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Calling All Arts Educators!

A Look at UOnline’s Master of Arts Teaching—Fine Arts Program’s Summer Intensive

You’ve decided that the UOnline's Master of Arts Teaching—Fine Arts (MAT-FA) program is right for you (if you’re still unsure, check out our blog post on the subject), and now you’d like to know more about the ins and outs of this incredible program. One of the things that makes this program unique are the summer intensives—short on-campus residencies that occur at the beginning of each Summer semester. Let’s dive into what those look like so you can get more insight into just how amazing the MAT-FA program is and how it can change your life!

When and where does the Master of Art Teaching—Fine Arts summer intensive take place?

At the beginning of each Summer semester, students in the MAT-FA program gather together on the University of Utah’s main campus for 12 days of learning together. It provides students opportunities to engage in and contribute to the greater vision and mission of what arts education is and can be, and emphasizes methods-based arts teaching techniques. Cutting-edge arts teaching seminars convene locally, nationally, and internationally recognized arts educators to work collaboratively with MAT-FA students, with team teaching opportunities, and online reflective work.

It’s a chance for students to come together and meet their cohort, their professors, and the rest of their colleagues in person for an unforgettable opportunity to build community and learn from each other. Students with all different arts backgrounds are able to share their expertise alongside the faculty and then, when the summer intensive is over, each person is able to go home and utilize everything they learned in their classrooms immediately.

This isn’t a degree program where you’ll just be sitting behind a desk, it’s active! You’ll be singing, dancing, jumping up and down, and running around as you experience first-hand methods-based arts teaching techniques.

“This is the best program for working teachers and working artists. You learn theory, you learn management styles, all kinds of different things. And you go back to your own classroom and work on projects that benefit not only you, your students, and usually your whole school and community." --Tricia Saccomano, Program Faculty

A group of ladies practising dance movements

What types of arts are utilized in the summer intensive?

UOnline’s MAT-FA program has faculty and students representing all the arts:

  • Film and media arts
  • Visual arts
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Theatre

This is what one student, Nick A., had to say about the variety of arts represented:

Students from a variety of backgrounds make up each cohort and the summer intensive is a place for them to learn to integrate other arts into their classrooms and teaching, stretch themselves outside of their comfort zone, and build on the skillsets they already have.

"This program has really changed me. It has opened up my awareness. I've learned so many new and positive and beneficial things, but it came through me being stretched and allowing myself to being open to new ideas." --Ishel B., current student

No matter what a student’s arts background is, they’re surrounded by people within their art form as well as a variety of those with other backgrounds. They’re able to explore, in a safe and fun setting, outside of their expertise and learn how to translate everything they’re learning into their own classroom when they get home.

Three ladies acting out a scene

Who are the faculty there during the summer intensive?

The faculty of the program are experts currently working (and teaching) in their field. They represent all of the arts mentioned above and are literally writing the books and articles that other university’s use in their pedagogical classes. The faculty use the research they’re doing to create an amazing practical program for the working arts educator.

Photos of 11 smiling MATFA faculty members

"The faculty here really cares. They’re creative people and it’s a creative program, and I think that’s really important. Everyone’s a working artist or works on different grants... We’re out in the communities, working with artists, working with school children, and just integrating the arts into all types of learning." --Tricia Saccomano, program faculty

Kelby L McIntyre, Associate Dean of College of Fine Arts, talks about the MAT-FA program

The community found in the MAT-FA program

A group of ladies doing a team-bonding activity

The faculty waste no time, getting started right on the first day of the summer intensive! Students jump right into getting to know their professors and fellow students, learning about theory, and participating in a variety of activities. Ishel B. had this to say about her favorite part of her first day:

One of the purposes of the summer intensive is for them to get to know their cohort, faculty, and colleagues within the program. This will help them build a community of teachers around them that they can rely on for support as well as look to for help in expanding the repertoire in their classroom.

"It’s a really fun community. I think what I liked was it wasn’t just theatre people [like me]. When you’re learning these things you get a little nervous... so being next to people who are brilliant teaching artists already, who are just making their craft better, and then they can teach me. You’re literally sitting in a room of teachers. So if you’re feeling a little out of place, there’s literally someone that’s in that art form that’s like “Oh, I got you!” musicality, my visual art just built from this community through the Masters and through my other educators, and, of course, the amazing teachers.” --Jordan N., MAT-FA program graduate

Apply today!

Now that you know the excitement, community, and expertise that awaits you in the summer intensive, apply to UOnline's Master of Arts Teaching—Fine Arts (MAT-FA) program today! Simply go to the application website and start now; check our website for the deadline.

Questions? Reach out to the UOnline team at We can’t wait to meet you!

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Last Updated: 2/14/24