Art Education (MAT)
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Visual Arts is an art education teacher preparation program in Philadelphia. Upon completion of this master's degree program, you'll be eligible to receive certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Education to teach art in grades Pre K-12. Candidates for the MAT art education program have completed undergraduate studies in the fine arts, either in illustration, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking, graphic design or another area of study that is approved by the director of the program.
Rande Blank has been the Director of the MAT in Visual Arts Education program since 2012 and a faculty member with UARTS - Art + Design Education department since 2003, teaching graduate courses, and mentoring students in their practicum experiences. As Certification Officer & Coordinator of Student Teaching, she develops partnerships with a variety of educational agencies, oversees the placement of art education students in their internships, and mentors students as they enter the professional world of teaching. Over the past 25 years, she has been an art educator in a diverse array of settings, from public & private classrooms, teaching art and special education. She has taught in elementary and middle school classes throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has had adjunct positions at various art colleges and universities. Her personal artwork includes designing and creating mosaic pieces from recycled materials.
Lindsay Sparagana, Art + Design Education faculty member has taught in the Continuing Studies and Pre-College programs at the University of the Arts. She continues to teach in the undergraduate department while pursuing an M. Ed with a certificate in Community Art at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Sparagana works with both traditional and digital photographic processes. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Though her passion and formal training are rooted in photography, Sparagana enjoys teaching in alternative classroom settings throughout the Philadelphia area in order to facilitate social change in the city through art making. She works collaboratively with several arts organizations and with students ranging in age from 3-80. In 2010, Sparagana was a panelist for "The Arts for All Ages: A Creative Conversation" sponsored by the Creative Arts and Aging Network. In 2008 and 2009, she was the recipient of the New Courtland Artist Fellowship through the Center for Emerging Visual Artists.
By the time I finished my MAT coursework, I had a wealth of knowledge and a vast portfolio of lessons, exemplars, and curricula to share with potential employers. I felt extremely prepared when I interviewed for jobs.
Since I graduated from the program, I've returned to the department in a guest presenter role to share my knowledge and experience regarding the job interview process with current MAT students. I've also taught an online class in the MAT program about the role of educational media/technology in the 21st-century art classroom. My current interests and passions in education include Design Thinking, STEAM integration, and technology's role in the modern classroom.
When I am not lecturing here in the Art and Design Education Department, I teach art to students at Silver-Springs Martin Luther School in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. MLS is a small licensed private school that provides an individualized education program designed to meet the special education needs of emotionally disturbed students and students with autism in grades K-8. I hold an MFA degree in sculpture from UArts and a BFA in sculpture and painting from Ohio Wesleyan University. I received my teaching certification with a Focus on Special Populations from Moore College of Art and Design and it is truly a joy and a privilege to share what I know with aspiring Art educators at my alma mater.
Our Art Education faculty are passionate about their work. Get to know them by reading their profiles and reading their artists' statements.
The program provides students with a thorough grounding in concepts and methodologies of art theory and education as well as the practice of making art. In addition, the program’s faculty are committed to supporting the development of the students’ professional careers as researchers, innovators and leaders in the field of education, co-presenting with them in a number of national conferences and workshops throughout the program, such as at the National Art Education Association Conference, the Pennsylvania Art Education Association Conference and the Art Educators of New Jersey Conference.
Most candidates for the program have completed undergraduate studies in the fine arts; however, intrinsic to the program’s design is the ability for students to simultaneously take co-requisite course work alongside program requirements, allowing unique flexibility for those individuals who may have developed a passion for education later in their undergraduate careers or even after graduation.
Total Credits: 42
Duration: minimum 3 semesters, full-time
Please note: Additional pre-requisite/co-requisite coursework may need to be completed to meet certification requirements.
