Art Education B.S.

Art student works on a sculpture

Our Art Education Program

Rhode Island College is the only teacher preparation program in the state to offer an undergraduate degree in art education that leads to teacher certification. Your course of study will include art studio, art history and art education courses with leading art faculty. You will also gain extensive clinical experiences in public school classrooms. Upon successful completion of this program, you will be eligible for full certification to teach art in all grades (pre-K-12) in Rhode Island.

Students apply to the B.S. in art education program while enrolled in or after completing ARTE 301 and by completing the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) online application and admission requirements. The Department of Art forwards recommendations to the FSEHD through this online application. Applicants are then formally accepted into both the FSEHD and to the B.S. in art education program. 

Program Details

Course Information

The links below provide information on course requirements, course descriptions and the Academic Rhode Map, which lists all courses that are needed to complete this program and graduate in a timely fashion. 

Course Requirements 

Course Descriptions 

Academic Rhode Map

Admission Requirements

For acceptance into the teacher preparation program in art education, students must fulfill the following requirements by the end of the semester in which they apply for admission:

1. All Feinstein School of Education and Human Development admission requirements.

2. Art education program-specific admission requirements:

  • Completion of a Plan of Study approved by assigned advisor. 
  • Completion of a Declaration of Major Form. 
  • Completion of six studio foundations courses (ART 101, ART 104, ART 105, ART 107, ART 114, ART 204 or ART 205), with a minimum grade of B- in each course. 
  • Completion of ARTE 301 Art Education Concepts and Contexts, with a minimum grade of B-. 
  • Three letters of recommendation from art faculty: one from the student’s 2-D or 3-D synthesis instructor, one from the student’s ARTE 301 instructor, and one from another art studio or art history faculty member. 
  • Submission of Art Content Portfolio. 

Note: For information on transferring credit for art studio courses taken at another institution or credit for advanced placement courses, see Transfer Portfolio Guidelines  or obtain guidelines in the main office of ALEX AND ANI Hall.  

Retention Requirements
  1. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 each semester.  
  2. Completion of all required studio art and art history courses and all teacher education courses with a minimum grade of B-. 
  3. Completion of ARTE 407 and ARTE 409, with a minimum grade of B in each course. 
  4. In order to student teach, students must successfully complete the FSEHD and the art education program requirements for a Preparing to Teach Portfolio; students must then complete all student teaching requirements. See the teacher candidates webpage

The Art Education Advisory Committee will review records of students who do not maintain this criteria. Such students may be dismissed from the program. 

Program/Learning Goals

Performance of students in initial teacher preparation programs is measured through outcomes that are aligned with the four themes of the FSEHD Conceptual Framework and the Rhode Island Professional Teacher Standards: 

General Education 

Reflective practitioners possess a broad base of knowledge in the liberal arts, including mastery of oral and written English communication, mathematical and reasoning skills, and technological competence as well as a global perspective that emphasizes people's interdependence with one another and with nature. 

Human Learning and Development 

Reflective practitioners have a solid grounding in educational psychology, the branch of psychology that specializes in understanding teaching and learning in educational settings. They know the four pillars of educational psychology: human development, theories of learning and cognition, classroom management, and assessment. 

Contexts of Schooling 

Reflective practitioners possess a critical understanding of the contexts of schooling: social, political, economic, historical, philosophical, legal, professional, global, and cultural. 

Area of Specialization 

Reflective practitioners possess a deep, thorough, and, above all, working knowledge of their area(s) of specialization, enabling them to make informed decisions to approach curriculum implementation. 

Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning 

Reflective practitioners employ a variety of models of teaching and learning. Best practice entails a balance between pedagogical approaches. 

Instructional Uses of Technology 

Reflective practitioners integrate technology into curricula, instruction, and assessment of students to create high-quality learning experiences and instructional opportunities. 

Assessment as an Aid to Practice 

Assessment is primarily a means for determining the relative success of teaching and counseling interventions for the purpose of improving them in the future. In other words, assessment is used as a tool for reflection and subsequent planning. 

Cultural Diversity and Multicultural Education 

Reflective educators are knowledgeable of both the differences that distinguish individuals and groups and the commonalities that bind them together. They understand and respond to the diverse needs and backgrounds of students, clients, and families and develop strategies for combating prejudice and advancing educational equity, inclusion, and intercultural understanding. 

