*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Public Relations Specialists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
Expect your online coursework to take eight semesters, or four years. It may take longer if you take 12 credits per semester, as a full load is usually 15. Some art education majors may recommend that several classes be taken during summer sessions in order to graduate within 4 years.
You will take art history, studio art, and general education classes, just as you would if you were taking classes on-campus.
One West Virginia university has a three-tier tuition system—resident, non-resident, and international.
West Virginia residents pay $407/credit hour; non-residents, $1,096/credit hour; and international students, $1,06/credit hour.
Per semester, the in-state student pays $4,884 for tuition each semester. If they combine the fall and spring semesters together, they are able to view their tuition bill of $9,768. Non-resident students pay $13,152; combining tuition for both semesters yields a bill of $26,304. International students pay $13,452 per semester; combining fall and spring tuition together gives them a bill of $26,904.
If you are looking at art education majors, you know what you want to do with your life. You need to find programs in the schools you’re interested in. But, before you choose a school, you need to know that it has the major you want.
Why go through the trouble of applying for admission only to find out that the major doesn’t exist at that university?
Instead, explore the “majors offered” under the academics drop-down. Or call the admissions office and ask directly. You may want to double-major, in which case they need to have a solid education and art department.
This number has been steadily dropping for the past several years. Currently, students are facing a less than 50% chance of graduating within four years (eight semesters).
This gets expensive for you, your family, and for sources of financial aid. Instead of taking the minimum number of credit hours each semester—usually 12—add one more 3-credit class so you’re taking 15 credits. If you take 12 credits each semester for eight semesters, that’s 96 credits, which is short of the requirements for graduation. If you add the additional class each semester, that’s 120, which is in the ballpark of the accumulated credits you need for graduation. If you get behind at any point you can take summer session classes.
Accreditation is vital. Your university and art education program should both be accredited. Universities are accredited by regional organizations. Your art education program should be accredited by an organization such as the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).
NASAD is highly regarded in the field of art education. Along with other organizations that accredit schools of dance, music, and theatre, NASAD has earned its good reputation. NASAD measures each art education program based on education, research, and scholarship.
Once you get close to graduation, you’ll need to find a job. Your university may have a career services office where you can find help with mock interviews, resumes, and cover letters. You can also take part in job fairs. You’ll get help with your job searches and, if you are offered a teaching position, with salary negotiation.
Those college ranking articles that you’ve been reading have two drawbacks. First, they rank only the exclusive universities—they won’t rank state universities that aren’t well-known. Second, they use criteria that may not be very important to you. You may be focused on alumni skills, curriculum value, and completion rates.
When you graduate, you want to know that you’re going to find a job. The rankings you choose should mean you get the education you want. These include high-value programs, student support, attentive faculty, and accreditation.
Accreditation of your college and art education program is vital to your ability to obtain financial aid and a good job that pays what you have been led to expect by employment websites. If you get your art education degree from an unaccredited institution, you won’t be allowed to access federal or state financial aid; when school districts are thinking of hiring you and they see that your degree came from an unaccredited program, they may offer a lower salary, if they offer to employ you at all.