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Meet our NEW PIE + MEd Arts Faculty!

Jacqueline Cassidy, PIE Instructor

Jacqueline Cassidy, PIE Instructor

Meet Jacqueline, Jordan and Veronica

Introducing NEW Faculty Jacqueline Cassidy, Jordan Baumgarten and Veronica Cianfrano!

An entrepreneur and art educator, Jacqueline Cassidy has taught elementary and middle-level art, she has chaired her District's Elementary Art Department, and has served as a professional development educator.  She in the founder of The Primary Kids® and is the writer and illustrator of The Primary Kids Meet Georges Seurat, a children’s book about Neo-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat. 
Fall Course: Integrating Museum Resources into the Classroom

Jordan Baumgarten received an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Photography from the University of the Arts. Jordan is a Philadelphia-based photographer whose work focuses on notions violence, love and loss. His work has been exhibited in New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Providence, London, Amsterdam, and Miami.
Fall Course: Visual Arts for the Classroom: the Image in the Age of Social Media

Veronica Cianfrano is a multimedia artist, curator and lecturer at the University of the Arts. She received her BS from Southern Connecticut State University and her MFA in painting from the University of the Arts. Since receiving her MFA 2010, she has served as both co-founder and curator for Manifesto-ish and Champions of Empty Rooms.
Fall Course: Visual Arts for the Classroom: Portraiture

See our full course catalog HERE for more details.
Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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Faculty Spotlight: Ken Bingham

Faculty Spotlight: Ken Bingham

Interview by Caitlin Perkins, UARTS Continuing Education Director

I was inspired by a recent visit to Ken Bingham’s Creative Writing classroom and wanted to share a bit of the experience with students considering taking this course. Professor Bingham has created a high-energy and supportive environment for writers—both established and emerging—in his classroom. He runs the critique sessions like a conductor, creating space for everyone to be heard and ensuring the author gets a range of constructive feedback.

I reached out to Ken after class to ask him about his course and the student experience here at UARTS, here’s what he had to say:

What motivates you to want to teach in adult education? Or what makes them different than college students?

Every writer needs feedback, whether they've been published countless times or looking for their first publication. It's important that an ongoing affordable workshop is offered for all and any writer so that they can hone their craft and continue to polish it. I teach college classes in Creative Writing, both graduate and undergraduate, but, because of the cost and the nature of credit-programs, students do not get much of an opportunity to retake the class. Not so with adult education. Some of the writers that I work with have been with me for ten years time.


Because it's creative, keeps its doors open to fresh ideas and exciting possibilities. And they believe in the course I'm teaching.

What’s the first thing you teach about writing?

That there are no rules. NONE. If someone tells you a rule, dismiss it. As a writer, you make your own rules. Period.

Where do students stumble when it comes to creative writing?

Writers often stumble when they try to make a first draft a final draft. In a first draft, don't worry about anything. Throw it all in there. If you're not sure it works or not, there's no better time to check it out than in that first draft. Let the people giving you feedback judge how well it's working or not. The responses might, and most often will, surprise you.

What does surprise students about creative writing as they start out?

That it's so easy and so freaking fun. It's what we all did when we were kids, played around and let the world yield to our own imagination. It's not hard to find that voice and that vision again.

Where does this writing workshop take students, where do they go from here?

This last class has presented the most significant success of my career here at UARTS. The students have had incredible output, offered breathlessly brave critiques, and came up with so much publishable material it blows me away.

Interested in what other students had to say about Ken’s Creative Writing workshop?

I signed up for this class expecting the chance to do some writing, maybe some exercises and hopefully meet a few like-minded folks. What I got was so much more. I got a supportive community that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I could try to express what this class, and Ken's tutelage, has meant to me, but my best stab at effusiveness will fall well short. To say that this class altered the course of my life would be an understatement. It lead to me quitting my corporate job and pursuing my writing dreams at one of the best graduate writing programs in the country. Greg Houser, MFA student; University of Alabama

Ken Bingham creates an atmosphere of sparkling enthusiasm in a weekly class that features lively discussions about style, plot, wording and overall impact of class members' manuscripts.  An ongoing core of eager writers re-enroll each term to sharpen their skills.  Bingham's astute observations along with  feedback from classmates create a fun, gutsy, gratifying class that makes you want to write---a weekly jolt of excitement that keeps a writer re-charged and motivated. Jonathan Frank, Longtime Class Member.

