Art Education/Art Therapy

You’ve felt the impact of art on your life. The only thing more powerful is igniting that passion in others. As a K–12 art educator, you’ll bring the meaning-making of art to young people at a formative stage of their lives, sparking their imagination and helping them explore their creativity. Alverno is the only college in the state to offer a combined Art Education/Art Therapy (Adaptive Art) degree. This can expand your job opportunities in K–12 schools because it better prepares you to work with students who have special needs and shows you how to best help those students reach their full potential.

Making meaning
Successful teachers make learning meaningful and relevant to students by connecting to what’s important to them — for example, using field rows to teach perspective to a student who grew up on a farm or architecture with a student interested in engineering. At Alverno, which is internationally renowned for its innovative teaching methods, you’ll learn how to make the educational experience as meaningful as possible. And the AE/AT major meets the academic requirements of Wisconsin’s art education and adaptive education licenses.

Hands-on experience
Extensive, in-the-field practice is one of the elements that makes our program distinct. You’ll begin your required four semester-long field experiences — where you’ll be paired with working art educators and adaptive art specialists — as early as your sophomore year. Your responsibilities will grow with every experience, and by your third field placement you’ll be in charge of planning and facilitating your own creative arts group. Unlike other art education and art therapy programs that may focus on group field experiences, Alverno’s program ensures that you build the personal leadership and facilitation skills that you’ll need on the job. All of this will prepare you for your final semester of full-time student teaching.

Enrich your education
Join the Alverno chapter of Student WEA (Wisconsin Education Association) to practice your leadership skills and get involved in the field. The student organization Artourage also provides art-making and community-based service opportunities for Alverno’s art majors.

Learn from the best
You’ll work closely with faculty who are experienced educators, licensed adaptive art specialists, credentialed art therapists and practicing artists. Our Art Education and Art Therapy faculty are leaders in the field and remain professional active, and several have served as president of the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association.

Internships for the Art Education or Art Education/Art Therapy major
Alverno is connected to more than 150 metro Milwaukee private and public schools, and our students do field experiences and student-teach at urban and suburban schools. Art Education and Art Therapy majors also have many internship options. Past sites include the Milwaukee Catholic Home, the Donna Lexa Arts Centers, Islands of Brilliance, the Milwaukee Center for Independence, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, St. Marcus Lutheran School and Alexian Village, among others.

How you can use your degree
With a bachelor’s degree in Art Education, you’ll be ready to start your K–12 teaching career. With a combined Art Education/Art Therapy degree, you’ll have two K–12 licenses (K–12 Art and Adaptive Education) to prepare you for the challenges and rewards of being a professional educator. You can also work as an activities coordinator in residential programs, open studios and community arts centers, as well as in creative case management for children on the autism spectrum.


Have questions about studying Art Education or Art Education/Art Therapy at Alverno? Contact Lynda Johnson-Dynek at 414-382-6342 or