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.
Curriculum: Bachelor of fine arts in Art Education (B.F.A.)
Basic studies requirement—12 credits
- 1040 Object Drawing*
- 1050 Drawing Studio*
- 1070 Form and Surface*
- 1080 Form and Space*
*Prerequisites for all studio art and art education majors and minors
- 3250 Writing About Art
Studio art distribution—21 credits
- 2100 Life Drawing
- 2300 Ceramics
- 2400 Painting
- 2160 Black and White Photography I
- 2750 Video Art I or 3470 Digital Photography I
- 2310 Sculpture or 2380 Metals/Jewelry
- 2410 Intaglio and Relief or 2430 Lithography or 2460 Screenprinting
Studio art concentration—9 credits
Intermediate and advanced level coursework (3000-5000 Level) in one studio area:
- Photography and Intermedia
Art history—12 credits
- 2200 History of Art
- 2210 History of Art
- One elective in non-Western art history
- 2220 Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas or 2230 Intro to Asian Art History
- One elective in contemporary art history
- 3900 20th Century Art: 1945–present or 4360 Contemporary/Alternative Art or other contemporary art history elective upon approval of art education area coordinator
Professional concentration in art education—18 credits
- 3520 Prep. for Elementary Art Education
- 4520 Prep. for Secondary Art Education
- 5520 Art Education Practicum (must be repeated for a total of 12 credits)
Teacher education—9 credits
- ED 2500 Human Development and Learning
- LS 3050 Content Area Literacy
- ES 3950 School and Society
(see the education advisor, 2504 Sangren, for info concerning mandatory Michigan tests)
Intern teaching—24 credits
- ED 4100 Seminar in Education
- ED 4710 Intern Teaching: Elementary/Middle
- ED 4100 Seminar in Education
- ED 4750 Intern Teaching: Middle/Secondary
Students should consult the WMU catalog for the art education program course descriptions and requirements.
Portfolio reviews for admission into the B.F.A. in art education program will be held in the spring semester of the freshman year, and will be applicable for admission in the fall semester of the sophomore year. In order to remain in this program students must take their art education courses in their proper sequence.
With over 3,400 square feet of studio, storage and display space, the art education program facilities are housed in South Kohrman Hall, adjacent to the Frostic School of Art studios and art history classrooms. The fully equipped art education classrooms function as a lab school for pre-service teachers through the Saturday Morning Art Program, offering flexible space and all necessary equipment from heavy work benches to state-of-the-art digital technology.
The art education program works closely with the Michigan Art Education Association—MAEA, the state's professional organization for art educators. The Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association—NAEA—is large and active, providing community-based art instruction to underserved populations in the community, and participating in annual conferences of the MAEA and NAEA. The MAEA/WMU Summer Professional Development Institute, a week of workshops held each August, offers opportunities for in-service art educators to update their knowledge and skills in pedagogy and studio practice. The Summer Institute has been honored by the NAEA as one of only a handful of co-sponsored institutions in the nation.
The art education program is truly a hands-on program, predicated on research that correlates extensive practice in the K-12 classroom with greater success in the job market and professional life. Throughout the undergraduate degree program, art education majors engage in nearly 100 hours of observation and practice in art classrooms and community education settings, working with mentor teachers and their students, and developing and delivering personalized art curricula through the Saturday Morning Art Program. The post-baccalaureate certification program provides an additional 1200 hours of supervised professional practice.
Saturday Morning Art
Saturday Morning Art—SMArt—is the Art Education program's lab school. Designed for young people ages 7 to 14 who enjoy art and wish to develop their talents, SMArt classes explore a wide range of creative approaches, mediums, and techniques. Seven weeks of art instruction culminate in a public exhibition of student artwork in the Frostic School of Art galleries. Each fall and spring semester, SMArt classes meet from 9 to 11 a.m., in the Frostic School of Art studios, South Kohrman Hall. Overseen by art education program faculty, Bill Charland and Christina Chin, classes for children and youth ages 7 to 8, 9 to 11, and 12 to 14 are taught by enthusiastic and experienced upper-level art education majors.