I love this class and have benefited from not only constructive critique that accompanies the written work but also from the exposure to new works from exiting writers, the comraderie of spending a few hours with like-minded individuals and the unique voices that make this melting pot of creative writers so wonderful. It’s like hanging out with the members of your family that you actually like! Chad Meadows, MFA Student, Farleigh Dickinson University.

Best writing course in the City! Great Prof! Great students! Great writing! Carol Nelson Shepherd, Author of Girl Lawyer

Be sure to visit Ken's course page here to learn more about this exciting course!
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Meet our NEW PIE + MEd Literacy Faculty!

Dr. Sara Tilles, PIE Instructor

Dr. Sara Tilles, PIE Instructor

Meet Sara, Catherine and Craig

Introducing NEW Faculty Sara Tilles, Catherine Rosamond, and Craig Meyers!

Dr. Sara Tilles has been an elementary and middle school educator for 15 years in the Great Valley School District. Sara teaches literacy courses within the Professional Institute for Educators and strongly believes in the need to blend theory and practice in her work with educators.
Fall CourseFoundations of Literacy in the Classroom

Catherine Rosamond is the Senior Museum Educator for the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City where she serves as the lead artist educator for the education department. Catherine runs signature "Madlab" workshops and Training, Project Manage & Lead Professional Development Days for Educators.
Fall CourseExploring Literacy Through the Visual Arts

Craig Meyers brings years of teaching experience utilizing digital tools in literacy and across the curriculum.  Currently a Reading Specialist at Bucks County Technical High School, Craig has also taught reading and study skills courses at Bucks County Community College and Pennsylvania State University, Abington campus. 
Fall CourseVisual and Digital Literacy in the Secondary Classroom

See our full course catalog HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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It's Tech Tune-Up Time!

Joe Bires, PIE Faculty

Joe Bires, PIE Faculty

NEW Course Offerings with NEW Faculty

Welcome, PIE + MEd Ed Tech Faculty Rupa Misra and Joe Bires! Take a course with Rupa, Joe and others on our incredible Ed Tech team.

Check out our Early Fall Ed Tech line-up:

See our full course catalog HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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Faculty Spotlight: LeeAnn Kinney

Faculty Spotlight: LeeAnn Kinney

By Caitlin Perkins, Director Continuing Education

LeeAnn Kinney will be teaching a new Continuing Education course this fall geared to help people build professional websites to showcase their work. The course is called Website Portfolio Builder for Artists, Photographers and Writers. This course would be great for anyone interested in publishing and sharing their artistic endeavors--whatever medium you might practice. I got the chance to catch up with LeeAnn this summer to talk more about what people can expect if they are taking this class.

What’s the first thing people need to know about creating a portfolio to showcase their work online?

I think the first thing people need to know about creating a portfolio online is how easy it can be. Many people think they need to have a ton of coding experience or extensive knowledge on latest technologies but with the tools that are available today it is really easy to get a great, professional looking website up.

Can  you talk about how you will work with students to create their website?

The way the course will be broken down will be a combination of lecture and hands-on creating of the websites. We'll start with a brief overview of what web hosting is, how to pick the right provider and how to setup a domain name. From there we'll talk about what a Content Management System (CMS), why it's beneficial to use one, and the different options available to new website builders.

Because of ease of use and ability to modify, we'll be working with a CMS called WordPress. We'll take an extensive look at how to customize the look and feel of the website, how to add powerful functionality with the click of a button and we'll get into best practices for content creation. We’ll even work on how to get your website found by users, once it's online. Students will also learn about optimizing images for the web and making sure they are creating websites that are quick to load and look good on all devices (phone to desktop computer). Students will have plenty of classroom time to work on their websites and get one-on-help.

