Art that facilitates wholeness and healing.

You love art, have an interest in psychology and enjoy helping others. You know how the arts have made a meaningful difference in your life and want to share your passion to help others discover the joy and healing processes of self-expression, especially through the unique blend of the arts integral to Marian University’s art therapy program.

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Marian’s art therapy program is dedicated to the belief that the creative process is healing and life-enhancing. The program provides students with knowledge and skills not only in the visual arts, but in areas such as music, dance and movement, poetry and American sign language. You’ll have the chance to deepen awareness of your own personal creative process and style while learning how the foundation of “art as therapy” supports self-expression and creativity in others.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

Sample Course Plan:
Download Sample Course Plan

General Education Program: 46–49 University requirements. Major satisfies the art common core and elective core courses including:

A development of the concepts of awareness and perception of form in nature, in the drawings of major artists, in one’s personal life experience and in that coming from diverse cultures. Both a disciplined set of skills and imagination are emphasized. Students use basic drawing tools and materials to apply knowledge of composition with line, value, texture, space relationships, perspective, and the emotional quality of drawing. A studio-intensive course in drawing that will focus on awareness and perception of forms in nature and developing skills needed to render such forms on paper. This is a required course for all art majors. Previous art experience is recommended.

A study of design theory, its evolution, and the elements and principles of design. To apply the theory, students create two-dimensional designs in a variety of media. Fundamental visual communication methods are studied and applied. This is a required course for all art majors, and a preferred art core course for communication majors. Previous art experience is recommended.

An introduction to the science of psychology through a survey of the biological, intra-psychic, and social bases of behavior. Major topics include cognition, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, personality, behavior disorders, and social elements of behavior.

A survey of the changes which occur during the entire lifespan as people develop: physical, motor, cognitive, moral, and social-emotional. Developmental theory and research data are critically considered. Application of existing knowledge about the variables which affect the course of development is emphasized.

This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity generally. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.

Foreign Language requirement, 12 credits or equivalent:

Language requirement for BA

Professional and art courses, 69 credits as follows

60 credits:

A development of the concepts of awareness and perception of form in nature, in the drawings of major artists, in one’s personal life experience and in that coming from diverse cultures. Both a disciplined set of skills and imagination are emphasized. Students use basic drawing tools and materials to apply knowledge of composition with line, value, texture, space relationships, perspective, and the emotional quality of drawing. A studio-intensive course in drawing that will focus on awareness and perception of forms in nature and developing skills needed to render such forms on paper. This is a required course for all art majors. Previous art experience is recommended.

A study of design theory, its evolution, and the elements and principles of design. To apply the theory, students create two-dimensional designs in a variety of media. Fundamental visual communication methods are studied and applied. This is a required course for all art majors, and a preferred art core course for communication majors. Previous art experience is recommended.

Prerequisites:

An introduction to basic painting concepts through varied media: pastels, watercolors, oils, and/or acrylics. Students examine techniques, color theory, composition and the application of these by the masters. They will explore a variety of approaches to painting and use a creative process in expressing ideas in paint.

Prerequisites:

A studio course exploring three-dimensional form in space and its history. Students first develop awareness of such forms in space, and then perceptual and technical skills in bringing together ideas and materials in three-dimensional form.

Prerequisites:

A studio course exploring the medium of clay and its history. Students learn the methods of constructing three-dimensional forms in clay through hand-building techniques, as well as decorating and glazing their forms. Wheel-throwing techniques are presented for those wishing to experiment, but are not required.

An introduction to the accomplishments of women artists throughout history, contributions that are often overlooked in mainstream art history books. The course will survey the entire history of art and will cover female artists who have made a unique, significant contribution to the visual arts.

ART Art History elective

Through a variety of readings, research, art activities, discussion and creative journaling, students will experience the fundamental processes of the expressive and therapeutic arts. An emphasis on
self-study will aid students in exploring personal goals, expectations, and career choices regarding application of these processes to fields of art, health care, social services, elder care, education and business.

Service-learning is a credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflects upon the service activity in order to gain a fuller understanding of the course content. Through the service-learning experience the expressive art student acquires a broader appreciation of the application of the arts and their therapeutic value both for themselves and a designated population from the greater community. Service-learning draws upon a partnership with a community organization allowing the student to experience a collaborative “hands on” application of course objectives in a practical setting.

