Art Education - BFA

Art Education students at NAEA conference Student working with clay wheel Art Education students viewing research posters Art Education Art Education Watauga County Public Library workshop Art Education project Art Education
A is for Art, R is for relationships, T is for Teach

Art Educators are artists, inquirers, teachers, agents of change, and more. The Art Education (K-12) (BFA) degree at Appalachian State University not only prepares students for careers as licensed art teachers in primary and secondary schools—but also in museum education and community arts programs. This course of study embodies a spirit of inquiry and exploration, and our methods courses are taught by Art Education faculty who are national leaders in the field. Our aim is to graduate visionary professional art educators who are radically caring, reflective, knowledgeable, responsive, and highly skilled in the artistry of teaching.

Our students learn to…


By developing a rigorous studio practice, our graduates become confident and accomplished artists. We believe a commitment to studio practice enhances pedagogical skills, and that art is powerful in the lives of students and teachers. Our program encourages ways of making art and curriculum that are choice-based and socially relevant.   


Our program aims to create safe spaces for conversation and curiosity because we believe all significant learning happens first and foremost through relationships. Faculty and students explore together as a vibrant community of artists, teachers, and inquirers.


Our program aims to grapple with issues of ethics and justice, cultivate awareness of local and global concerns, practice community engagement, and exercise our artistic imaginations. The spaces of our co-learning are driven by studio investigations, visual journaling, readings, inquiry, rich discussions, and more. We make sense of our learning democratically through peer feedback and self-reflection. Together we explore ways of thinking and being differently in the world.


We value and practice interdisciplinary, experiential learning in our classroom and extend these aims through service learning and inquiry projects in the local community. Art Education majors contribute meaningfully in area schools with children and teens, and through an afterschool initiative known as Room 13. All majors have the chance to teach abroad in Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, England, Costa Rica, Germany, or Thailand if they so choose during student teaching. For more information, visit the International Student Teaching webpage.


Our students design curriculum beginning with open-ended questions about issues that matter to learners, or what we call “big ideas.” These questions often lead to community teaching projects. Twice annually, majors recap these projects in research poster sessions on campus. Beyond the classroom, our students present exemplary research and teaching practices at regional and national conferences in cities such as Asheville, New Bern, Winston Salem, Chicago, San Diego, New York City, Seattle, and New Orleans.

Our Graduates

Our graduates leave with a K-12 teaching license in North Carolina, prepared to enter the workforce as elementary and secondary art educators, museum educators, community arts leaders, and more. Minors in Special Education or other areas can expand teaching repertoires and marketability.

Portfolio Review

Admission to the Art Education program is selective. Passing a portfolio review is required for admission to intermediate and upper-level courses. We're looking for students who can articulate ways of learning that are creative, participatory, and relevant, and who show the potential for success in teaching across diverse contexts.

The close community and the ability to create and share in a safe environment is the biggest strength of the Art Education program.

Ellen Cooper, Art Ed Major

Art Education students Skype with preservice teachers at the University of Georgia

Collaborate across universities

Brooke Hofsess and the Introduction to Art Education students Skype with preservice teachers at the University of Georgia after swapping zines on a variety of contemporary issues in Art Ed through the mail.