EMU is a Leader in Visual Art Education

Eastern Michigan University has a great reputation, primarily because we have been teaching art educators methods in teaching since 1895. Our program is successful because art teacher candidates transition through four areas of study which culminate in the student teaching experience. Graduates of our program earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education degree which qualifies them for PK-12 visual arts certification in the state of Michigan; a certification accepted in 46 states across America. Those who receive teacher certification go on to teach art in the elementary, middle, or high school setting. EMU graduates are also qualified to pursue work at an art museum, in arts administration, or continue with advanced work in art therapy. Eastern Michigan University offers the following undergraduate degrees in Art Education:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education (BFA) with LQ teaching certification
  • Secondary Certification, K-12 Endorsement

Become a Visual Art Educator. Start today!

  1. Declare Visual Art Education (VAE) as your major
  2. Contact the School of Art + Design and ask to be assigned a VAE advisor
  3. Make an appointment with your VAE advisor to develop a course sequence plan
  4. Enroll in ARTE 357 Introduction to VAE (sophomore standing, or higher) or ARTE 355 Interpreting Works of Art (freshman standing, or higher)
  5. Join the EMU VAE community by liking us on Facebook @emuarteducation, Instagram @emuarted, and follow us on Pinterest @cmccomb1332.

Why Teach Art?

Art teachers who subscribe to a group Facebook page were asked, why do you love teaching art? Here are just a few of their responses:

  • I get to teach the subject I love the most and share my passion for it with children. -Ms. Scalan
  • I’ve never had a job that I truly enjoy as much as being an elementary art teacher. How many people get to leave their job each day with a smile knowing they’ve impacted students’ lives in such a positive way? Creativity drives the work force and it begins with us. -Mr. Jere
  • In this high test stressful world students deserve the opportunity to enjoy creating. -Ms. Hyman
  • Sometimes art is the only subject a child looks forward to in school. I was one of those kids. -Ms. Sikes
  • I had no idea what I was getting into when I started studying art education. I just knew that I loved art and that I loved working with others. It’s thirty years later I cannot envision a more rewarding career. I love to see the look on someone’s face when they realize themselves capable of creating more than they had imagined. -Dr. Cam

If you too have a passion for the visual arts and can see yourself sharing that passion with others, then art education is the career for you. As an art teacher you will impact the creative development of young people. You will become a creative change agent in the school community helping teachers of all subjects better integrate creative practices into their classrooms. You will also become a vital community member helping to educate parents, administrators, and even legislators in understanding the value of visual art practices in the development of artistic thinking and living.

Four factors favorably influencing the job market

Having a college degree is never a guarantee of employment. There are, however, four factors that make it likely that you will find employment as an art teacher.

  1. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) signed into law December 10, 2015 declares the arts as required in a well-rounded education. This language is significant because while the arts have been included in previous versions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, this reauthorization allows schools to request funding to support arts integration. This means that schools can request and receive funding to support visual arts initiatives.
  2. Project-based learning is a curricular approach that is transforming the way we go about educating children. Because this approach requires students to make, construct, envision, and problem-solve, schools are looking to their art teachers to assist students in integrated learning approaches. The STEAM initiative is a prime example of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math teachers working together to design complex problems which promote student growth and learning. This initiative, and ones like it, are recognizing that visual arts education is vital to the learning process: https://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/how-to/growing-from-stem-to-steam
  3. Baby-Boomers have reached retirement age. This means as experienced art teachers retire that visual art teaching positions are opening up in all states across the country.
  4. The state of Michigan has reciprocity agreements with 46 states. This means that a degree from EMU allows you to seek employment in Michigan and every region across the United States. Visit this website for a list of states that accept Michigan Teacher Certification: http://www.teaching-certification.com/teaching/michigan-teacher-reciprocity.html

Already have an art degree? Consider Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification

If you already have a BFA but want to become certified to teach visual art, then you can enter the art education program as a “Post-Bac” student. As a Post-Bac you will work with Amy Eastman at the College of Education to set up a program tailored to meet your individual needs. While the requirements and timeframe vary depending on previously earned credits, it may be possible to earn certification in as few as four semesters.

 To Begin:

  1. Gather your college transcripts
  2. Email Amy Eastman (aeastma1@emich.edu): Introduce yourself and ask to have your transcripts evaluated
  3. Once accepted, contact the School of Art + Design and ask to be assigned an art education advisor
  4. Enroll in ARTE 357 Introduction to Art Education
Also visit the Post-Baccalaureate Students page on the College of Education web site.

