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About the Program

Key Information

Residency Dates:

  • July 21 – August 3, 2019

Program Director:
Jennifer Skinder
866-934-8232, ext. 8553
[email protected]

Who is it for?

Our students are PreK-12 art educators, artist-teachers, and museum educators who want to enhance their teaching practice and earn an advanced degree. If you’re a self-motivated learner with a strong creative drive, looking for a program that focuses on diversity, social justice, contemporary curriculum, and arts advocacy, you will thrive in VCFA’s personalized learning environment.

How will your practice develop?

VCFA’s MA in Art & Design Education will help you revitalize your teaching practice and advance your career. You’ll join a collaborative community of art educators and emerge with an updated and socially relevant curriculum. If you too believe that art is activism and an agent for social change, join us in giving children a voice. Courses are aligned with the National Core Art Standards.

Our students work with leading art educators to envision and apply new possibilities for their own teaching practice.
Dr. Kimberly Sheridan | Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education


Our MA program offers summer residencies on VCFA’s beautiful Montpelier campus, along with ongoing coursework and mentorship throughout the year.

On Campus

The low-residency model allows students to earn advanced degrees without leaving the communities where they live and work.

In this innovative one-year degree program, you’ll join VCFA’s creative community for a two-week summer residency in Vermont where you’ll build community and participate in provocative hands-on and theoretical workshops. Post-residency, you’ll return home for a year of faculty-supported independent research, then you’ll return to campus for a one-week graduation residency the following summer.

What VCFA offers:

  • Work with accomplished and innovative faculty
  • Bring social justice to your teaching
  • Strengthen your ability to advocate for art education
  • Develop relationships with art educators from around the country
  • Personalize your learning—choose from three research options: action research, studio research, or a traditional thesis.

Our graduate students come to us with diverse artistic backgrounds. What they have in common is a desire to share their artistic passions, a belief in the transformative power of art, and a need for affordable, flexible graduate education.

Now is the time to inspire the artists, designers, visual thinkers, and creative problem solvers of tomorrow.

Sample Residency Schedule – Week 1 (partial)

July 21 July 22 July 23 July 24
9 am – 12 pm Convocation/ Program Breakfast/ Orientation Core I: Contemporary Issues in Art Education Core I: Contemporary Issues in Art Education Core II: Socially Engaged Art/ Advocacy
1:30 – 4:30 pm Workshop: Studio-based Workshop Core I: Contemporary Issues in Art Education Core I: Contemporary Issues in Art Education Core II: Socially Engaged Art/ Advocacy
6:30 – 9:30 pm Integrative Studio Workshop: Studio-based Workshop Workshop: Arts-based Research & Practices


Individualized Semester Study

A VCFA student’s home workspace can take many forms. For many of our Art & Design Education students, their studios include their classrooms, where they learn alongside their own students.

Ashleigh Thomas | 2019 MA in Art & Design Education

“This program is unique, and everyone I’ve explained it to wished they had found this program before pursuing other options.”

Deirdre Czoberek | 2019 MAT in Art & Design Education

“This photo is from my middle school placement. The sixth graders were working on Fauve-inspired landscapes using tempera on construction paper. This lesson was the last from my Matisse unit, which I designed while at the middle school. The students looked at black-and-white photocopies of landscapes to plan their composition.”


Kim Cosier

Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education

Kimberly Sheridan

Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education

Elizabeth Patton

Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education

Christina Hanawalt

Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education

Kelly Gross

Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education

Christopher Schulte

Faculty, MA in Art & Design Education


David Bazis, 2018 MA in Art & Design Education

Bazis teaches Technology and Design at U-32 High School in East Montpelier, Vermont. He says, “As an artist and teacher, VCFA pushed me to work…

Professional Development

Enroll in summer courses and workshops in Art & Design Education at VCFA for Graduate Credit or Audit. Courses are aligned with the National Core Art Standards.

By the Numbers

current students from outside Vermont
2018 graduates employed in art & design education field
average age of current students


Is this an online program?

No. Unlike online programs, low-residency relies on relationships that are formed during dynamic residencies and continued when students and faculty return to their homes.

What is low-residency?

Low-residency means that you come to campus twice during the 13-month program, returning home between residencies to work independently with the support of your faculty mentor. The program begins with a two-week summer residency in which students attend lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and discussions, joining a community of dedicated art educators in rigorous inquiry. Students and faculty share meals and find many other opportunities for informal exchange and community building outside of formal workshop events. Students return to campus the following summer for a week-long graduation residency in which they present research projects and participate in workshops focused on professional advancement and advocacy.

What happens during the semester?

After the residency, students return to their home communities where they devote an average of 20 hours per week to individual research supported by one-to-one faculty mentorship and seminars that meet via video conference. Student research can take three forms: traditional five-chapter thesis, studio-based research or action research.

How can I find out more about how this program would work for me?

The first step is to contact Jennifer Skinder, Program Director, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 802-828-8553. In addition to talking with you about your specific interests and goals and answering your questions about the program, Jennifer can put you in touch with students, faculty, or alums and help you plan a visit to campus. We would love to hear from you!