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Teacher Education Programs

Our teachers are at the head of their class. No surprise there. After all, TCNJ has a 150-year track record, as the first-ever teacher training school in New Jersey, of preparing exemplary teachers for the classroom. Add to that the richness of our creative community—the School of the Arts and Communication goes all in to create and support the arts—and it’s easy to see why so many art and music classrooms are led by TCNJ graduates.

Our teacher education programs, in both art and music, are remarkable for close collaboration with faculty and deeply engaged learning. Prime examples? Students write their own art and music curricula and teach them in local schools. Others co-write research papers with faculty that are published in education journals. You graduate with the skills and knowledge of both the inspiring teacher and the practicing artist.

Opportunities for fieldwork and student teaching—throughout the region and even internationally—are extensive. How well prepared are TCNJ art and music teachers? Most recently, both groups achieved perfect 100% pass rates on the Praxis examinations for teacher certification in their subject areas.


Art Education

Love the creative energy of the art classroom? This is the major for you. Turn your artistic spirit into a successful career as a certified K–12 art teacher, growing as an artist and an educator. Our students develop visual literacy and a deep understanding of the importance of the visual arts in everyday life and in children’s education. Putting these ideas into practice, students engage in meaningful artmaking and interdisciplinary research, exploring forms from traditional school arts to contemporary movements like street and performance art.

Combining courses in studio art, art history, and art education with fieldwork across your sophomore, junior, and senior years, this is a program where students:

  • Engage in deep faculty-student mentorship, from collaborating on research projects to co-developing curricula and community workshops
  • Co-write research papers with faculty, presenting their work at conferences and in academic journals like Art Education
  • Develop their own art-education curricula and teach the lessons in K–12 art classrooms and community workshops
  • Student-teach in art classrooms for a full semester, at both elementary and secondary levels, with an option for student teaching abroad

Graduate with a bachelor of arts and qualify for New Jersey State Art Teacher Certification, the required credential for K–12 art educators. Then wow your own students with the wonder of art, from Botticelli to Banksy.

Learn more about the major in art education

Dual Education/Art

Think your creative spirit might be an asset beyond the art classroom? We think you’re right. Channel your love of art into a rewarding career as an elementary or special education teacher in this dual-major program. With certification to teach in the regular classroom, you broaden your career options while infusing every subject you teach with the creative power of art.

This four-year program integrates art and art history courses with a professional teacher education curriculum. Dual-major students:

  • Grow as thoughtful artists, finding inspiration for their own work through deep engagement in the study of visual arts, studio arts, and art history
  • Blossom as creative teachers in one of four areas: early childhood education, elementary education, special education, or deaf education
  • Student-teach in the regular classroom, testing new ways to spark a passion for creative learning in young people

Graduates qualify for initial teacher certification in elementary or special education. Add a second certification—an endorsement to teach in the art classroom—by taking just three additional advanced-level art courses.

Learn more about the dual major in art and education

Music Education

There’s the pure joy of song. And there’s the profound power of music to express ideas and create community. Inspire children with music—in all its complexity—as a K–12 music teacher. Music education at TCNJ integrates intensive music study and performance with a rigorous teacher preparation curriculum, one specifically designed to align with the music teacher expectations for New Jersey public schools.

This program trains music educators who are equally skilled in the arts of music and teaching and deeply committed to the potential of music to bridge social and cultural divides. Our students benefit from:

  • Plenty of classroom exposure: field observations, weekly teaching experiences in practicum courses, and a full semester of student-teaching split between the elementary and secondary levels
  • Access to dozens of regional school districts and many exciting student-teaching experiences: in band, orchestra, choral or general music settings; with marching and pep bands; or with jazz, salsa, or a cappella ensembles
  • A seminar course focused on career readiness, from practicing mock interviews with local school administrators to learning to use assessment data to inform classroom instruction

Graduate with a bachelor of music in music education and qualify for New Jersey state certification as a K–12 music teacher. With its strong performance core, the program is also a great foundation for graduate study.

Learn more about the major in music education

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