Funding Opportunities

Scholarship: Outstanding undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for the the following scholarships awarded each spring. The application deadline is February 14.

  • April Memorial Scholarship
  • Judy Loeb Artist/Educator Award
  • Lucie Ann McCall Scholarship
Art Education Professional Development Fund: Teacher candidates who attend the state and/or national art education association conference will be reimbursed the cost of the registration fee. This support is made available by donors to the EMU Foundation for the purpose of helping EMU art teacher candidates to become professionally active at the state and national level. Applications need to be submitted to the art office within 30 days of the conference.

Art Education Program Requirements

Visual Arts Education Foundations (36 hours)

Art Foundation Courses

  • ARTS 121 (3 hrs.) 2-D Design
  • ARTS 122 (3 hrs.) 3-D Design
  • ARTS 123 (3 hrs.) Drawing I
  • ARTS 126 (3 hrs.) Drawing II
  • ARTS 127 (3 hrs.) Digital Media
  • ARTH 165 (3 hrs.) Postmodern and Contemporary Art
  • ARTS 290 (3 hrs.) Studio Concepts (includes Foundations Review)

Art History/Inquiry Courses

  • ARTH 162 (3 hrs.) Survey of Western Art I
  • ARTH 263 (3 hrs.) Survey of Western Art II
  • ARTH 264 (3 hrs.) Survey of Western Art III
  • ARTH 161 (3 hrs.) Non-Western Survey
  • ARTE 355 (3 hrs.) Interpreting Art in Visual Arts Education

Arts Studio Electives (12 hours)

Students must choose 2 electives in a 3-dimensional media and a minimum of 2 electives in a 2-dimensional media. All electives must be within different areas of concentration:

  • 3D Media: Ceramics, Fibers, Furniture Design, Metalsmithing, Sculpture
  • 2D Media: Drawing, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Photography, Painting, Watercolor

Area of Concentration (9 hours)

Select one of the elective courses taken as an area of concentration and then take three additional courses in the same area. Concentrating on one area gives teacher candidates a strong artistic foundation which can be applied to teaching.

Education Courses (43 cr. hrs.)

Pre-admission Phase: The Learner and the Community (10 hours)

The following courses can be taken prior to admission to the teacher education program:

  • ARTE 357 Introduction to Visual Arts Education (prerequisite of ARTE 460) (3 hrs)
  • SPGN 251 Education of Students with Exceptionalities (3 hrs)
  • EDPS 322 Human Development and Learning (4 hrs)

Admission to the College of Education (COE) requires: Attending COE secondary group advising, GPA 2.5 or higher (overall and in Art), 56 cr. hrs. (at least 12 at EMU), pass one or more sections of the MTCC Professional Readiness Examination, and application

Phase I: Curriculum, Assessment and the Social Context (12 hours)

The following courses require admission to the teacher education program

  • ARTE 358 Curriculum and Assessment in Visual Arts Education- Offered Winter Semester Only (3 hrs.)
  • ARTE 359 Practicum in Visual Arts Education- Offered Winter Semester Only (3 hrs.)
  • ARTE 360 Technology in Visual Art Education- Offered Fall Semester Only(3 hrs.)
  • SOFDW 328 Schools for a Diverse and Democratic Society (3 hrs.)

Phase II: Content Methods, Literacy and Technology (10 hours)

Pass all sections of the MTCC Professional Readiness Examination
  • ARTE 460 Approaches to Teaching Visual Art Education- Offered Fall Semester Only (4 hrs)
  • RDNG 311 - Teaching Reading in the Secondary School (3 hrs)
  • PRCT 311 Practicum II: Secondary (3 hrs)

You are recommended to take and pass the MTTC Subject Area test (#95 Visual Arts Education) the semester before or of student teaching.

Phase III - must apply for student teaching in advance (by January 15 for fall or June 15 for winter)

All Visual Arts Education students (including double majors, second bachelors and additional endorsements) will be responsible for fulfilling student teaching requirements in visual arts.

  • EDUC 496 Student Teaching (Art) (6 hrs)
  • EDUC 497 Student Teaching (Art) (6 hrs)

Note: Students must receive a grade C or higher in all professional and methods courses.