As a Visual Arts Education major, you will take stimulating and engaging classes with experienced professors who model best practices in teaching. Your learning experiences will be directly applicable to visual arts classrooms. You will receive personal attention in small classes held at the University’s Center for Art & Design and will be guided by two faculty advisors—one from visual arts and one from education.

Throughout the program, you will be placed in a variety of classroom settings at different schools. This provides you with a wide range of opportunities for collaboration, mentoring, and networking with teaching professionals in the surrounding area. To further increase your marketability, you can easily add an endorsement in Special Education, Bilingual Education, or English as a Second Language (ESL) to your program of study.

The University of St. Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. College of Education programs are further approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (

The College of Education has several years of experience preparing teacher candidates to successfully complete the edTPA, a national assessment designed to lead aspiring teachers to a high level of professional performance. The assessment requires teacher candidates to demonstrate substantial academic and cultural knowledge of their students, as well as use data to improve instruction. USF teacher candidates can count on extensive support and guidance to ensure positive results on the edTPA. 

Field experience begins the freshman year, giving you the opportunity to teach in a classroom every semester and develop cultural awareness while working in the community. You will broaden your skill-set and experiences while working with individual students and small groups, assessing student work, supporting the classroom environment, and teaching class lessons. The program concludes during the senior year with Internships I and II, where you will spend two semesters in a visual arts classroom applying what you have learned and further developing your teaching skills in a supervised setting.

The Visual Arts Education degree at USF will prepare you to teach visual arts to students in elementary, middle, and high schools. However, there is a lot more you will do than take attendance, plan lessons, and grade projects. With both the heart and skills of an excellent teacher, you will have opportunities to utilize communication skills, develop creativity, introduce exciting new ideas, inspire, mentor, instill a sense of value and purpose in your students, initiate positive change, and shape the future of our communities and our world.

Education Alumni Testimonial

There are many experiences from my time at USF that have helped me to become a successful educator. Chrysalis had a profound impact on my personal and professional goals. It is a retreat that helps teacher candidates determine what it means to be an educator and, more importantly, what kind of educators they want to be. I attended Chrysalis three times (as both a participant and student leader), and each time I learned something new. The professors leading the retreat shared so many examples of how to effectively reach students. I still apply their advice and first-hand knowledge in my classroom today.

Ann Draksler ’16 

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