Is an Art Education Degree Right for You?

Art education bachelor’s degrees teach students about fine arts, like painting and sculpture, and show them how to use art to enhance students’ learning experiences. Students will take classes that keep them current on art education research and the theories behind creative instruction. They will also gain hands-on experience with different artistic tools and teaching methodologies. The best online bachelors degree programs in art will also prepare students to take the teacher certification exam.

Upon graduating, students typically go on to pursue careers as teachers. However, that is not the only path available to experts in art education. They may also advance to school administration positions. Students can also establish careers in art therapy or special education. As an alternative to education, students can also practice their own art and find careers in art production and design fields.

Advice for Earning Your Art Education Degree Online

When searching for an art education bachelor’s degree, you should choose a college or university that has regional accreditation from one of the accreditation agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation will ensure that employers recognize your degree as credible. The best online programs in art education will require you to complete supervised internship hours at a local school. By ensuring that your program of interest requires you to put your skills into practice within a real classroom, you guarantee that you will gain the experience necessary to teach your own art classes. Finally, even though online degrees allow you to complete classes on your own time, you should still have strong time-management skills, so that you do not fall behind on instruction.

Required Courses

Students who enroll in an art education bachelors degree online program can expect a curriculum that combines hands-on art instruction with classes on teaching methodology. Common classes include painting, 3-D design, sculpture, the philosophy of education, effective teaching methods, and student assessments. Students will also put what they have learned into practice by applying for student teaching internships, which will help them develop the skills necessary for being successful teachers. In addition, bachelor’s degrees usually require students to take other foundational classes as well, like history, science, foreign language, and English.

Common Career Paths

Typically, students who graduate from art education programs go on to become teachers. They can also become counselors who utilize art as therapy or educational administrators. Those who wish to pursue art careers have the option of teaching while establishing a name for themselves and their talents. Below are some specific examples of careers for art education majors.

  • High School Art Teachers

    High school art instruction is aimed at preparing students to use art within their future careers or within future college study. Instructors teach different art forms and also encourage students to conduct research and write papers over art. They also evaluate student progress.

    You need at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for a high school art teacher position. The field is growing slower than the average and is expected to grow by 7% by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). High school teachers earn an average salary of $53,230 annually, however that will vary based on location and experience.

  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Art Teachers

    At the kindergarten and elementary levels, art instructors teach students about colors, form, and using art as expression. They assess students’ artistic abilities and encourage them to continue to practice. They also interact with parents and faculty members about how best to serve students during art instruction.

    Most schools only require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree in education or art education. The position earns around $51,380 annually, according to the BLS. However, that figure can change depending upon experience and location. The field is growing as fast as the average career, and is expected to expand by 17% by 2020.

  • Special Education Teachers

    Art can be a successful method of instruction for students with disabilities. At this level, teachers meet student’s individual academic and emotional needs by combining teaching methodologies. They also assess students’ progress and encourage independence.

    According to the BLS, prospective special education teachers can qualify for a position with a bachelor’s degree. The field is growing as fast as the average career, with a favorable job outlook. Special education teachers earn around $53,220 annually, depending upon experience and location.

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