KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 30, 2014) — The Kansas City Art Institute has launched a new fifth-year post-baccalaureate program in art education. The Missouri State Board of Education formally approved the program on April 15. The program is aimed at students who are interested in teaching art in Pre-K through Grade 12 public school classrooms.
“With this launch, KCAI becomes the first and only art college in the state of Missouri to offer such a program,” said Jacqueline Chanda, Ph.D., president of KCAI. “All other programs preparing students to become classroom art teachers are based in schools of education.”
Chanda said KCAI’s post-baccalaureate art education program is unique in its vision of preparing B.F.A. graduates to become artist/teachers — professionals who approach teaching with the eye of an artist.
In Year 1, which starts this summer, all of the students enrolling in the program have completed the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at KCAI. Next fall, B.F.A. graduates from other colleges and universities will also be eligible to enroll.
Sheri Klein, Ph.D., coordinator of art teacher certification, directs the program for KCAI. A native of Chicago, Klein earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in art education from Indiana University in Bloomington. She holds B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a former professor and program director of art education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
The KCAI post-baccalaureate program requires completion of 28 credit hours, all of which can normally be completed in one academic year, including a summer semester. One required class in educational psychology is taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A local exchange program allows KCAI students to take one course per semester at KCAI. Through partnership arrangements, local PK-12 public schools and art teachers will provide the required observation and student-teacher placements that will assist in bridging theory and practice.
Students who complete the program will be qualified to receive certification for teaching art in the state of Missouri. Chanda said other states have their own certification requirements, but often reciprocity for certification is possible.
“While math, science and language arts are vital elements of the elementary and secondary-school curriculum, art education is equally crucial and should not be regarded as expendable or a luxury,” said Chanda, a former classroom art teacher in Los Angeles. Chanda also taught art education at the university level.
“In addition to helping children develop motor skills and visual-spatial skills, art experiences contribute to the development of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills,” she said. “Research has shown the benefits of arts education on student motivation, attitudes and attendance, and there is evidence that increased access to art education encourages students to stay in school, succeed in school and experience success later in life.”
Funding that helped make the launch of the program possible was provided by Scott Francis, Francis Family Foundation; Katie Wendel, Francis Family Foundation; the Herbert Vincent Jones Jr. Foundation; and the Sprint Foundation.
“We are deeply indebted to the individuals and foundations that supported this exciting new program,” Chanda said.
About the Kansas City Art Institute
The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.
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