Alternative Certification for Art Teachers: Program Information

Alternative certification and/or licensure programs for art teachers help graduates receive the education and training necessary to meet state mandates. Courses cover topics such as teaching methods, classroom management and digital media in art education.

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Essential Information

Alternative certification or licensure programs for art teachers include both art-specific and general teacher training comprised of classroom study and field experience teaching in schools. Students learn to prepare lessons and execute them effectively in the classroom. Individuals must typically commit to 1-3 years of study. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in the subject. Some institutions may require the submission of certain test scores, personal essays or statements, and a minimum GPA.

Some programs culminate in a master's degree in education, while others simply provide students with a prescribed curriculum to obtain certification or licensure, although credits earned through these programs may be applied to a master's degree. Students may complete standardized tests required of teachers by the state at determined points in the course of the program. Although the Praxis Series is commonly utilized, exams conferred vary by state. Tests generally cover both basic teaching skills as well as subject-specific knowledge.


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Alternative Art Education Certification

Students in art teacher certification or licensure programs learn skills for motivating and disciplining students, and programs may include mentoring by a teacher. Other coursework might cover:

  • Fundamentals and methods of art education
  • Classroom management
  • Curriculum design
  • Digital media in art education
  • Pedagogy
  • Art education trends

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Specific employment and salary information for graduates of art teacher alternative certification programs are hard to come by, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides some overarching information on teachers. The BLS projected an employment growth of 6% for kindergarten to secondary school teachers between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Median annual wages for kindergarten and elementary school teachers were $54,550, as of May 2015. Median salaries for middle and secondary school teachers were $55,860 and $57,200 respectively, in the same year.

National Certification and Continuing Education Information

Most states require that teachers complete continuing education units as a condition of maintaining state certification or licensure. Art teachers can also pursue national certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; the organization confers certification in various areas, including art education at the early and middle childhood level, as well as early adolescence through young adult level. According to the BLS, many states confer benefits - such as reimbursement for continuing education expenses or higher wages - upon those who obtain voluntary national certification.

Curriculum in an art teacher alternative certification program includes classroom lectures and practicums designed to help students with a bachelor's degree in art meet state credentialing requirements and smooth the transition into a teaching career.

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