From the very first semester, degree candidates are immersed in the practice of teaching — completing observations and fieldwork assignments in schools throughout the greater Philadelphia and tri-state area. In addition, a service-learning component is incorporated into the program, allowing students to meet Pennsylvania certification requirements while also learning and applying strategies necessary to meet the needs of students with special needs. The student-teaching practicum takes place during the last semester of the program and places students in schools for 14 weeks: seven weeks in an elementary school and seven weeks in a secondary school in order to give students the breadth of experience necessary to make informed choices regarding post-graduation teaching placements.
For complete course descriptions, please visit the course catalogue.
Graduates from the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) currently teach in schools throughout the nation, at charter schools such as the William Penn Charter School and Young Scholar Frederick Douglas Charter School, at public schools such as M.H. Stanton Elementary School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Pennsylvania, and in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, and have even founded their own schools. Ginger Huebner MAT ’03 is the founding director at Roots + Wings School of Art and Design in Asheville, N.C., and is playing a key role in providing quality arts education to school-age children and adults in her community. She applied for the MAT, she says, because she “wanted to learn how to teach,” and throughout the program was able to hone in on her ability to teach while maintaining a prolific and successful career as a professional artist.
How to Apply
Application Deadline: The University of the Arts operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning there is no specific application deadline. However, graduate programs are filled on a space available basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply early as some programs may fill. Additionally, certain scholarship awards may have priority consideration deadlines. Please review Graduate Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarship information here.
To apply, the following materials are required:
- Application Fee of $60 (nonrefundable; submitted with your application)
- Official Transcripts
- Official transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate schools attended are required. Transcripts should be issued directly by the Registrar's Office at the college(s) attended and sent to the Office of Admissions, The University of the Arts, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For transcripts from outside the United States, please refer to the instructions provided below for international students.
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Letters of recommendation may either be requested through the online application form, or mailed to the Office of Admissions. At least two must come from professors or professional in your field familiar with your capabilities and credentials. The third may be from a colleague, collaborator or a peer.
- Statement of Intent & Resume
- Your Statement of Intent and your Resume are uploaded and submitted as part of your online application. Statements should be a minimum of one- to two-pages and detail your professional plans, interests and goals. What do you hope to gain by your studies at the graduate level? Your resume should highlight all of your professional accomplishments including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.
- Creative Portfolio
- A portfolio of professional work samples submitted through the UArts Graduate SlideRoom Portal is required for all applicants. Portfolios should consist of 12-16 images representing the breadth of your studio experience (diverse media). UArts Graduate SlideRoom Portal. There is a $10 fee to submit a portfolio in addition to the $60 application fee.
- Personal Interview
- After the application has been processed, each applicant is contacted for a personal interview conducted by the program director. For applicants who cannot interview at the university, interviews can be conducted via telephone or Skype.
In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit:
- Official Transcripts and Transcript Evaluation
- All applicants with transcripts from outside the United States are required to submit transcripts officially translated into English. A transcript evaluation by a NACES-approved evaluator is required in order for an application to be complete, and a decision made. A Course-by-Course report is required and it is the applicant's responsibility to contract directly with the agency for this service and provide the necessary documents. While applicants may use any NACES-approved accredited evaluating agency, the University recommends World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
- Proof of English Language Proficiency
- International applicants whose primary language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL score of 92 (iBT) or 580 (PBT) or higher, an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher is required for unconditional admission.
Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study may receive an offer of conditional admission that first requires enrollment in the University of the Arts' English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.
In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview.
University of the Arts
Art + Design Education-FAQ
What is the MAT in Visual Arts Education program?
MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) in Visual Arts is a 42 credit program with a 14 week student teaching practicum and leads to PK-12 Certification. Graduates have found the MAT in Visual Arts relevant to careers in teaching at public, private and charter school settings. This degree can be completed in 2 years.
What is the BFA/MAT 5 yr. program?
