Why Study for an Art Teaching Credential?
1. The need for great art teachers has never been more certain.
The links between creativity and education as a whole have been demonstrated in recent studies resulting in an inevitable conclusion—a great art education is essential to creative thinking and problem solving regardless of an individual's profession or position. In Are They Really Ready to Work? Annette Byrd, Manager of Healthy Work Environment, said, "We need people who think with the creative side of their brains, people who have played in a band, who have painted, been involved in the community as volunteers. It enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively."
2. Studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education indicate many of California's current teachers are reaching retirement while student populations continue to rise. See more.
And as these trends develop, enrollment in teaching credential programs across the state has declined. The confluence of these events has created an increasing need for qualified art educators.
3. The arts are required subjects in California public schools.
The Visual and Performing Arts were added to the list of required subjects in the California Education Code in September 2000. This means that all California public schools must provide arts instruction to all of their students. Since 2001, the Visual and Performing Arts have been core subjects in our federal elementary and secondary education legislation, No Child Left Behind.
4. According to the California Department of Education and the California Alliance of Art Education there is a gap betweeen student population and teachers. See more.
There are 8,305 full-time credentialed teachers of the arts teaching 1,462,297 students in discipline-specific arts classes, representing only 23% of the state’s 6.3 million students, far from the goal of 100%. This clear gap between what the laws require and what is actually happening in the classrooms supports the need for more art classes and art teachers in the future. Furthermore, the 8,305 full-time credentialed art teachers represent 2.6% of the total population of 316,299 teachers. According to the Department of Education, there will be an average retirement rate of 26% in the next several years. If these studies are correct, there will be approximately 2,159 full-time art teaching positions opening in the near future with the possibility of even more if actions are taken to reduce the arts education gap.
5. Follow your passion! See more.
The above reasons are convincing, but education is not just about numbers and needing teachers in classrooms—it's about passion. Great teachers, as we know from our personal experiences, are as passionate about teaching and mentoring others as they are about art. Great art educators understand first-hand that wonderful moment when knowledge and understanding are passed along to another person—the instant when the learner comprehends the meaning of the lesson and incorporates that knowledge into a life of creating. In fact, these teaching moments are among the most memorable and rewarding one can have. Teaching is for those with the passion to share and inspire others. It's an intense, creative process that can enrich the depth and breadth of your life and your art. When you look forward to your career in education, don’t forget to look back at the teachers who gave you the most, who showed you the most, who helped you on your path—and be like them.
There are no guarantees in any profession, but with passion for the vocation, the numbers indicate a busy time ahead for committed art educators.
Art Teaching Credential Program Career Opportunities
Upon receiving a valid California Teaching Credential in Art, Teaching Candidates can go on to:
- Teach Art in California's public schools
- Teach Art in California's private schools
- Teach Art in community colleges, colleges and universities
- Seek Teaching Credential Reciprocity with other states
- Continue to develop as a professional artist during summer breaks
- Pursue an advanced degree to enhance professional growth
- Pursue a Specialist Credential or National Board Certification
Next Steps to Becoming a Teacher:
- Successfully complete a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Fine Art or related program
- Read The Art Teaching Credential Program Guide
- Read 7 Steps to Become a Teacher in California by Sarah Fudin
- Pass the CBEST Examination, a test on reading, writing and math
- Pass the CSET Examination, a subject matter (art) competency exam
- Obtain TB Health Certificate
- Obtain clearances from the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Successfully complete the School Health and CPR Workshop offered by the San Francisco American Heart Association: http://safetytrainingseminars.com/index.php/schedule/
- Successfully pass the exam on the U.S. Constitution required for all teachers in California
- Successfully complete the Art Teaching Credential program and all of its requirements
- Obtain a Recommendation for Preliminary Teaching Credential from the Art Teaching Credential Director
- Obtain your Clear Teaching Credential through a public school Induction Program
- Maintain the Art Teacher Portfolio
Art Teaching Portfolios include the following:
- Standards-based art and arts-integrated lessons and curricula
- Assessment tools with rationale
- Student artwork and student writing from student teaching experience
- Personal artwork in several media
- Academic writing and research
- Reflective statement on teaching and learning experience
- Advocacy statement on the value of the Visual Arts to education
- Personal philosophy of the teaching of art based on the Academy experience
- Transcripts and list of courses taken in Subject Matter Pre-Credential and Credential Programs
- Letters of recommendation and professional references
Academy of Art University students have many opportunities to network and begin their professional futures:
With an exhibition of fresh and original work, Academy of Art University's Spring Show draws crowds of industry professionals each year. Students showcase their best work in their portfolios and interview with representatives.
Career & Entrepreneurial Services
Students prepare for entry into the professional work force by taking advantage of the Career & Entrepreneurial Development department’s onsite and online workshops. See More.
Topics include: Job Search Strategies, Resumes & Cover Letters, Entrepreneurship: Starting Your Own Business, Networking & Interviewing Techniques.
In addition, online office hours and career service chats offer opportunities for students to get individual career counseling, advice on resume and interview expectations, portfolio tips, hiring standards, industry trends and networking techniques.
All registered students, graduates, and alumni have access to the daily updated job board, where companies post internships, freelance, full time and part time positions.
Industry Relationships & Events
Throughout each semester, Academy of Art University participates in events that bring respected professionals to campus. Students benefit from lectures and presentations by top industry professionals.
Guest Speakers Videos
Contact us at 800.544.2787 (U.S. Only) or 415.274.2200.