Studio Art Crit for Grad Program

Children with special needs taught me to use art in inspired and exemplary ways not the other way around.

We, as art teachers, know the power of the arts. We have seen children’s lives shaped and changed through art classes. We offer success. We offer challenge and risk taking. We offer the opportunity to invent and explore—all with a unique product that only that student can own.

So why can’t the arts be a mainstay in teaching children with special needs? Why isn’t art embedded in teaching reading and writing to children with special needs?  Why aren’t we using art to enhance their lives?

In response to those questions and many more, I created the Masters in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations graduate program. I along with some awesomely dedicated people at Moore College of Art & Design are setting out to prove the value of art in the education of children with disabilities.

Art Education Graduate Advisory Board
Lynette Brown, School District of Philadelphia Middle School Art Teacher
• John Gallagher, Principal, School District of Philadelphia
Kim Gavin, MA in Art Education alum, 2011
• Miriam Green, Parent of a daughter with Autism
• Patricia Hutman, MA in Art Ed Alum, 2010
Pat Roberts, Executive Director and CEO of the Academy in Manayunk, Teaching Children with learning Disabilities through the Arts
• Melissa Rivera, Parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome
Agnes Romano, Supervisor of Special Education, Centennial School District
Lauren Stichter, Art Teacher at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Philadelphia, PA
Street Thoma, Manager of Accessible Programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Jean Woodley, Liaison between the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s School and Teacher Programs and the School District of Philadelphia
Ian Verstegen, Director of the Graduate Programs at Moore College of Art & Design

This Masters Program is the nation’s only graduate program with an emphasis in special needs students.

The program was created to support the working art teacher. It’s non-traditional schedule allows working art teachers the flexibility to meet curricular demands and to have time in the field for research. During the 15-month program, (four semesters) candidates acquire knowledge and resources to work with special needs students and to assume positions of leadership in schools and universities in the area of art and special needs. With art and special needs at the heart of the program, there are many doors to open and lives to empower. We are on our way to making a difference.


I enjoy the field trips and the discussions and although the work load is heavy, I can immediately apply the content to improve my teaching. I am so glad this program was designed. This school has always made me feel comfortable and I am proud to be a part of the first art education graduate program.—MA Graduate Candidate


Moore 2010 MA in Art Ed Grads



The success of my graduate students IS my success.
Grad Student Success