What are the biggest pain points about making a website that people should be aware of?

The biggest pain points of making a website, in my opinion, is content creation. It's easy to get ahead of yourself and think that you need a massive website with 10+ pages, but if students can come into class with a basic idea of what they want to accomplish with this site, we'll be able to get it down to a concise, easy to read website. A blog that's constantly being updated with fresh content can work for some but not all. It's important not to compare your website to other sites that are more established or possibly have a team of people working on it on a regular basis. It is helpful to look at other websites, similar to your interests and take note of what the site does that you like or don't like. We can use these sites as a beginning source of inspiration.

Another small pain point is security and maintaining the site. We'll go over exactly how to do this, though. It won't be much more than a 20-minute commitment a month to keep your site secure, and we'll go over easy ways to do so.

What often surprises people about building their own website?

How easy it can be and how accomplished you feel once you have it live on the web. I will never forget how I felt after building my first website. I was so proud of it and wanted to share it with everyone I knew! I'm excited to see students leave this class with the same feeling of accomplishment.

You can see examples of LeeAnn’s web and tech work on her website here:

    • Leann Kinney
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Student Profile: Gayatri Aditya

    •  Student Profile: Gayatri Aditya
    •  Student Profile: Gayatri Aditya
    •  Student Profile: Gayatri Aditya

By Caitlin Perkins, Director UArts Continuing Education

Gayatri Aditya is a UArts Teaching Artist Certificate Program Student. She participates in this online program from Shanghai, China.

I had a chance to catch up with Gayatri, one of our Teaching Artist Certificate program students who lives in Shanghai. Literally, catch up to her–she is a busy woman. She has been a participant in our TAC program since last fall, but she just got back from Ooty in Tamil Nadu region of India where she spent four days as a teaching artist-in-residence at a remote rural school.

Gayatri and I spoke about her fall Capstone Project, which will complete her Teaching Artist Certificate program. Even though it was early morning in Shanghai, she was beaming with happiness to report that because of her participation in the Teaching Artist Certificate program, she had just secured a job at the Bright Start Academy in Shanghai. She starts teaching her new program in September teaching art to a group of 16 two-year old children!

Gayatri explained that she would develop a series of lesson plans to work with the school’s curriculum, and laughed as she explained that she would definitely be referring back to the coursework from the Human Behavior and Child Development class in getting ready to work with such young children.

Leading up to our conversation, I’d been following Gayatri’s journey to Ooty in July of 2016. She worked with a Tribal school in Ooty,Tamil Nadu to help build a school.

Gayatri did a four-day workshop and intervention in the Tribal school in Ooty. This particular school sits inside a forest surrounded by tea plantations, and the tea farm worker’s children attend the school until the 4th grade. The teachers are government appointed, and Gayatri said that they are extraordinary, working at the school with no power or electric connection, let alone wireless. She laughed saying that simple teaching tools she has so often relied on didn’t exist, “They write everything. No photocopier. No Internet. No electricity. No lights. They are in the middle of the forest!”

The children have text books, but there are no storybooks. We spent a lot of time reading stories, but as she started her four day residency, “I realized on the first day that the children couldn't draw!”

And, in closer observation she saw that the children were being “overly corrected” or "inappropriately corrected' when they showed their drawings to their teachers. Disturbed by the barriers that had been put up, Gayatri said she went home that night and remembered something her mentor Cheilaugh Garvey said: “Children learn best when they are let out in nature.”

The next day, Gayatri took from Garvey’s lesson and asked the children to go out and collect whatever they could find. Then they made “drawings” using these found materials. The children made patterns or designs of their choice and then we let the rain and wind wash it away the next day. The drawing project was amazing!

Gayatri added to their experience by having the students photograph their drawings and designs.

Gayatri left for Chennai/Madras, India on June 24th, and upon her return she shared this experience with her fellow UArts TAC classmates, indicating that [she had] “put all that we learned last month into practice. It really works! I suddenly found Lowenfeld's [stages of artistic development] observations and charts coming into being!”

