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MICA's Art Education (Low-residency/online MA) program prepares experienced K-12 artist-educators to pursue advancement in their field through the development of their practice as both studio artists and art educators at an art college whose graduate programs are ranked among the top four nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Designed for the working professional, the curriculum provides a challenging studio-based summer residency combined with online courses during the fall and spring semesters and a return to MICA's campus for a seminar over the Martin Luther King weekend in January-allowing students to remain in their teaching position while they complete their MA over the course of two summers and one academic year.

The Art Education (Low-residency/online MA) program is grounded in the belief that students become most captivated in their own learning when curriculum is centered on an engaging studio and teaching practice. Faculty serve as expert mentors to guide students' informed investigations of their work through their own expertise as studio artists and art educators. Students in this 14-month, hybrid low-residency/online program will:

  • Work in their independent studios during their two, 6-week summer residencies to develop a body of conceptually related artwork that will be exhibited in one of MICA's professional galleries at the end of the second summer;
  • Learn the most current art education instructional methods for engaging students in studio art practice and response to artwork;
  • Participate in a rich graduate school culture on MICA's campus that includes lectures by guest artists, critics, and art educators;
  • Learn how to design and implement a classroom research study on a topic related to student learning in art;
  • Participate in online studio art seminars, as well as online art education courses on contemporary and historical contexts of art education.
  • Write an article for submission to a scholarly journal and give a thesis talk that synthesizes discoveries from studio practice, classroom investigations, and developments in art education and contemporary art.

Program Facilities and Resources

Facilities and resources available in the Art Education (Low-residency/online MA) program include:

  • Expansive individual studios in the newly renovated Studio Center and access to a full array of facilities and technical resources on MICA's campus, including the Art Tech Center and the Decker Library housing the Media Resources Collection, during students' two, six-week MICA residences;
  • During online semesters, remote access to a rich collection of online databases supporting research in education, culture, art, and design.

Who Should Apply

The Art Education (Low-residency/online MA) program is designed for the experienced art educator who has teacher certification or a teaching position where professional teacher certification is not required; an undergraduate degree in art education, studio art, education, or a related field with substantial coursework in studio art; and at least two years of experience teaching art in a professional classroom setting.

Program Design and Policy

During the first summer residency, students move into their studios and enter into a dynamic learning community composed of their peers in the incoming class, second-year students, and a team of faculty members who believe in working together to maximize the learning experience for individuals and the group as a whole. Students' personal art practices are informed through investigations of studio-based teaching strategies and learner-centered pedagogy, the study of developments in contemporary art, one-on-one mentorship, dialogue with their faculty and peers, and participation in the culture of a professional art school complete with exhibitions and lectures by guest artists. As the summer progresses, insights arising out of students' discoveries that come from deepening their own engagement with art help shape ideas for deepening engagement and learning among their own students. Methods for conducting a classroom-based research study are introduced. By the end of the summer, students have a new body of studio work underway as well as a proposal for examining the ways in which changes in their teaching affect student engagement and learning in art.

During the fall and spring semesters, students participate in online courses with MICA's Art Education faculty and fellow students. Students begin to implement the research study they designed during their summer residency and begin to examine scholarship from the art education literature directly related to their research topic. As their study comes to a close in the spring semester and findings begin to emerge, students write proposals to present at national conferences. In addition, students participate in online studio seminars in which they post images and engage in conversations with their studio mentor about the development of the body of artwork they began during their summer residency on MICA's campus.

During the second summer residency, students return to their studios to resume development of their studio work, expanding on ideas that were initiated in the first summer and further developed in their online studio seminars in the fall and spring. Study of developments in contemporary art continues, as does attendance at exhibitions and lectures by guest artists. Students are encouraged to find "the story" they want to tell from their classroom investigations, explore creative ways to write about their insights and findings, and generate an article for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, multiple paths for further professional development as studio artists and artist-educators are examined in a capstone professional development seminar. The summer concludes with an exhibition of studio artwork in a professional gallery space on MICA's campus, an evening of readings from their articles, and formal thesis presentations in which the learning of the program is synthesized, revealing the ways in which the students have integrated their growth as artists, artists-educators, and researchers.

Recent alumni of the MAAE program are reaching their goals as artists and artist-educators in a variety of ways: exhibition of artwork in juried exhibits at recognized art galleries; publication of research in peer-juried art education journals; serving as art education consultants at major art museums; making presentations of research at national and state art education conferences; leading in-service workshops at national and state levels; assuming leadership roles in schools, districts, state organizations, and national organizations; pursuing doctoral study and teaching at the college level after earning their doctoral degrees.

Grades, Attendance, and Graduation Policy

All grades are on a letter-grade basis. Students must maintain a grade of "B" or above in all courses to maintain enrollment in the program. Candidates must be present for the full six-week summer residency for the two summer sessions, complete required coursework in the fall and spring, and return for the winter seminar. International students can elect to participate in the winter seminar by Skype. Candidates must submit work by agreed-upon dates to instructors. Due to the sequential nature of the coursework, completion of the MAAE program must occur within the two summers, one academic-year calendar. Additionally, the sequential nature of the MAAE coursework precludes the transfer of credits from other educational institutions. It is the responsibility of the program director to determine if and when student work fulfills the expectation of the MAAE program. Completion of the program is based upon satisfactory completion of all program requirements and submission of documentation for the student's article, exhibition of studio work, and thesis presentation. The faculty reserves the right to counsel students out of the program who do not demonstrate attitudes and behaviors or performance consistent with the goals of the MAAE program.
Note: For those interested in achieving initial certification to teach, we recommend our Teaching (MAT) program.