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Art Education Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Become an Art Teacher

Video: Learn Art Education at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
Play Video about Video: Learn Art Education at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

The expression “art speaks where words are unable to explain” is the reason why exploring your artistic side is a powerful way to share your creative vision. More powerful still is the ability to share that creativity through the art of teaching, specifically in becoming an art teacher for K-12 students. Being the one awakening another person’s creativity is an art in itself. RMCAD’s Art Education classes are helping students learn how to become an art teacher by acquiring the technical tools and teaching philosophies they need with an art and education degree program that helps students hone their skills both as an artist, and as a teacher!

Art Education Program Overview

As a student in the Art Education degree program, you’ll get on-the-ground teaching experience via 200 hours of classroom observation and 1 semester of student teaching. This experience gives you the opportunity to develop real-world job skills that set you up for success in the classroom —whether that’s as an elementary art teacher or at the secondary school level. Our art teacher degree students explore critical inquiry while they delve into teaching philosophies and techniques that allow you to develop your own unique teaching style.

With a high-level of support and resources throughout your art education, you’ll graduate confident and ready to inspire a new generation of talented artists.

A young art teacher in a classroom of children, helping a student paint a ceramic bowl
An art teacher with a young student, helping her finger paint with bright red hands. They are surrounded by elements of art education, including crayons, textbooks, modeling clay, and a paint palette.
Art Education program overview icon

Art Education Program Highlights

Psychology of Creativity

Students learn the following: artistic agency is the acknowledged ability to make choices and create change. Agency implies a belief that what artists do affects the world around us and makes a difference. (Gude, 2009).


Students demonstrate professionalism in the field through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership.

Student Evaluation

Students apply a variety of assessment practices in order to develop and support classroom instruction, motivation, and continuous feedback on the learning process.

Classroom Management

Students develop lessons and instruction that represent the importance of making choices and creating change through art.

Performance Standards

Students demonstrate professionalism through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership.

Fine Art Emphasis

Students demonstrate a commitment to learning through works written or created. Artists/Educators seek to be models of high standards in art and education through their professional composition. 

*The Art Education Department uses Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Educator Preparation Standards, which include Educator Preparation Teacher Quality Standards (5.0 – 5.04), Educator Preparation English Language Learner Standards (EL), and the Visual Arts Standards (Grades K-12) (4.04).

Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts curriculum is an exciting part of every student’s academic and creative journey at RMCAD. These courses provide the opportunity for students to engage with complex questions and ideas to develop critical thinking skills, a global consciousness, and awareness of art historical foundations that are essential for their intellectual, creative, and personal growth.

Global Consciousness

The curious engagement with communities, perspectives, and narratives that do not match our own offers the opportunity to see one’s personal and creative role in our local, national, and global communities. 

Critical Awareness

The willingness to ask questions and resist easy answers & simplistic dualities offers the opportunity to more clearly understand the complexity and multifaceted reality of history, creativity, and human communities. 

Information Literacy

The ability to read closely, critique freely, and seek additional verifiable information offers the opportunity to more holistically discern the veracity of the information that inundates our lives.

Art Education Degree Requirements

Art Education is the nexus of the cultural expression — in particular, the visual culture of yesterday and today, delivered to students in a format that excites and inspires. You will learn theoretical approaches to contemporary art teaching, technology in art classrooms, a critical lens to examine school practices, and core teaching methods that are unique to your style, while tapping into your own creativity with 15 credit hours in your emphasis area.

All Art Education students will spend time in K-12 art classrooms throughout their degree. Each student will locate art classrooms in which to observe licensed art teachers and their students for 200 hours. Most of our art education courses have observation hours built into the curriculum to support RMCAD students in understanding the complexity of the teaching profession. In addition, each RMCAD student will complete two student teaching terms (elementary and middle/secondary) where they will work full-time and in-person with mentor teachers.

* RMCAD offers classes year-round in both on-campus and online delivery formats. At RMCAD, we believe that online learning is an important part of the overall college learning experience. To provide students multiple scheduling options, diverse learning modalities, and experience in the virtual environment, all on-campus students are required to take part in online education.

Tech + Tools

As a RMCAD student, you are joining a supportive community of art educators. You’ll experience: 

  • Hands-on learning from experienced art instructors
  • Small class sizes for individual attention
  • Field and art education student teaching experience
  • Unique curriculum designed to maximize your learning 

Art Education Careers

Become an art teacher!

RMCAD’s Art Education Program is approved by both the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. Graduates can apply for a Colorado K-12 teaching license in visual arts and begin their career of shaping lives in the classroom. But the opportunities don’t stop there, learn more about additional potential career paths!

Potential Career Paths

Some of these jobs may require further certifications.

Student Work + Success

Stories @ RMCAD

Title graphic featuring an illustrated art teacher and the name of the blog.

How to Become an Art Teacher

Are you passionate about teaching the next generation of artists and designers in a K-12 classroom setting? If so, there are a few required steps you need to take in order to get there. From

Read More →

Teaching License Information

The RMCAD Art Education teacher preparation program is approved by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). RMCAD graduates in Art Education are prepared to apply for a K-12 teaching license in Art with the Colorado Department of Education.

RMCAD’s Art Education BFA allows graduates to apply for their Colorado Teaching Licensure and teach in the state of Colorado. Students interested in teaching in another state will first apply for their Colorado Licensure through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and then may be eligible to transfer licensure to their state. Students interested in licensure outside of Colorado should refer to the Disclosure for Professional Licensure section of the website, located here.

Art Education Faculty

There’s no substitute for a great teacher. To become one, you must have one. RMCAD’s Art Education instructors are invested in your success.

Art Education Events

Join the conversation and get inspired at the latest Art Education event.

Ready to Explore Your Creativity?

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