Art Education Program

art education, teachers working with young students


The School of Art and Design offers a B.F.A. with emphasis in Art Education for students who wish to teach art at the kindergarten through twelfth grade levels. Our program prepares and certifies students to teach and supports a studio approach to art education, with an emphasis on cross-cultural arts awareness.

art education, teachers working with young students


Our B.F.A with emphasis in Art Education is nationally accredited and recognized. Job placement for our graduates stands at 95% within one year of graduation. Students with degrees in Art Education may opt to teach art in schools and therapeutic settings, work for art museums and teach private art classes.

The Art Education faculty at Western Carolina University are engaged in professional development and will challenge students to speak well, write effectively and make sound judgments in the art classroom so that their K-12 students will creatively thrive.



Admission and Requirements for B.F.A. in Art Education

 After becoming admitted to WCU, those students who pursue the BFA with emphasis in Art Education must apply for entrance into the program by submitting a portfolio of digital images and a letter of application that describes their goals and interests in the field. Students may do this either as entering first year students or as first-semester sophomores.

The Fall 2018 deadline is September 21st, 5pm. Please see the guidelines in the BFA Portfolio Guidelines document.  Applications will be taken via slideroom.

Art education majors take 65 hours of art and art history courses and 22 hours of education courses, in addition to the 42 general education credit hours required of all WCU students. Art education majors do not have a minor but select a "specialty" area in art in which they take nine hours of intermediate and advanced courses.

Sixty hours of classroom visitation (at various schools and educational institutes) are required before a student does the final student teaching experience or internship at either a public elementary, middle or secondary school.

Eight Semester Plan for BFA with emphasis in Art Education

In addition to the BFA undergraduate degree program, Western Carolina University also offers MAT and MAEd degrees in Art Education.

Art Education Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of learners in grades K-12 and the implications of their personal growth upon art education.
  • Develop a standards-based art education program that meets the needs and interests of learners in grades K-12, including exceptional learners.
  • Demonstrate a variety of teaching and evaluation methods, techniques, and strategies for application in art education.
  • Demonstrate skills and understanding of the basic art processes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of art and related philosophies from diverse cultures and epochs.
  • Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills critical to the art profession.

Art Education Clubs and Facilities

The WCU Art Education Club is very active and its participants offer workshops to adults and children as well as sponsoring the annual Youth Art Month Exhibition for Jackson County. Art Education majors are also highly engaged in surrounding communities – creating murals, teaching crafts in local nursing homes and attending annual state and national conferences.

The Art Education Program is housed in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Art Center. It features a substantial children’s art collection and visual and electronic teaching resources. The program’s facilities are equipped with clay and glass kilns, printing press, computer/projector unit, weaving equipment, metalworking tools and other standard K-12 visual art and craft materials.

The Art Education Club hosts MAKE IT Monday events, funded by Arts and Cultural Events (ACE). These sessions are 6-8pm in BAC 150 on Mondays. Anyone affiliated with WCU is welcome! Fall and Spring dates and projects are:

9/17 Glazing Ceramics
10/15 Metal Jewelry Making
11/12 Coffee & Canvas
11/26 Fiber Arts
1/14 Henna
2/11 Paper Making
3/25 Making Mobiles
4/22 Food Art


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