Special Needs and Inclusion 

Reflective practitioners are aware of the impact of disability on the teaching-learning process and are responsive to the individual strengths and needs of children and youth with a range of disabilities. They understand the effect that disability has on family functioning, and they can work effectively with parents in program planning. In order to function effectively in an inclusive environment, reflective practitioners must also collaborate with professionals from all disciplines when making educational decisions. They examine their own cultural and family background as it pertains to disability, reflecting on the impact of their beliefs and behavior on the classroom setting, counseling situation, or planning session, making adjustments as necessary. They are prepared not only to be responsive to students' adapted curriculum, instruction, and learning needs but also to make curriculum adaptations and instructional modifications on-the-spot to accommodate students' needs. 

Professional Ethics 

Ethics are principles of conduct used to guide an individual's behavior. Ethical principles guide practitioners as they determine aims and objectives; select content and materials; plan and implement methods and strategies; conduct non-discriminatory evaluations of students, clients, and staff; reflect on their choices and actions; and take responsibility for the consequences. Reflective practitioners accept the professional, social, ethical, and moral responsibilities and reap the personal rewards of being a teacher in a democratic, pluralistic society. 

Collaboration and Advocacy 

Reflective practitioners recognize that schools, families and communities must work together, and educators must collaborate within schools, to support student and client learning and growth, and to promote democratic values in their own communities and beyond. 

Professional Development 

Reflective practitioners consciously plan, implement, and reflect upon their own professional growth, as well as that of the profession. Committed professionals actively participate in a wide variety of educational opportunities. 

The Rhode Island Professional Teaching Standards 
  1. Teachers create learning experiences using a broad base of general knowledge that reflects an understanding of the nature of the communities and world in which we live. 
  2. Teachers have a deep content knowledge base sufficient to create learning experiences that reflect an understanding of central concepts, vocabulary, structures, and tools of inquiry of the disciplines/content areas they teach. 
  3. Teachers create instructional opportunities that reflect an understanding of how children learn and develop. 
  4. Teachers create instructional opportunities that reflect a respect for the diversity of learners and an understanding of how students differ in their approaches to learning. 
  5. Teachers create instructional opportunities to encourage all students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, performance skills, and literacy across content areas. 
  6. Teachers create a supportive learning environment that encourages appropriate standards of behavior, positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. 
  7. Teachers work collaboratively with all school personnel, families and the broader community to create a professional learning community and environment that supports the improvement of teaching, learning and student achievement. 
  8. Teachers use effective communication as the vehicle through which students explore, conjecture, discuss, and investigate new ideas. 
  9. Teachers use appropriate formal and informal assessment strategies with individuals and groups of students to determine the impact of instruction on learning, to provide feedback, and to plan future instruction. 
  10. Teachers reflect on their practice and assume responsibility for their own professional development by actively seeking and participating in opportunities to learn and grow as professionals. 
    Teachers maintain professional standards guided by legal and ethical principles. 

Writing in the Discipline

In what ways is writing important to your profession? 

The Art Department offers three separate undergraduate majors: art education, art history and studio art. Across these areas, students will learn to write clearly and analytically about works of art, whether they are made by the students themselves or by other artists. 

If you are pursuing the studio art major (B.A. or B.F.A.), you must be able to write clear and interesting artist statements, job applications, and grant and commission proposals. 

If you are pursuing the art history major, especially if you are interested in graduate studies, you must be able to write research papers. Jobs in museums and galleries require the ability to write clearly and concisely, including descriptions of artworks, business letters and grant applications. 

If you are pursuing the art education major, you must be able to write lesson plans and other kinds of documents specific to the education field.  

Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses? 

Two courses satisfy the WID requirement for all three majors in the Art Department: Art 231: Prehistoric to Renaissance Art and Art 232: Renaissance to Modern Art. If you are an art studio major, area-specific writing in upper-level studio classes complements the writing in art history. If you are an art education major, you will write in numerous upper-level courses, as well. 

What forms or genres of writing will you learn and practice in your WID courses? Why these genres? 

The genres of writing students in the Art Department learn to write vary by major. In Art 231 and 232 students write descriptions, analyses and comparisons of individual artworks – these are the most basic components of writing in art and must be mastered to develop either as an artist, art educator or art historian. 

In advanced and upper level courses, art students write research papers and responses to art historical scholarship, learning to integrate the ideas of other writers into their work and to deepen their understanding of artworks and art movements. 

What kinds of teaching practices will you encounter in your WID courses? 

You will encounter many different kinds of teaching practices, including scaffolded writing projects, peer review, in-class writing, writing-to-learn exercises and discussions of and lectures on writing and writing assignments. 

When you have satisfied your WID requirement, you should be able to: 

Write interpretive descriptions and comparisons of artworks, thesis papers based on artworks, research papers, artist statements, cover letters and project proposals.

Minor in Educational Studies

Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities. Click below for information on the minor in educational studies. 

Minor in Educational Studies