University of the Arts Continuing Studies Program Re-Designs, Re-Launches Nation's First Teaching Artist Certification Program

May 3, 2010

The nation's first Teaching Artist Certificate (TAC), introduced last year by the Continuing Studies program at the University of the Arts, has undergone a redesign that includes condensed course and capstone thesis project requirements at a more affordable price.

Designed by the University of the Arts and Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the TAC is an unprecedented program inclusive of visual, performing, literary, media and craft arts. The research-based certificate program builds the knowledge and capacity of artists to work alongside teachers and arts specialists from pre-kindergarten through high school classrooms and community settings to create and implement best practices for residency programs that support learning in and through the arts.

Completion of the Teaching Artist Certificate now requires six classes and a capstone thesis project, can be completed in four semesters, and costs roughly one-third less than when it was initially offered. Its previous iteration required a minimum of five semesters to complete.

"As a leader in arts education, we are pleased that the redesign of the Teaching Artist Certificate’s curriculum will allow more artists to take advantage of our programming, more quickly earn their certificate, and get into the schools and community centers that need them," said Erin Elman, dean of Continuing Studies at the University of the Arts.

The TAC responds to President Obama's call for a corps of trained teaching artists to work in community sites and collaborate with educators in schools preparing students for success. While teaching artist residencies are already established practice in some schools, this certificate program provides artists with the tools and hands-on experience to work alongside classroom teachers to make curriculum come alive through the arts and skills of creativity, discovery and wonder.

Artists develop professional teaching skills through courses such as "Foundations of Learning Theory," "Child Development/Human Behavior," "Arts Integration and Collaboration" and "Program Management and Assessment." TAC candidates learn strategies for managing all aspects of residency work and the arts and business practices required to write successful grants, conduct research and prepare residency proposals.

Students will receive their certification from the University of the Arts and earn alumni status, which provides many unique opportunities. Deadline for Fall 2010 enrollment is Friday, July 16, 2010. A TAC information session is planned for Tuesday, June 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the University of the Arts. RSVP by emailing or call 215-717-6095.

For more TAC information, course descriptions or to request an application, visit, email or call 215-717-6095.

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