When I went after a master's degree 12 years ago, I was told that the MFA
was the terminal degree in art for teaching at college level. I was also
told that, at that time, there were 350 applicants for every university art
teaching job. In NC, one does not get extra pay for an MFA when teaching
public school, unless the additional hours in education are tacked on. This
necessitates a degree requiring 60 credits, and most MFA programs require at
least one year of full time. Although the MFA is what I really wanted, I
went after the MEd in art education because I could do it nights and summers
while teaching, and because it gave me the additional pay boost. It really
was a pretty good program-well mixed with art and relevant education
courses. Many of my classes included MFA candidates which made for
interesting interchange. I think Gary needs to decide, after looking at each
program, what will work best for his goals and what is available to him.
There are pros and cons to each. Linda in NC
From: Judy Decker [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 11:26 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Aspiring Art Teacher needs advice - MFA or MA Ed
This was a thread on the list several months ago...Some of you may have been
in a similar situation when you decided on your advanced degree.
If anyone has any suggestions for Gary please reply to him
email@example.com (not the list) - He posted to Art Education and I sent
him a reply.
I have just retired from flying for the U.S. Navy and I will
be applying to University of Texas' Master's program under the
VA's "Vocational Rehabilition" program. This is a program
that will pay all expenses for such training so long as the
community needs this occupation and there is some certainty
of work once I graduate.
The Vocational Rehab representative requested that I
contact several artists that have chosen to teach since that
is my plan. I need to ask what the availability of work is after
earning the MFA, and how you feel personally about your
choice. If you have time, or if you know of another who can
help me, please tell me what it's like to be an Art teacher at
both the College and Secondary school levels.
I also hope that you can advise whether the MFA or MA Ed
is a better idea if I want to teach at secondary school level, and
if MA Ed is qualified to teach at university level. What are the
odds of getting work at either.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kind regards, Gary Penton firstname.lastname@example.org