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Art and Art Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Art and Art Education

Degrees > Master of Arts in Art Education with Initial Teacher Certification, 40 points (MA Init)

Master of Arts in Art Education with Initial Teacher Certification, 40 points (MA Init)

MA in Art and Art Education with Teacher Certification (2 years minimum)
Degree level: MA
Major code: ARTE-INIT

Minimum Credit Point Requirement: 40

Program Description
This program is designed primarily for individuals with undergraduate or graduate degrees in studio, art history or museum studies that wish to gain Initial Art Teacher’s Certification (PK-12). Work towards certification entails the equivalent of one year and one summer of structured coursework, followed by two terms (Fall and Spring) of a full-time supervised practicum (student teaching). Students may complete the coursework component of this program on a full-time or part-time basis. However, the supervised practicum or student teaching demands one year of full-time commitment, starting in the fall.

In order to receive an M.A Degree with Teacher Certification, students must complete 40 credit points at Teachers College.

Course Work – 34 credit points
Student Teaching – 6 credit points

Required Courses

Art Education Required Courses

Breadth (“Out of Program”) Required Courses
Students in the MA with Teacher Certification must fulfill TC’s breadth requirement by taking three (3) courses offered outside Art and Art Education at Teachers College. Any course that does not start with A&HA qualifies as an “out of program” or “breadth” course. Students going for certification must earn 3 credits in a Special Education course (required by the NYS DOE for certification) as part of the breadth requirement. Their other two breadth courses must be taken for two (2) credit points.

Supervised Practicum (Student Teaching): 6 credit points

Student teaching entails two terms of full-time supervised practicums in school settings--one secondary and one elementary. Each term of student teaching is worth 3 credit points.

  • 3 student teaching credit points are considered full-time for financial aid purposes.
  • Students should plan to student teach during the last two terms of study for the degree.
  • The first term of student teaching must occur in the fall and the second in the spring (no exceptions).
  • In order to begin student teaching, students must have completed and received a grade for all required courses and a total of 34 credit points.
  • The student teacher advisor will meet with students prior to their first practicum and work with them to determine their placement.
  • All student teachers must complete Certificate of Equivalency forms for 9 credits each term. Advisors will guide students through this simple administrative process.
  • During the two terms of student teaching, students will meet weekly as a group in a seminar held at TC.
  • The practicum requires full commitment. Therefore, no courses may be taken during student teaching (exceptions may be made for Studio courses and the 1 credit point Conversations Weekend Workshop).

Course Load And Program Timeline
Students must plan their schedules carefully, as some courses are only offered in the Fall (F) term and others in the Spring (Sp). Some courses are offered in Summer (Su) session A and/or B as well. A full-time course load at TC is considered to be 12 credit points but most financial aid packages accept 6-credit point course loads (3 credit-points during student teaching).

Students attending TC full time will need to complete one Fall term, one Spring term, and at least one Summer session before they student teach. (There are two sessions each Summer: Summer A and Summer B. There is a 9-credit point maximum course load per summer session).

Following is a sample timeline (individuals’ timelines are likely to vary):

There is a five-year limit for part time students to complete the MA degree requirements. Part time students should select courses in consultation with their advisors.

Certification Information
To gain Initial Teacher Certification students must:

  1. In accordance with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and as outlined by the Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI), all students seeking Teacher Certification, as a pre-requisite must have completed (3) three undergraduate credits in English, Math, Science, History and Foreign Language. If you have not completed these courses as part of your undergraduate education, you may do so while in the program, or you may choose to take a College Level Examination Program test (CLEP); in addition to your program coursework. (If you have foreign language proficiency, as a result of personal experience, you will be required to document this proficiency through a language CLEP test of through being tested by a Language Professor working within a Language Department of an accredited college or university). For more information on meeting the Liberal Arts & Sciences Core requirements, please contact the Office of Teacher Education (OTE) at Teachers College.
  2. Complete all degree requirements, including two terms of student teaching and 3 credits in Special Education.
  3. Get fingerprinted through the New York City Department of Education.
  4. Provide proof of negative TB status.
  5. Take NY State examinations and fulfill portfolio requirements:
  6. Complete online tutorial: Child Abuse and Violence Detection (see below).

Students will receive all pertinent information to complete items 1-5 in the Supervised Teaching seminar.

Child Abuse and Violence Detection
The Child Abuse and Violence Detection tutorials are for no credit points. These tutorials may be accessed at Students may complete this work anytime while at TC, and should make sure to print out all relevant certificates and other documentation.

