Beginning this fall, the School of Arts will offer the new Bachelor of Science in Art Education degree. This program will qualify students to teach visual arts in middle and high schools in local communities and around the country.
“This degree in visual arts will be for those who wish to teach middle school or high school art. They will receive a teaching certificate and have the opportunity to specialize in graphic design, photography, etc.,” said Steve Bule, associate dean, School of the Arts.
The news of the degree was received by an enthusiastic faculty. They have been working tirelessly to meet the demands of rapidly increasing requests from the students to include the program. The department conducted a survey three or four years ago and discovered that the desire for an art education program was greater than they had originally thought.
“The art department has over 800 students and now has over 20 full-time faculty members. The only thing missing was the Art Education degree. All the other institutions in the state offer art education. We are probably the largest department in the state, but we weren’t offering art education,” Bule said.
The Bachelor of Science in Art Education will help complete an important part of the School of Arts. The School consists of four departments: Visual Arts, Music, Theatre and Dance. All but visual arts have already been offering degrees in education.
“We are excited to offer this new component of the department, because it makes the department more complete,’’ Bule said.
The School of Arts is excited to satisfy the requests of the students, as well as the increasing needs of the community in this area. Providing teachers in the visual arts field is a significant accomplishment and will have a positive impact on the community.
“This is just one very obvious way of engaging and connecting on several different levels. What happens with the education degree program is that it has an immediate impact, not just on the students but on the schools throughout the community,” Bule said.
In order to make the school complete, the Arts Department is hoping to add a History of Art degree in the near future.