Visual Arts Education: PreK – 12 (BS)

Female USF student working on a oil pastel drawing.

Encourage creativity and self-expression in young people.

Why Study Art Education?

Art teachers encourage students of all ages to explore their imagination, express themselves through creation and discover their talents. Art education also builds motor, language, social and problem-solving skills. It promotes risk-taking and innovation, and develops self-discipline and confidence.

Why USF for Your Visual Arts Education Major?

The University of Saint Francis is well-known for preparing qualified, competent and compassionate educators — and we’re also a campus with a thriving arts community. When you study art education at USF, you’ll find:

  • Creative learning spaces such as our Art Education Lab
  • 24/7-access to outstanding art studios
  • Student-teaching and service-learning experiences
  • On-campus galleries and exhibitions
  • Workshops with visiting artists

With an educational mission rooted in the Franciscan values of faith and reason, USF will prepare you to use your artistic abilities to make a positive difference in the lives of students of all backgrounds.

Take the first step:

Request Information

Career Outlook & Success


art galleries on campus


National median salary for high school art, drama and music teachers in Indiana (BLS, 2019)


of the Class of 2020 was employed or continuing their education within six months

Real-World Experience: Art in the Classroom & Community

Attending a school USF’s size gives you hands-on experience in school and community settings starting your first semester.

Field Experience & Student Teaching

You will learn — and teach — in public, private and religious schools, as well as community art classes hosted at USF:

  • Saturday Morning Art (weekend classes, grades 1-8)
  • Arts in the Morning (summer art classes, grades 1-6)
  • Summer Art Academy (summer program, grades 9-12)

Your field experience culminates with a 16-week student teaching engagement.

Community Service

Have fun and gain experience with learners of all ages when you participate in Jesters, USF’s performing arts troupe and visual art program for children and young adults with special needs.

Expert Instruction from Professional Educators and Artists

As a visual art education major, you’ll learn from accomplished artists with a range of professional and artistic backgrounds, as well as expert educators with years of experience in the classroom.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kathy Danko-McGhee is the author of numerous international and national journal articles and also two books, The Impact of Early Art Experiences on Literacy Development (2007), and The Aesthetic Preferences of Young Children (2000).

Campus Involvement

Join in with your fellow creative-minded students and future educators with clubs, activities and professional organizations such as:

  • Art Education Association of Indiana
  • National Art Education Association
  • Artists in Action
  • Creative Arts
  • Dead Artists Society
  • f/8 Photo Club
  • Mudslingers Ceramics Club
  • Pencil Pushers Sketch Club

I love that the professors are working artists, too. They inspire me because I struggle with balancing art-making with art education, but I see them teaching and producing new work.

Naomi Vanderleest ’21
Visual Art Education major

Male student teaching a group of kids how to paper mache.

Where You’ll Find Our Graduates

With a teaching license in hand, a USF visual art education major will be ready to inspire creativity in students of all grade levels in public and private schools across Indiana and beyond, such as:

  • Eastside Junior-Senior High (Butler, Indiana)
  • Homestead High School
  • Durham Public Schools (Indiana)
  • Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Riverview Middle School

Students may also use their artistic and educational training to pursue a range of creative and art-related careers, such as:

  • Family programs educator, Nasher Museum of Art
  • Marketing and educational programs director, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival at Duke University
  • Ceramics instructor, Bisque It Pottery
  • Sensory Motor & Cognitive Coach, Brain Balance Achievement Centers

After earning their bachelor’s, some USF students study art education and further hone their craft in graduate school, often with a goal to teach at the college level. They’ve been accepted into MFA programs at schools such as:

  • Kent State University (MA, art history)
  • New School University (MFA, photography)
  • Ohio University (Ph.D, interdisciplinary arts)
  • Purdue Fort Wayne (MA, liberal studies)
  • University of South Florida (MA, art history, criticism and conservation)



The Division of Teacher Education is accredited by the Indiana Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Visual Arts Education Program is also fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The Division of Teacher Education at the University of Saint Francis is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on March 25-27, 2024. Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the evaluation team. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered and should specify the party’s relationship to the provider (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates).

We invite you to submit written testimony to:

1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Or by email to: [email protected]

Ready to start?

Apply Now

Your first step to becoming a USF Cougar is applying for admission. Our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

Apply Now

Visit USF

Whether you know what you want to see, who you want to meet or are just exploring your options, we will personalize your campus visit to fit your needs.

Visit USF

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

View Plan