Continuation of directed self-study process, this class fosters development of professional helping skills through observation, participation, and research. Lab time permits students to design hands-on
arts projects related to academic study. Attention is given to exploring and creating components comprising safe therapeutic environments supportive of emotional, physical, spiritual, and cultural aspects of clients.

This course provides an opportunity for aspiring art therapists to synthesize their studies with art education. Students will apply learning theories to the aesthetic dimension of education focusing on
approaches to art, culture and the environment as catalysts for teaching. Majors will use art concepts and processes to make possible meaningful art experiences for sequential levels of learning within the K-elementary
framework of school systems.

This course provides fieldwork opportunities in approved community agencies, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities. The course entails weekly attendance in discussion and processing held on
campus in addition to the fieldwork placement. Observation techniques and development of a professional portfolio will be a focus.

This course provides a continuation of ATH 315. The student participates in other fieldwork settings to gain more experience. Along with weekly attendance on campus for discussion and processing, the student will develop planning and evaluative techniques, prepare a professional resume and continue development of the portfolio.

Building on the experiences acquired through ATH 315 and ATH 325, the student further broadens experience with client populations. Seminars will address professional topics; provide opportunities to refine acquired skills; discuss ethics, communication, client care, case or program management; and continue development of the portfolio.

(Expressive and Therapeutic Arts major only) This is a capstone course that provides direction for students as they integrate classroom learning with practice. Students will reflect and demonstrate personal growth gained throughout their college career via presentation of a personal philosophy, conclusion of a portfolio and other preparation for professional employment, and production of a community arts project.

Due to the fact that Expressive and Therapeutic Arts are still quite new to professional therapeutic settings, practitioners often need to educate possible employers and develop their own programs. As a foundation for these entrepreneurial skills, students will explore a wide range of literature in the field of Expressive and Therapeutic Arts, create an extensive resource bibliography and demonstrate skill in the basics of grant writing.

This course provides a continuation of the directed self-study process and builds a strong foundation for self-awareness and professional helping skills. Through exploration of a variety of expressive mediums, students will learn to observe, reflect, share and evaluate their creative experiences. Skill will be developed in creating safe therapeutic environments, supportive of emotional, physical, spiritual, and cultural aspects of wellbeing for self and others.

An introduction to the science of psychology through a survey of the biological, intra-psychic, and social bases of behavior. Major topics include cognition, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, personality, behavior disorders, and social elements of behavior.

A survey of the changes which occur during the entire lifespan as people develop: physical, motor, cognitive, moral, and social-emotional. Developmental theory and research data are critically considered. Application of existing knowledge about the variables which affect the course of development is emphasized.

Prerequisites:

This course explores the major types of psychopathology to include anxiety disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, organic brain disorders, substance-related disorders, somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, mental retardation, adjustment disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, impulse control disorders and delirium, dementia and amnestic disorders. Emphasis is given to the issues surrounding classification, etiology and treatment.

6 credits from the following:

This studio course develops core concepts and skills in graphic design, technology, and file management while engaging in projects that utilize industry-standard computer applications. Students will focus on compositions that integrate text and image into vehicles of effective communication. The course will examine the role of the computer in art and graphic design, and foster insights into design theory. This is a required course for all art majors, and a preferred art core course for communication majors. Previous art experience is recommended.

A studio course exploring the preparation of a variety of plates from which visual compositions are hand-printed in multiple. Students work with a creative process in designing and completing limited edition art prints. They also focus on artist printmakers and the historic contributions of printmaking as an art form.

An introduction to hand crafted books and the observation of these books as art. Fundamental book making skills, including design, layout, and construction methods are covered.

Emphasis on stitching techniques.

Emphasis on loom weaving, spinning, felting and various hand techniques.

Emphasis on experience in making different types of puppets.

Emphasis on different resist and printing processes.

Emphasis on leather working procedures.

A specialized area of art study reflecting advanced approaches to a project or research. Approval of instructor required.

This course provides opportunity to explore a specialized area of study in art therapy that may not be reflected in other art therapy courses.

