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Art Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts

The goal of the undergraduate program in Art Education is to prepare highly effective PreK-12 art educators with expertise in the visual arts and the skills to plan and teach a comprehensive program of art education responsive to all students and their communities. The Art Education program conforms to the Georgia Performance Standards for Fine Arts, which are based on the 2007 edition of the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education, What Every Young American Should Know and Be Able to Do in the Arts.  These national standards were established by the National Art Education Association working as part of the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, affiliated with MCREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning).  Students fulfilling the Art Education program requirements will be well-prepared to achieve State of Georgia Teacher Certification.

Student Profile
Students who are admitted to Art Education at Georgia State University are:

  • competent artists with both a broad range of skills and depth in one medium;
  • effective visual communicators, able to conceive original ideas in visual form;
  • effective verbal communicators using both oral and written language;
  • successful students in a liberal arts curriculum;
  • capable of maintaining a GPA of 2.5 in their general coursework and a 3.0 in art-specific coursework. 

Program Description
The Welch School of Art and Design does not have a portfolio requirement for entrance into its foundation level program, however, students seeking entry into the Art Education major must submit a portfolio including:

  • Slides of artwork demonstrating their skills in a variety of media;
  • Written statements showing effective communication skills and their ability to reflect critically about art;
  • An initial reflection on their emergent teaching philosophy;
  • A CD with the above, demonstrating their familiarity and skill with basic technology, such as digital cameras and presentation software;
  • Scores for Basic Skills test of the GACE (Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators), or appropriate substitutes, such as SAT scores of 1000 or better;
  • Transcripts listing appropriate GPA and pre-requisite courses; and
  • An example of a lesson plan.

This portfolio is submitted during the first semester of coursework in Art Education, while students are enrolled in AE 4200, Art for Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade.  This year, we are initiating two additional requirements for entry:  a brief interview with faculty members, and uploading portfolio components to Livetext.

In addition to the elementary methods course in their first semester, students admitted to the program are required to take a course in secondary methods, one focused on teaching art history and art criticism, and one on the effective utilization of technology in the art room.  Through this combination of courses, students are exposed to, among other things: classroom management, child development, accommodation of special needs, multicultural lesson planning, curriculum development, critical thinking, ethics and school law, software for teaching, field experiences in a variety of settings, assessment strategies, teaching resources, and a wide range of age-appropriate processes and content.

The program also reflects a professional art school commitment to mastery of art content. Students are required to take several courses in one art discipline to gain the depth needed for teaching and personal artistic development as well as a broad range of elective studio courses in order to master the diverse skills that will be needed as a classroom teacher.  Art Education coursework is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice, helping students develop instructional skills to accompany their artistic skills, so that they are prepared to teach students across a range of ages and abilities.

A variety of area schools and community settings provides a rich learning laboratory for all of the art education students. Three out of the four pre-student-teaching courses include on-site classroom observations.  The last semester of the program is spent student teaching with a master teacher in the Atlanta metropolitan area.