Edinboro art therapy program gets key accreditation

Category:  News
Thursday, October 11th, 2018 at 9:29 AM

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, Edinboro University received the nation’s first accreditation for its graduate level art therapy program from the Accreditation Council of Art Therapy Education (ACATE).  The accreditation was granted to the ACATE by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. (CAAHEP).

CAAHEP, the largest program accreditor of health sciences in the U.S., and ACATE work with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) to assure that educational programs across the nation meet and/or surpass the minimum, required standards.

This accreditation certifies Edinboro University as the first school in the nation that has an art therapy program that produces qualified professionals in that field. The accreditation validates EUP for the next five years as a certified school with an art therapy program.

The accreditation vouches for the graduate students who leave EUP in search for a job in the art therapy field. Their future jobs will not have to file through the programs classes or syllabi to see if the graduate qualify for those positions. This is EUP’s seal of approval for the next five years.

Edinboro’s Interim Dean for the School of Education, Erinn Lake, PhD, believes that the exceptional faculty and program are the reason for such recognition.  “Our program is better because we have the highly qualified faculty… and because [the] graduate school is highly ranked by other external agencies”  She said.

Lake contained to give recognition to her colleges, Penelope Orr, PhD, and Adrienne Dixon, PhD.  “Dr. Orr is known nationally for her research and work in art therapy. The art therapy concentration links to the MA counseling program and Dr. Dixon is the graduate program head of counseling. Both are exceptionally well-qualified to educate out graduate students to improve the quality of life for other via art therapy and the field of counseling” Lake said.

Currently, EUP’s graduate-level art therapy program only accepts 30 students a year and has roughly 70 applicants a year. The program is also one of several schools that offer all the classes to be taken online. Those as undergrads, interested in a M.A. in art therapy, are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in visual arts with a minor in psychology or a degree in psychology with a minor in visual arts. Those as undergrads interested in an MA in art therapy would typically have to major in visual arts and minor in psychology or vis versa. “Art therapy is a field that is a combination of art and psychology, so you can come into it from either direction”, Orr said. Students are required to have 18 credits in studio art and 12 credits in psychology.   

Edinboro University, through Orr, offers free group art therapy sessions to those who are interested. In Butterfield Hall, room 200, students, faculty, and community members can go for these sessions from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and 2p.m.- 7 p.m. on Fridays. “This is a really good as a way to work through stress, anxiety and depression” Said Orr. For those interested in one-on-one session, the fee is $30 a meeting.

Anisa Venner-Johnston can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: news, art therapy

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