Dec 19, 2018  
2017-2018 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Art Education

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges, Departments, and Programs

Faculty and Fields of Interest

Miraglia, Kathy A (Chairperson, Department of Art Education) Associate Professor of Art Education (2001), BFA 1977, MAE 1995, EdD 2006 University of Massachusetts Amherst. Specializations: Art education, especially elementary, adult professional development, grounded theory research, painting, drawing, interdisciplinary curriculum.

Oliver, Kristi  Assistant Professor of Art Education, BFA 2001, MFA 2006, CAGS 2010.  Doctoral candidate at Lesley University. Specializations: Art education (specifically secondary), 21st century learning, contemporary photography, creative process, action research, professional development, leadership.

Smilan, Cathy A (Graduate Program Director) Associate Professor of Art Education (2007). BA 1983 SUNY Albany, MA 1996 SUNY Stony Brook, EdD 2004 Florida Atlantic University. Specializations: Art education, program evaluation, research, art integrated curriculum and professional development, museum partnerships, ceramics, fiber/mixed media

The graduate Art Education program offers both traditional and innovative opportunities for the professional art teacher. The program offers choices for graduate studies tailored to individual interests and career goals. For those whose objective is to teach in public schools, the program provides theoretical and practical experience. Graduates may earn their post-baccalaureate initial license through the MAE Post Baccalaureate, and the professional license through the MAE program. This is in compliance with Massachusetts state licensure requirements.

The program also offers studies in Art Education for those wishing to teach in community settings such as day care centers, hospitals, welfare agencies, museums, alternative schools, geriatric centers, or vocational rehabilitation centers. The program emphasizes professional development and lifelong learning for teachers who already hold teaching licenses in the arts or related fields. Artists/teachers are supported in studio courses designed to recognize and enhance their particular skills. The MAE program is dedicated to increasing  graduates’ capacity to question issues related to teaching, thinking, learning and producing in and through the arts.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The MAE program received approval to offer the professional licensure in visual art by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2003.

Courses are scheduled to permit either full-time or part-time study. The 33-credit MAE program is offered at times that are convenient for students employed in the teaching field.

A 33-credit program for those who already have an initial license offers flexible selections between research and practice orientations. The program is structured to address the broadly conceived themes of human development and creative expression, curriculum and leadership, and community partnerships. Courses in art education, aesthetics/art history/criticism, and studio are enriched by unique experiences embedded in praxis. Toward the goal of advancing the reform of education through the arts, the graduate program requires all students to demonstrate off-site Partnership and Action Research Experiences. A written thesis and presentation and oral defense are requirements for graduation.

For those seeking first-time post-baccalaureate initial licensure concurrently with the MAE degree, we offer a 54-credit Post-Baccalaureate and MAE program.

Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Art Teacher Licensure

Returning students who possess a bachelors degree in a studio or related area and wish to receive art teacher licensure may apply for acceptance to the teacher licensure program through the 54 credit MAE degree. Post-baccalaureate Art Education licensure candidates must pass the Literacy, Communcations, and Visual Art Content portions of the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to entering the program. The post-baccalaureate program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE), and leads to a single level initial license in Massachusetts as an art teacher in grades PreK-8 or 5-12. As an added benefit, interstate recognition makes art teacher licensure or certification coursework earned at UMass Dartmouth reciprocally valid in many states. Contact the State MDESE regarding reciprocity requirements.

This program is designed for students with strong backgrounds in studio work who seek licensure that allows them to work in schools, museums, or social service agencies. Candidates must demonstrate studio competencies in areas specified by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Standard I and pass the MTEL exams prior to applying to the 54 credit MAE program. While at UMass Dartmouth, licensure students take courses from the listed requirements for the major in Art Education that apply towards state licensure standards, social theory and philosophy of education, human development in visual art, and teaching methodology including teaching the learner with special needs. During their required field experience, students will visit schools and other learning sites. The courses and field work provide students the opportunity and skills to develop effective strategies for working with learners in a variety of settings.

During the pre-practicum field experience, UMD preservice teachers observe and assist in teaching students at their selected grade level (PreK-8 or 5-12) in public schools. Students must acquire a total of 75 hours of off-site classroom/teaching observation during their pre-practicum field work (15 hours for each of the 5 core classes).

The Post-Baccalaureate requires 21 credits that are added to the 33 credit MAE program for a total of 54 credits. The Post-baccalaureate is not a stand alone program. PSY 201  (Child Psychology, 3 credits) or PSY 215 (Adolescent Psychology, 3 credits) – depending on licensure level – and its prerequisite PSY 101 (3 credits) should be taken before entry. Additional credits may be needed if a Post-Baccalaureate licensure student lacks prerequisites or depth of studio preparation.

To summarize, the MAE program serves many interests and career goals. It provides educational opportunities for both experienced professionals and novices in art education and related fields.

Admission Requirements

We seek candidates for admission who demonstrate strong potential as artist/teacher/researcher. Those accepted to the Art Education MAE program will have a bachelors degree in art education, studio art or related field (or the equivalent, based upon faculty review). Applicant’s transcripts and coursework are evaluated by the Department to determine if the required education courses and studio work have been completed to ensure proper placement in either the Post-Baccalaureate (21 credits + 33 in the professional = 54 credits) or the professional (33 credit) portion of the MAE program.

Applicants for admission must submit the required application materials to the Graduate Office. Additional or specific requirements include:

  • Minimum 2.75 cumulative average in undergraduate studies

  • Three letters of recommendation from previous professors and/or employers. Letters should be solicited from individuals capable of evaluating the applicant’s potential for academic success, commitment to teaching, or quality of art work

  • Statement of professional goals and program intent
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • A portfolio of 20 images of recent work must be submitted to For more detailed information go to Portfolio Requirements.
  • Pre-admission interviews and sample essay or research reports may be requested of some applicants, at faculty discretion.
  • Passing both the Communications and Literacy Skills and Content (Visual Art) portions of the Massachusetts Test of Educators Licensure (MTEL) are required and must be received by the application deadline. Applicants who are licensed in another state and do not seek Massachusetts Licensure are required to make a written statement that the applicant will not seek Massachusetts licensure. They must pass the National Praxis Exam.

We accept students on a rolling admissions basis. However, applicants are urged to submit completed applications before November 15 or March 15 for consideration for entrance in the following academic semester.

Professional Licensure

Within five years of employment as teachers in Massachusetts, holders of an initial license must qualify for professional licensure. Professional License is gained by either earning a master’s degree from a state approved program, such as our MAE degree, that includes substantial clinical field work or by completing a state-approved School District Plan for professional development. Our MAE program provides ample opportunities for practicing teachers to develop professional career goals while they earn credit toward their Professional License. As an added benefit, interstate recognition makes art teacher licensure earned at UMass Dartmouth reciprocally valid in many other states. Students should consult the Department of Education in the state to which they wish to transfer the Massachusetts license.

Details about these requirements and the licensure program are available from the Chairperson of the Art Education Department. The undergraduate catalogue also includes a curriculum and full list of courses.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to some full-time graduate students on a competitive basis. Full-time students may have teaching assistantships within the College of Visual and Performing Arts, or they may be employed in other university departments.

Assistance such as loans or work study may be available to you. Please consult the chapter on “Expenses and Financial Assistance.”


Dr. Cathy Smilan
Graduate Program Director, Art Education
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300
508 910-6594

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges, Departments, and Programs