Art education is a professional, career-oriented program that prepares students for positions as educators and artists in the community. Graduates of the WMU art education program occupy leadership positions in schools, colleges and universities, non-profit arts organizations, art museums and professional associations. By integrating studio skills with knowledge of historical and contemporary arts, critical theory, learning theory and pedagogical practice, the art education curriculum guides students to a deep understanding of the creative process and the personal and cultural value of visual expression. Students engage in pre-internship teaching experiences through the Saturday Morning Art program and service learning in the community. Successful completion of the art education program, including a fifth-year of internship in the schools, can lead directly to K-12 teacher certification and the visual arts education endorsement, and/or to graduate studies.
The Master of Arts degree in Art Education provides new and established art educators with advanced professional preparation in curriculum development, pedagogy, action research, leadership and advocacy in the visual arts. Designed to be completed in three years of sequential coursework, the 30-hour program includes 18 credit hours of study in art education and 12 credit hours of electives chosen from a range of complementary disciplines. The curriculum builds from a common core of knowledge and expands to serve students' individual needs and interests. Throughout, the art educator's role is seen as a leader and change agent in the classroom, in the institution or organization, in the profession, and in society.
Delivered entirely online, this program is appropriate for art educators engaged in a variety of contexts including schools, museums, community-based organizations, alternative settings, and unaffiliated scholarship. Program requirements culminate in a personalized research project and graduate thesis.