NCATE Requirements
To satisfy NCATE standards, students in the Teacher Certification program are expected to complete a series of assessments during the course of their program. All of these assessments are built into required courses and are thus part of students’ course work. Art Education NCATE assessment are:

  • Artistic Development of Adolescents: Interview Paper and Sequential Lesson Paper
  • Curriculum Design: Curriculum Design Group Project
  • Supervised Teaching Seminar: Student Teaching Observations, Reflective Journal and Integrative Paper

Students who do not have enough studio credits prior to admission to TC may be required to complete between 3 and 12 credits of studio coursework before graduation, in addition to the three studio courses required for the Program. When this is the case, students will receive a letter outlining this requirement at the time of admission.

Students can fulfill pre-requisite courses before or during their time at TC. The courses can be taken at TC but may also be taken at other credited institutions, at the undergraduate or graduate level. Please note that continuing education credits do not fulfill this requirement. (Schools in the CUNY and SUNY system, as well as in the State University of New Jersey are popular choices for studio pre-requisites).

Transfer Credit
Credit points from other institutions may not be transferred into the MA program in Art Education.

Statement on Satisfactory Progress
Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements. Program faculty will review each student’s progress annually. Where there are concerns about satisfactory progress, students will be informed by the program faculty. If a student is performing below expectations he/she may be required to complete additional course work. The program will provide a plan and timeline for remediation so students know the expectation for them to continue in the program. If satisfactory progress is not maintained a student may be dismissed from the program.

Standard policies and procedures

Services for Students with Disabilities: The College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities for information about registration (166 Thorndike Hall). Services are available only to students who are registered and submit appropriate documentation.

Statement on Academic Conduct: A Teachers College student is expected to refrain from any conduct, including cheating, plagiarizing, or purchasing documents submitted for academic evaluation, that calls into question his/her academic and/or professional probity. Decisions regarding academic evaluation in all aspects of students’ work at the college, including course work, certification examinations, clinical or field experiences, and preparation of dissertations, are within the sole jurisdiction of the faculty concerned, including as appropriate, the department or program staff members. Disciplinary actions (e.g., reprimand, suspension, or dismissal) in cases of academic misconduct can be imposed by the Vice Provost or the Committee on Student Conduct.

Resolution of Student Academic Program Concerns: Any student who has a concern regarding an academic matter may seek assistance. The procedure for resolving academic program concerns (see note of grade correction process below) begins with either the faculty member (if the concern is related to a course) or the student’s advisor. If the student is not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved at this first level, or if speaking with the faculty member presents a conflict of interest for the student, the student should proceed to speak with the Program Coordinator in the area in which the academic concern resides. If the student is not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved through the Program Coordinator, the student should proceed to speak with the Chair of the academic department in which the academic concern resides. If the student is still not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved through the Department Chair, or if speaking with the Department Chair presents a conflict of interest for the student, the next step is to contact the Office of the Vice Provost. At any stage of the process, students are welcome to seek the advice and guidance of the Ombudsman, who is charged with attempting to informally resolve student dissatisfaction of an academic nature on a completely confidential basis.

Period of Candidacy (Master’s Degrees): Candidates must be formally admitted to a degree program by the Office of Admission. The period of candidacy for the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science, and Master of Education is limited to five years. Every candidate for the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science, and Master of Education must complete at least 16 points through Teachers College during the final five-year period prior to the award of the degree so as to meet recency requirements.

A candidate may petition the Registrar for an extension of time for adequate reasons if the student has been in attendance in the degree program within the last five years. In such cases, an extension must be recommended by the major advisor and approved by the Registrar. Upon approval, all current degree requirements including the departmental integrative project and at least 16 points to satisfy the recency requirement must be completed. Petitions for extension may be obtained through the Office of the Registrar.

If a student has not been in attendance within the last 5 years and wishes to pursue the completion of the degree, the student must re-apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Applications for re- admission may be obtained from the Office of Admission. Applications for re-admission follow the same processes and standards as those for initial admission. If a student is subsequently re-admitted to a Master’s degree program with a period of candidacy after the expiration of the initial five-year period of candidacy, all current degree requirements including the departmental integrative project and at least 16 points to meet recency requirements must be completed.

Grade Correction Procedure: The instructor for a course has the responsibility for setting the requirements for a course and making an evaluation of students’ work. Once a grade has been given, the instructor is not free to change the grade unless the instructor indicates to the Registrar that an error was made in the original grade transmitted. If a student believes that an error has been made, he/she must take the initiative in bringing about the necessary correction prior to the conclusion of the term immediately following the term in which the course was taken. The normal procedure for effecting a correction would be through direct discussion between the student and the instructor. If redress cannot be attained through such discussions, the student may next appeal to the department chairperson of the department offering the course. If resolution cannot be attained through appeal, the student may next appeal to the Dean. In situations where the student feels that such an appeal process might not be in the student’s interest, counsel and assistance can be sought from the Office of the College Ombudsman and the Office of the Vice Provost.

For more information on our different master’s level degree programs, please download the Master’s Handbook.