SAIC’s BFAAE (Bachelor of Fine Arts with Emphasis in Art Education) program educates undergraduate students (teacher candidates) for teaching art, design, and new media in elementary and secondary schools. Through this 126-credit hour program (the same number required for other BFAs), students become creative, critical and reflective teachers of contemporary art and culture while fulfilling the current State of Illinois requirements for K–12 Visual Arts licensure. The BFAAE is designed to be a full-time program completed during the final two years of earning an undergraduate degree.
Coursework in the MAT program balances artmaking and learning about the theory and practice of education with experiences of teaching in a wide range of school settings. All education coursework is arts-focused, taught by faculty who combine expertise in art and cultural theory with deep knowledge of teaching. BFAAE teacher candidates continue to take Studio, Art History, and Liberal Arts courses while working toward their teaching degree.
Interwoven throughout their art and education coursework, teacher candidates experience teaching in elementary and secondary schools in the Chicago area. Teacher candidates observe in schools and other educational settings (such as Local School Council and School Board meetings), design and teach short projects during visits to schools as part of their education coursework, and participate in seven-week Apprentice Teaching placements at the elementary and secondary levels. BFAAE coursework and teaching experiences prepare teacher candidates to work with English Language Learners, to support students in reading in their content area, and to differentiate instruction for students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.
BFAAE Curriculum Overview
|STUDIO||66 Credit Hours|
*Studio courses must include a minimum of 12 credits of 3000 or 4000 level courses.
|TOTAL CREDIT HOURS||126|
Note: The classes in italics constitutes the teacher preparation program (30 credits total)
Qualifying for Teaching Experiences in Schools
Teacher candidates complete 550 hours of preclinical (during core Art Education courses and Fieldwork) and clinical (during Apprentice Teaching) teaching experiences under the supervision of a mentor teacher in a school setting and a SAIC Art Education Faculty Supervisor.
During the initial BFAAE orientation, teacher candidates will be given information on how to complete the Chicago Public School (CPS) Fingerprint-based background check. If the results of the teacher candidate’s background check do not meet the Chicago Public School district’s standards, the candidate cannot continue in the BFAAE program.
Candidates teaching in schools are considered mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) when observing or teaching in school settings. Candidates must complete the Illinois Department of Human Services Mandated Child Abuse Reporter on-line training and have a record of their completed training on file in the SAIC Licensure Office at the beginning of their teacher preparation coursework (before visiting schools).
Teacher Licensure Requirements
SAIC's BFAAE teacher preparation program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The BFAAE degree meets the current requirements for the State of Illinois K-12 Visual Arts Professional Educator License. SAIC's teacher preparation coursework contributes to (and may meet) the teacher licensure requirements for other states and countries. When requested, the SAIC Licensure Specialist works with graduating teacher candidates to identify steps to investigate how to become licensed in other places.
The State of Illinois Board of Education testing, assessment, and coursework requirements periodically change. As a result, candidates for Illinois licensure may be required to complete a different set of courses, tests, and/or assessments than those noted above if they delay graduation and licensure.
Teacher candidates must successfully complete all of their program coursework, thesis requirements, and meet ISBE mandated tests before recommendation for licensure.
There are two tests that the Illinois State Board of Education requires teacher preparation candidates to complete and pass during and upon completion of a teacher preparation program. It is important to understand that these tests are mandated by the State of Illinois. The SAIC Department of Art Education is obligated to ensure all candidates have met these legal requirements before recommending the candidate for licensure.
|Test 1: ILTS Visual Arts Content Area Test (145)||To be completed and passed before Nov 15 of the Fieldwork semester.||Test scores from this test may not be more than 10 years old when applying for the Professional Educator License.|
|Test 2: edTPA Clinical Practice Assessment||To be completed and passed during the Apprentice Teaching semester.*||Definitive information on the period of validity of an edTPA score is unknown at this time. Check with SAIC Licensure Specialist.|
For information on the current scores needed to meet ISBE requirements, see the BFAAE Program Guide on this SAIC Art Education website or contact the SAIC Art Education Licensure Specialist.
* Candidates must take the edTPA assessment while enrolled in Apprentice Teaching as a requirement of the course. If a candidate does not receive a passing score on edTPA from the first submission, the candidate must resubmit a revised portfolio (or sections of the portfolio) to Pearson in order to receive Credit for Apprentice Teaching. After the candidate has submitted an edTPA portfolio two times (even if a passing score is not achieved), the candidate is eligible to receive CR (credit) for Apprentice Teaching and is thus eligible to graduate from SAIC if all other requirements are fulfilled. The candidate cannot be recommended for licensure until receiving a passing score on the edTPA.
Admissions Requirements for the SAIC BFAAE Program
- Admission to SAIC's undergraduate division
- Consultation and transcript analysis with the department's Licensure Specialist during your sophomore year
- Submission of a departmental application during the first semester of junior year. Application packets are available at the Department of Art Education, Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., 7th floor. Application must be submitted by October 1 for admission in fall semester to begin coursework in Spring semester.
- Interview with the Director of the BFAAE program.
- Teacher candidates begin the art education program during the second semester of their junior year. The BFA with an Emphasis in Art Education program is usually completed within three semesters. For a comprehensive list of program requirements, please refer to the BFAAE Program Guide.
BFAAE Application Packet
- BFAAE Application Form
- Portfolio of 20 artworks in digital format (images of 2D and 3D work as well as time-based works): 10 examples should show your proficiency in a range of different media and materials, including digital proficiency; 10 examples should demonstrate your current artistic practice and conceptual interests. Submit work as a single pdf, PowerPoint or Keynote file. One slide should be devoted to each artwork and should include the following identifying information: title of artwork, date completed, medium, and dimensions.
- Artist Statement (300-500 words) Provide context for the artwork included in your portfolio by discussing the philosophical and theoretical concepts which inform your artistic practice. Elaborate upon the artistic, social, political, or personal relevance of your artwork as well as its formal attributes.
- Statement of Purpose (500-1000 words) Explain why you want to teach art.
- Letter of Reference using the form included in Application & Instructions packet. Letter of Reference must be submitted in person (by you) or email (by recommender) by the first Monday in October. (See Letter of Reference Form for details.)