Kendall College of Art and Design clocks continuing education classes


Students at Kendall College of Art and Design listen to a lesson. Courtesy KCAD

West Michigan’s K-12 educators will have a new college to turn to this summer for ongoing certification.

Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design has become an independent sponsor of Michigan’s State Continuing Education Clock Hours, a continuing education program that re-certifies instructors.

Based on state administrative rules set last spring, Michigan’s K-12 educators are required to earn 500 clock hours of professional development every three years, with one clock hour equaling one hour of instructional time.

The classes

Kendall is offering three state approved professional development classes to any interested K-12 educator from any field: oil pastel drawing from life, teaching design in the high school art room and painting with oils. A fourth course on ceramics is currently in the approval process with the Michigan Department of Education.

The painting with oils class costs $205 and meets three hours per week for seven weeks. The other classes cost $250, and each meets for four consecutive days, said Brenda Sipe, Kendall’s director of continuing studies.

Teachers asked to take on art 

“We are very excited to be able to offer more professional development for educators," Sipe said. "Our status as a sponsor makes it easier for us to offer quality courses. There is a real need for it — and not just for art teachers. Many classroom teachers are being asked to take on subjects like art that they don’t have certification for.”

Although about 15 to 20 educators normally sign up for Kendall's summer development classes, enrollment is expected to increase as Kendall puts out more information on the classes, Sipe said, adding that summer is when teachers usually have time to pursue professional development.

More classes are being developed, she said, with the hope of not only filling a need for teachers seeking professional development, but also keeping the subject of art alive in the educational world.

Studies have shown that art training often can enhance all other forms of educational improvement, she said.

“We hope that we fill a need with classroom teachers who are learning to teach art in their classrooms, because there’s been a number of art classes canceled,” she said. “It’s not that they’re not teaching it. It’s that art programs have been canceled due to budget cuts.”

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