The newly designed BFA/MAT program is for undergraduates applying to the university to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters in the Art of Teaching-Visual Arts which leads to art certification to teach PK-12th grade. Undergraduates will begin to take coursework towards their MAT degree in their sophomore semester and conclude with the majority of the required courses in their senior semester. In the 5th year they will complete the degree.
Does the Graduate Programs in the Dept. of Art + Design require GRE’s for acceptance?
What type of artwork is best to submit for my portfolio?
It is best to submit a portfolio of 12 -16 images that shows the depth and breadth of your art skills.
How many studio classes do I need to be admitted?
The MAT program requires 50 studio credits to meet the PA Department of Education and UArts requirements. An advisor will review transcripts to determine what studio classes are counted towards this requirement.
What kind of jobs would I be qualified for after graduation?
Students that graduate from the Department of Art and Design Education are qualified to teach in elementary, secondary, post-secondary education; community art, cultural centers; art galleries, nursing/drug/daycare centers; or weekend programs. Other possible jobs include:
- Art Critic/Writer
- Art Teacher
- Arts Administrator
- Freelance Instructor
- Postsecondary Instructor
- Recreation Specialist
- Teacher/Instructor Overseas
- Teacher of Art and Recreation
What are pre-requisites and co-requisites?
- Pre-requisites are courses needed to be admitted into the MAT program. These courses can be completed simultaneously while taking program required courses if permitted by UArts advisor*.
- Co-requisites are additional courses that are completed simultaneously while taking program required courses. Students may be given credit for some of these courses if taken in undergraduate coursework.
How many contact hours with students will I have before student teaching?
In the MAT program, students will have over 190 hours of experience with students before student teaching! Your experience will be with a varied population of elementary, secondary, special needs and ELL (English Language Learners) students. The breakdown for each class is as follows:
- Elementary Methods = 24 hr. field placement
- Secondary Methods = 24 hr. field placement
- Saturday Practicum Internship (Elementary or Secondary) = 24 hr. field placement
- Service Learning (Special needs population) = 90 hr. field placement
- Inclusionary Methods = 24 hr. field placement
What is Service Learning? How many hours of field work will I need to do?
Service Learning is a field experience where students work with students with special needs for a total of 90 hours over the course of their program.
Each 1-credit is equal to 30 hours in the field, and 3 credits are required.
What is Saturday Arts Lab?
Saturday Arts Lab is part of a required course in Art Ed. The course is listed as Saturday Practicum and usually takes place prior to the student teaching in your last semester. For 8 weeks you will assist a lead teacher in one of the arts classes (K-8th grade) on Saturday mornings from 10am to noon approximately. Lecture part of course is from 1pm to 3:30pm approx.
When do the majority of the Art Education courses take place?
Classes are typically scheduled Monday through Thursday from 4-6:50pm and 7-9:50pm. Other classes many vary in day/time. \
What GPA must I maintain?
All graduate coursework must be completed with a B or better, which assumes a 3.0 or better GPA each semester.
When should I take the Professional Writing Intensive course? Can I test out of Professional Writing course?
This class should be taken prior to Research in Education: Methods and Trends (AEDU 606).
Yes. Students are given a written exam on the first day of class and must pass with a score of 80% or higher.
When should I take the PRAXIS II?
The UArts Department of Art + Design Education strongly suggests that the Praxis II be taken prior to student teaching.
If I want another state certification what are the requirements?
If you want another state certification to teach art (K-12) you would need to contact that state’s department of education to determine the requirements. Typically you would have the certification officer at UArts fill out that state’s form indicating you completed a teacher preparation program at UArts.
What specific clearances will I need upon acceptance to the program? How do I attain them?
In order for you to participate in Service Learning, site visits, and student teaching you must have: FBI, PA Criminal Background, PA Child Abuse History Clearance, and TB test.
How do I get involved with the NAEA student chapter?
Chapter meetings will be held at the beginning, middle and end of each semester to provide detailed information. Highlights include, graduate art exhibition, art auction, travel to national and local conferences, studio presentations & workshops.
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