Duane Bonifer  |   Published April 29, 2021

Art Education Major to Prepare Well-Rounded Art Teachers for Region’s Schools

New major combines two of College’s stronger programs – art and educational studies.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College’s newest major draws from two of its strongest academic programs – art and educational studies.

MICHELLE HOLSCHUH SIMMONS: We do an excellent job preparing students to become teachers in ... MICHELLE HOLSCHUH SIMMONS: "We do an excellent job preparing students to become teachers in Illinois and throughout the Midwest by giving them a broad wealth of knowledge that they can draw upon as teachers."Monmouth’s art education major, which begins in the 2021-22 school year, will prepare students to teach art in schools from the pre-kindergarten through high school levels.

“This is truly something to celebrate because it’s a great example of two academic departments working together to serve students and prepare them for meaningful careers,” said Monmouth art professor Stephanie Baugh.

In addition to providing students with a good foundation in art history, Monmouth’s art program offers students multiple opportunities to explore different media areas, approaches and ways to create art.

“Our students are truly engaged in the act of making art, not just sort of learning the rudimentary components of art,” said Baugh. “Our students are fully engaged in making their own personal, meaningful art. That’s always been a hallmark of the Monmouth art department. Art education majors will get to take full advantage of that as they prepare to become art educators.”

Monmouth’s educational studies program prepares students to teach in both rural and urban settings by providing a well-rounded education grounded in the liberal arts.

“As a small liberal arts college, we do an excellent job preparing students to become teachers in Illinois and throughout the Midwest by giving them a broad wealth of knowledge that they can draw upon as teachers,” said educational studies professor Michelle Holschuh Simmons. “Our students have experiences in the sciences, social science and the fine arts. That is a great background for becoming a teacher because kids don’t just think about disciplines in one area. So when kids are in an art class, they might be asking about a science topic. That is why there is no better preparation for teachers than a strong liberal arts background.”

“Our students are fully engaged in making their own personal, meaningful art. That’s always been a hallmark of the Monmouth art department. Art education majors will get to take full advantage of that as they prepare to become art educators.”–Stephanie Baugh

Because Monmouth’s educational studies program also emphasizes place-based learning, the College’s students are prepared to teach in a wide range of educational settings.

“We teach students that no matter where you are located, you can connect your lessons to the environment that you’re in – whether you are teaching in a school next to the Mississippi River in the middle of a farming region or in a school located in downtown Chicago,” said Simmons. “Our students are uniquely prepared to excel in all teaching environments.”

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