Art Education

Making Communities

Art Education prepares you to become a qualified and effective art educator. Graduates gain knowledge and skills to enter a teaching career in a K-12 visual arts classroom. You will explore a wide variety of media and styles, understand the relationship of the visual arts with other disciplines and will be given opportunities to experience teaching in arts education as you matriculate through the program. Recent graduates teach full-time in K-12 schools, work in education-related fields such as museums, galleries or non-profit organizations as well as seek graduate degrees in fields related to teaching, education administration and professional studio practice.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (BA) / Bachelor of Sciences (BS) in Art Education

Students may pursue a BA or BS with this major. The BA degree requires a cognate area consisting of a third-level proficiency in a foreign language while the BS requires three courses in Computer Information Systems, Statistics or History. This degree enables students to meet certification requirements for teaching visual art in Michigan elementary and secondary schools.

Art Education BA/BS & K-12 Comprehensive Teaching Certificate Program

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art Education

Students may pursue a BFA with this major. The B.F.A. degree is focused on the student's professional preparation in addition to teaching. Students pursuing a B.F.A. develop the knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to professional life. This degree enables students to meet certification requirements for teaching visual art in Michigan elementary and secondary schools.

Art Education - BFA Comprehensive Teacher Certification Program Checklist

Learning Environment


The discipline integrates the practices of art making, art criticism, and an understanding of contemporary visual culture as foundations for teaching art in schools as well as community settings. Art education students complete rigorous training in studio art complemented by courses in the theory and methods of art education. During the last year of the program, majors complete their professional training with assisting and directed teaching opportunities at regional schools. The program leads to teacher certification for visual art in the Michigan public schools at the primary and secondary levels.

Crossing Lines - Project 1 by ArtPrize GVSU Charter School Collaborative

Students in selected GVSU authorized charter schools throughout the state visited Project 1, attended an art workshop designed by Grand Valley State University Art Education Program, and worked throughout the school year to create a student art exhibition. K-12 art teachers worked alongside ArtPrize and GVSU faculties to complete a year-long curriculum to foster conceptual thinking and meaningful art-making relevant to students’ lives by focusing on Big Ideas pulled from the Project 1 exhibition.

Participating Schools


  • Black River Public School,  Elementary Holland; 
  • University Preparatory Academy of Design Elementary, Detroit


  • William  C. Abney Academy, Grand Rapids
  • Detroit Achievement Academy, Detroit


  • Crossroads Charter Academy Middle/High, Big Rapids
  • Canton Preparatory High School, Canton



Hsiao-Ping Chen
Associate Professor
Art Education Co-coordinator

Katalin Zaszlavik
Associate Professor
Art Education Co-coordinator

Students' Works

Course Catalog

An introduction to the field of art education, including the study of its historical, sociological, and theoretical foundations and their effect on its practice in the K-12 classroom. Prerequisites: ART 152 and ART 157.

Offered Fall Semester
Credits: 3

This course, designed for art education majors, provides experience in curriculum and teaching portfolio development, as well as classroom observation to provide the future art teacher with a firm foundation for teaching in the K-12 classroom. Prerequisite: ART 332.

Offered Winter Semesters.
Credits: 3

This course is a hands-on studio course that provides basic skills and an understanding of computer technology in the creative process. Emphasized exploration of digital media concepts and methods for supporting creativity through examination of the themes and issues in contemporary arts and culture. Part of the Information, Innovation, and Technology Issue. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Offered Fall and Winter Semesters
Credits: 3

A seminar composed of lectures, discussions, papers, and assigned readings intended to give the student an understanding of his or her own place as a visual artist in the historical, social continuum of our time. Prerequisite: Senior standing in B.A., B.S., or B.F.A. program.

Offered Fall and Winter Semesters
Credits: 3


Art Education Facilities 3
Art Education Facilities 2

The Art Education program has one resource room (a storage room for basic art making materials and tools) and two large studio classrooms (CAC 1201 and 1207) to afford adequate space for both art making and lecture-based discussions. The two classrooms have ample wall space to display student artwork, as well as storage space, shelves (drying racks), and cubbies abundantly sufficient to accommodate 24 students per class.

Professional Networking

NAEA Student Chapter

Members of the National Art Education Association Student Chapter work to prepare themselves to teach the young minds of tomorrow. During their weekly meetings and service projects they work to develop their critical thinking skills, visual culture, art history, community involvement, and the development of big ideas. For more information about the student chapter, please email Prof. Katalin Zaszlavik at [email protected].

Related Links

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Interested in visiting VMA? Schedule your student lead tour today! 

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For questions about the Art Education area, please contact:

Katalin Zaszlavik
Art Education Co-coordinator
1113 Calder Arts Center
[email protected]


Hsiao-Ping Chen
Art Education Co-coordinator
1121 Calder Arts Center
[email protected]


Page last modified July 5, 2023