserman, Program Coordinator, in advance of your anticipated absence.)

4. Be punctual.

5. Participate by following instructions, actively engaging in discussions, and remaining in/with the class until dismissal by the teacher.

6. Cooperate in all activities.

7. Do not to bring to VMFA any item that would or could endanger people, or property, or that are illegal.
(This includes weapons, matches, lighters, pocket knives, drugs, alcohol, etc.)

8. Students are also expected to fill out all sign-in and sign-out sheets with correct and up-to-date information. Students are not to sign-in/sign-out for another student. Students and parents are also to familiarize themselves with the pick-up policy and guidelines which are as follows: by initialing the sign-in/sign-out sheet, it verifies that you understand the following: VMFA is no longer responsible for the supervision of students upon class conclusion. Students are not to leave campus between classes. Anyone under 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult for sign-in and sign-out procedures. Early dismissals are not permitted without a written note from a parent/guardian.

Failure to meet VMFA rules and expectations results in the following consequences:

1st offense – VMFA Program Coordinator speaks with the student about inappropriate behavior or failure to meet program requirements.

2nd offense – VMFA Program Coordinator meets with parent and/or guardian and student. Student is asked to write a letter explaining his or her understanding of appropriate and inappropriate behavior.

3rd offense – Student is permanently dismissed from the M.LiT program.

Leadership Activities

M.LiT students will engage in the following leadership activities:

  • Participate in and actively support and promote VMFA teen initiatives and programs within their own and the larger Richmond metropolitan community;
  • Advise VMFA on the development of teen programs, exhibitions, and incentives;
  • Attend and participate in lectures, discussion groups, and leadership training;
  • Serve as VMFA volunteers through teacher assistantships and community programs;
  • Explore the professional roles and functions of museum and art-related careers; and,
  • Collectively work to conceptualize, design and install an exhibition for VMFA’s Art Education Center.


  • Free student-memberships to VMFA will be given to students at Orientation;
    • All VMFA members receive:
    • Free tickets and previews of special exhibitions;
    • Free parking in the VMFA Parking Deck;
    • 10% discount in the VMFA Shop, Amuse Restaurant, and Best Café; and
    • Discounts on classes, programs, and ticketed events.
  • Receive an official VMFA Volunteer Identification Badge;
  • Free and fun program with students that have similar interests;
  • Chance to earn 80+ hours of art-related community service;
  • Opportunity to work with exhibition and education staff to collectively work on a special project that will be on display at VMFA;
  • Experience working with professionals in art, art history, art education, and museum studies;
  • Opportunity to earn VMFA Museum Leaders in Training Certificate, assuming all program expectations are met; and;
  • Special recognition and awards for attendance and outstanding program contributions that include but are not limited to project completion and follow through and community service.

VMFA Advisory Opportunities

Over the course of the semester, M.LiT participants will have a number of opportunities to shape the M.LiT program and other museum teen programs. These opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Designing an exhibition narrative appealing to your peers.
  • Suggesting and adopting a theme that will be explored for the annual program.
  • Suggesting ideas for programs and activities that may appeal to teens.
  • Designing resources that engage individuals within your age range.

Training Sessions

Students must check in and out at each training session. Students should become familiar with training session locations including: Pauley Center Lobby, Pauley Center Studio B, Computer Lab, Freeman Library and Conference Room One. Students are responsible for knowing the training session locations as designated on the program syllabus.

Throughout the 12-week training program, students will receive helpful handouts. If possible, each student should purchase a one-inch binder and a package of page dividers. Dividers can be labeled and ordered as follows:

Policies and Guidelines
Upcoming Programs and Events
Research and Reference
Professional Development and Practice

Especially for Students

Homework: In the requirements, you’ll notice that you’re expected to spend a minimum of 14 hours outside of the VMFA training sessions to complete research and assignments. This means that you will occasionally have some homework. We understand that school work is your first priority; therefore most of your assignments will be completed during class time. Failure to complete the homework assignments may result in dismissal from the program. Assignments are to be turned in by e-mail attachment the day before your scheduled session unless otherwise noted on the workshop session agenda.

Writing Assignments:
All writing assignments should be written in the form of an essay using The Chicago Manual Style and include:

  • a title/header describing the assignment
  • your first and last name followed by the date and assignment number on the top left corner of the page
  • Times New Roman or Garamond font, size 12, double-spaced
  • one-inch margins
  • complete sentences
  • correct spelling and grammar
  • a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1,000 words
  • cited sources using The Chicago Manual Style (see provided resources)

Save your document with the using the following assignment submission format:
MLiTSpring15_LastNameFirstInitial_Assignment# (ex. MLiTSpring15_BausermanJ_Assignment1)

Digital Assignments:

  • Images should be saved in JPEG or PNG file format
  • Individual images should not exceed 1 MB
  • Re-size your images using your personal software such as Paint and Adobe Photoshop or use such online image re-sizing services as http://picresize.com/

Save images using the following submission format:
(ex. MLiTSpring15_BausermanJ_Assignment1_1)

Service Learning: While participating in the program, you each have the opportunity to earn up to 80+ hours of community service. This includes your training hours, summer assistantship, and research hours. We categorize all these aspects of the program as service because they are essential to your role as contributors and as advisory council members. Contact Jessica Bauserman if you need a letter certifying your service.


Summer Assistantships

Summer Assistants will check in on Monday mornings (8:30am) or afternoons (12:30pm) in the Art Education Center Lobby. VMFA staff member will escort students to their class assignment and cover assistantship expectations. Starting on the second day, students will independently go directly to their assigned classes to check-in with the teachers. Students who will be driving themselves should utilize their free members’ parking in the VMFA deck. A summer assistantship schedule will be provided in mid-April.

Summer Tasks and Responsibilities:

  1. Arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of your assigned camp each day and be prepared to stay 30 minutes after the camp concludes to assist with clean-up and check-out.
  2. Prepare materials
  3. Clean materials and maintain an orderly studio space
  4. Learn and understand project instructions and relay them to students.
  5. Engage and aid students ages 2-12 years old during activities.
  6. Set an example for younger students by behaving in a mature and responsible manner.
  7. Notify teachers if a child or another student is demonstrating inappropriate behavior.Summer Assistants will not be left alone with a child or group of children at anytime during their assistantships. Personal cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras are not permitted during the time Summer Assistants are volunteering.

Summer Assistants will not be left alone with a child or group of children at anytime during their assistantships. Personal cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras are not permitted during the time Summer Assistants are volunteering.

M.LiT Summer Assistants will help summer camp participants understand and follow these guidelines:

  1. Use “inside” voices.
  2. Use only graphite pencils while drawing or taking notes in the galleries.
  3. Be respectful.
  4. Use art materials responsibly.
  5. Always stay together as a group.
  6. Don’t use flash photography in the galleries.
  7. Don’t touch works of art or the pedestals on which artwork stands or the cases in which artwork is contained.
  8. Don’t take food, drinks, backpacks, large bags, or umbrellas into the galleries.
  9. Don’t engage in any inappropriate physical contact while on the Museum campus; this includes but is not limited to allowing students to sit on your or each other’s laps, performing gymnastic tricks, or engaging in games and sports without the teacher’s direction.