In this course we will examine the effects of cultural processes and products on the values, beliefs, identities, and relationships of power that shape society, with particular attention given to the role of the media and the social construction of gender. Students are introduced to the process of critical cultural inquiry-the integration of critical thinking, theory and socially responsible engagement-as a means of analyzing (1) cultural artifacts such as consumer goods (clothing, music CDs, cell phones), television programs, advertisements, films, and architecture; (2) the media’s role in shaping how meaning is created and communicated; and (3) social institutions and practices, and how they help create and maintain inequalities in identity. Specific emphasis is also given to identifying injustice and developing appropriate responses. Theories and methodologies from a variety of disciplines are employed.

A genre-based study of poetry that focuses on applying tools of literary analysis to the interpretation of specific poems in order to increase insight and pleasure. Close reading of poetry, with attention to formal elements, will provide the students with an introduction to major poets and styles. A wide variety of works is read, representing a diversity of cultures, contexts and perspectives. Course objectives also include developing critical reading, thinking and writing skills and exploring the values-laden nature of literature.

Prerequisites:

An introduction to the techniques of writing poetry, fiction and drama. The course is taught as a workshop, with repeated presentation and discussion of works in progress. May be repeated for credit.

A study of various world musics including Oriental, African, Eastern European, American jazz and others, but not including Western art music. Includes study of the structure and the sociological setting of the music with an emphasis on the development of listening skills. This course is designed for the general student. (Required field trip, with fee.)

A study of the arts as creative vehicles expressing personal, moral, aesthetic, social, and political values. The course stresses the arts as individually creative and personal, but also as value-laden expressions.

3 credits from the following:

This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity generally. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.

The course examines the basic principles and theories of interpersonal communication. Students study and practice basic principles for effective interpersonal communication. Study includes language, perceptions, values, culture, nonverbal communication, self-concept, listening and their effects on communication.

0 credits:

A requirement featuring exhibition attendance as fulfillment of an Art Major requirement. Students must attend and show evidence of at least one art exhibition per year as a pre-art or art major. Course grade is determined by satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

A requirement featuring exhibition attendance as fulfillment of an Art Major requirement. Students must attend and show evidence of at least one art exhibition per year as a pre-art or art major. Course grade is determined by satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

A requirement featuring exhibition attendance as fulfillment of an Art Major requirement. Students must attend and show evidence of at least one art exhibition per year as a pre-art or art major. Course grade is determined by satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

A requirement featuring exhibition attendance as fulfillment of an Art Major requirement. Students must attend and show evidence of at least one art exhibition per year as a pre-art or art major. Course grade is determined by satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

5-9 credits:

Electives related to field – advisor approval recommended

Mission:

The Art Therapy Program’s mission is to provide students with a solid foundation in personal and interpersonal skills based in the arts and self-expression. The program provides standards of professional competence and develops and promotes knowledge in and of the field of therapeutic arts.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate facility in emotional literacy through their ability to identify and articulate a range of personal emotions and their impact on their overall health and life experience
  • Create, interpret, and identify components of art expression as a form of inner self-directed process.
  • Identify the founding pioneers in the field of therapeutic arts and explain their roles in its unfolding development.
  • Recognize components of safe or unsafe therapeutic environments and propose tangible changes and/or contributions as it relates to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of given clients.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of therapeutic methodologies and skills through the creation and applied use of specific activity plans with at least three designated populations.
  • Demonstrate competency as a beginning professional through their personal integrity, core values, adherence to ethical standards, responsible communication and respect for individual diversity as attested by the successful completion of fieldwork assignments.
  • Demonstrate professional readiness for the completion of their career major through the integration of personal emotional literacy and daily life experience demonstrated by thoughtful reflection and creative expression, cooperative evaluation, successful completion of a minimum of 150 hours of mentored internships, completion of a senior capstone project, portfolio, and the creation of a personal mission statement.
  • Demonstrate facility with the concepts and skills supportive of their creative, psychological, spiritual and professional development as a whole person from cross-curriculum/liberal arts classes taken, beyond than those specifically required by their major.

Marian’s art therapy students are prepared for personal and professional success after graduation through applied learning experiences, including the opportunity to develop and enhance the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and cultural aspects of the well-being of individuals.

Employment: 100% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation from the Art Therapy Program.

