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Bachelor of Fine Art, Emphasis in Art Education

art education, teachers working with young students


The School of Art and Design offers a B.F.A. with an emphasis in Art Education for students who wish to teach art at the kindergarten through twelfth grade levels. Our program prepares and certifies students to teach and supports a studio approach to art education, with a concentration on cross-cultural arts awareness.

art education, teachers working with young students


Our B.F.A. with an emphasis in Art Education is nationally accredited and recognized. Job placement for our graduates stands at 95% within one year of graduation. Students with degrees in Art Education may opt to teach art in schools and therapeutic settings, work for art museums and teach private art classes.

The Art Education faculty at Western Carolina University are engaged in professional development and will challenge students to speak well, write effectively and make sound judgments in the art classroom so that their K-12 students will creatively thrive.


Youth Art Month Spring 2022
Thank you to our area schools which participated this year! Winners are posted below.
Winners PowerPoint
List of Winners

Art education majors take 65 hours of art and art history courses and 22 hours of education courses, in addition to the 42 general education credit hours required of all WCU students. Art education majors do not have a minor but select a "specialty" area in art in which they take nine hours of intermediate and advanced courses.

Sixty hours of classroom visitation (at various schools and educational institutes) are required before a student does the final student teaching experience or internship at either a public elementary, middle or secondary school.

In addition to the BFA undergraduate degree program, Western Carolina University also offers MAT and MAEd degrees in Art Education.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of learners in grades K-12 and the implications of their personal growth upon art education
  • Develop a standards-based art education program that meets the needs and interests of learners in grades K-12, including exceptional learners
  • Demonstrate a variety of teaching and evaluation methods, techniques, and strategies for application in art education
  • Demonstrate skills and understanding of the basic art processes
  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of art and related philosophies from diverse cultures and epochs
  • Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills critical to the art profession

The WCU Art Education Club is very active and its participants offer workshops to adults and children as well as sponsoring the annual Youth Art Month Exhibition for Jackson County. Art Education majors are also highly engaged in surrounding communities – creating murals, teaching crafts in local nursing homes and attending annual state and national conferences.

The Art Education Program is housed in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Art Center. It features a substantial children’s art collection and visual and electronic teaching resources. The program’s facilities are equipped with clay and glass kilns, printing press, computer/projector unit, weaving equipment, metalworking tools and other standard K-12 visual art and craft materials.

The Art Education Club hosts MAKE IT Monday events, funded by Arts and Cultural Events (ACE). These sessions are 6-8pm in BAC 150 on Mondays. Anyone affiliated with WCU is welcome! Fall and Spring dates and projects are:

8/26    Coffee & Canvas 
9/9      Ceramic Wall Sconces
10/7     Drawing (Portraiture)
11/4      Fiber and Needle Work
11/25    Fused Glass Ornaments
1/27      Basket Weaving
2/3       Silk Scarves
3/2       Wood Art
4/6      Tufa Sculptures

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