Western Carolina University’s Art Education Program prepares and certifies students to teach art to students in grades K-12. Nationally accredited and recognized, the program supports a studio approach to art teaching and emphasizes cross-cultural arts awareness. Students apply for entrance into the College of Fine and Performing Arts through a portfolio upon completion of 100-level art courses and students apply for entrance into the College of Education during the semester in which they take EDCI201 Introduction to Education. The program is housed in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center where students benefit from state-of-the-art laboratories, current technologies and copious teaching resources. Graduates typically teach art in K-12 schools, therapeutic settings or art museums.
Art education students take art, art history and education courses in addition to the general education courses required of all WCU students. Further, each student selects an art specialty area in which they take intermediate and advanced courses. Following classroom visitation at participating schools and educational institutes, all students complete a required student teaching experience or internship, at either an elementary or high school. While pursuing their academic studies, students become deeply engaged in surrounding communities. Community activities range from creating murals and teaching crafts in local nursing homes to attending state and national conferences each year. Many students also choose to join the WCU Art Education Club, a highly active organization that offers workshops and events to adults and children.
Upon successful completion of the art education degree program, graduates are well-prepared to participate effectively in a competitive art career market in any of our 50 states. The job placement rate for program graduates stands at 95 percent within one year of graduation. In addition to professional positions in schools, therapeutic settings and museums, job opportunities for graduates are often engaged with art-related interests in academic settings, arts associations, craft guilds, galleries, commercial firms and non-profit agencies.