Some of the agencies or organizations we have collaborated with are as follows:

  • All About Life Rehabilitation Center, Fond du Lac
  • ARC of Fond du Lac, Opportunities and Day Services (adults with special needs)
  • ARC Community Services, Fond du Lac (women transitioning from correction)
  • ASTOP Inc., Fond du Lac (Individuals healing from sexual abuse)
  • Berry House (adults experiencing mental illness)
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County
  • Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac
  • Brooke Industries, Fond du Lac (special needs adults)
  • Children’s Hospital, Milwaukee
  • Common Threads, Madison (school for children with special needs and autism)
  • Express Yourself Milwaukee, (Expressive art with inner city children and teens)
  • Fond du Lac Senior Center
  • Friendship Corner, NAMI, Fond du Lac (Drop-in center for adults experiencing mental health challenges)
  • Friendship School, North Fond du Lac
  • Grief Relief, Fond du Lac (children who have suffered the loss of a loved one)
  • Heritage Homes, Watertown
  • Hospice Home of Hope, Fond du Lac
  • John Michael Kolher Art Center Pre-school, Sheboygan
  • Project Blake, Fond du Lac (Open studio experience for at-risk adolescents as well as art with adolescents in jail)
  • Public and private schools of Fond du Lac
  • RCS Empowers, Inc., Sheboygan (Special needs adults
  • Solution Center, Fond du Lac
  • St. Francis Home, Fond du Lac
  • St. Francis Terrace, Fond du Lac (Assisted living adults)
  • Thelma Center for the Arts, Fond du Lac
  • Youth and Family Project, West Bend
  • Villa Loretto Nursing Home, Mt. Calvary

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

At Marian University you will gain hands-on learning experience through three semesters of internship experiences, better preparing you for employment orsuccess in graduate studies. Although a master’s degree is required for employment as an art therapist, Marian’s undergraduate art therapy major provides a broad foundation of skills for students choosing not to pursue a graduate degree, but seeking employment in positions such as activity director.

Minimum GPA of 3.25 in major courses is required.

Guadalupe Brennan is employed at ARC of Fond du Lac, working with adults with special needs. She is anticipating graduate studies in Art Therapy at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (’16)

Ciara Sarauer is currently enrolled in graduate studies in Art Therapy at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (’16)

Ashley Backes is employed as a Patient Care Associate and Experiential Therapist working with children and adults in mental health at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. (’15)

Tami Joe DeLisle is an Art Therapist at Common Threads Family Resource Center in McFarland, Wisconsin. After graduating from Marian, she earned a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tami Joe has also taught an art therapy class for Marian University and participated in the Marian Faculty Exhibition at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. (’13)

Megan Heding is employed as a service coordinator for REM-CORE of the Mentor Network in Madison, Wisconsin. Megan does direct care with individuals experiencing a wide range of special needs, mostly autism with sensory and movement disorders. (’13)

Rachel Burns is an Activities Aide at St. Francis Home – Assisted Living in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She graduated from Marian University with a B.A. degree with a major in Expressive and Therapeutic Arts and minors in Studio Art and Psychology. (’14)

Maria Weeks completed her undergraduate degree in Expressive and Therapeutic Arts at Marian University in 2013. Maria also pursued graduate studies in Thanatology at Marian University. She is performing academic copy editing for doctoral candidates who are attending Marian and she is also using her creativity to establish The Asylum Art Studio in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Abbie Jo (Warpinski) Sorens is employed at Manor Care Health Services in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She is also pursuing a graduate degree in Community Counseling at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. (’08)

Alyssa Gruett, M.S.
Assistant Professor
920.923.8766
ajgruett37@marianuniversity.edu

Mark Merline, M.F.A.
Associate Professor
920.923.8738
mmerline@marianuniversity.edu

Tom Wallestad, M.F.A.
Associate Professor
920.923.8593
twallestad@marianuniversity.edu

As a student in the art therapy program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn through a wide variety of coursework. With an emphasis on self-study, you’ll gain the personal experience and insight necessary to better understand and connect with your future clients.

Apply Now

For more information, please contact:

Office of Admission
920.923.7650
admission@marianuniversity.edu

Mark Merline, M.F.A.
Associate Professor & Chair
Art Department
920.923.8738
mmerline@marianuniversity.edu

 

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