While the school project with Ooty is over, Gayatri explained that they have identified needs the school has and she will continue to raise awareness and funds to support it. She started the a fundraising campaign in June and has already raised funds and volunteer support. You can read more about Gayatri’s projects with the children on this blog:

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Faculty Spotlight: Christopher Darway

Christopher Darway - Work

Christopher Darway - Work

Faculty Spotlight!

Instructor Christopher Darway will be showing in the Innovative Merger of Art & Guns to Inspire NewExpressions, or IMAGINE PEACE NOW Exhibition. This show is a call to arms, hearts and hands intended especially for contemporary metal artists. Included work will respond to and initiate conversations regarding the gun violence so prevalent in American culture today.

Christopher will also be conducting workshops for both the South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild and the Florida Society of Goldsmiths next May 2017. Be sure to check out the link here for more information about this exciting show!

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Faculty Spotlight: Leanne Grimes

Leanne Grimes

Leanne Grimes

Faculty Spotlight: Leanne Grimes

By Caitlin Perkins, UArts Continuing Education Director

Leanne Grimes is teaching a five week painting course through UArts Continuing Education called Watercolor Workshop - Observational + Still Life Painting this fall. I had a chance to catch up with her to ask her about the course and what students will learn.

Q: Why were you interested in teaching at UARTS?

A: I wanted to teach at UArts because of the students. It attracts very creative and dedicated individuals. In fact, there is a family connection to the school--my brother went to UArts for Industrial Design, and my mother received her Masters in Art Education from UArts.

Q: What is your favorite subject to teach?

A: Color and color theory. In this workshop we will do exercises to help with your paintings--you want to learn to mix colors according to what you are seeing, we might turn some of these into collages, we'll do color experiments, and we'll be making color charts that you can reference later.

Q: What are some of the challenges for new watercolor painters?

A: You can see all the mistakes. We will approach painting in a way so that you are prepared to use these "mistakes" to your advantage.

People can get really tight in their watercolor paintings because of a desire for highly rendered detailed, but through our classroom exercises we will work on loosening up your painting technique.

Q: What are some of the key ideas in creating a great painting?

A: Striking a purposeful composition is definitely key. But, in addition we will think about color and color relationships – we will talk about analogous color and more dynamic color combinations. We will use the value in color to build volume in your paintings and we will also talk about the shapes of color, and think about how to use shapes to make a painting.

Q: What often surprises people about painting with watercolor?

A: The vibrancy that comes from using transparent pigments! People are often surprised by how much control you can have over the medium.

Join Leanne Grimes this fall in the UArts studios! Click here to learn more.

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Student Consumers? Student Creators!

Increasingly, teachers and students are using devices, software, apps, and digital tools in "active" ways. 

The U.S. Dept of Education's new National Education Technology Plan states it simply: "all students understand how to use technology as a tool to engage in creative, productive, lifelong learning, rather than simply consuming passive content." 

What is 'active?'  Students should be making things, connecting with others, harnessing the power to shape their own learning, engaging in modeling, experimentation and creation, collaboration, working for multiple audiences, and using technology as a means to do so. 

Students do so through coding, simulations, media production... the idea of students as creators rather than consumers.

What, then, is 'passive?'  Digitized worksheets, apps and software that amount to "drill-and-kill" of basic skills, using personal devices to read and watch content that others have produced.

How to make the shift?  Here's one way to think about it: substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition. The idea is to progress from using technology to perform the same tasks done by hand (substitution) to using technology for new tasks that would otherwise not be possible (redefinition). 

Lean more about 'active' tech use by registering for a Fall 2016 PIE + MEd Tech course!

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Six Reasons Why You May Want to Pursue Teaching Artist Opportunities

PAEP, 2014

PAEP, 2014

You’ve spent a lifetime making a creative life and now you find yourself thinking, “what’s the next step?” Have you considered taking your creative practice into a classroom?

Here are six reasons to pursue the teaching artist path:

  1. 1. You’re an accomplished artist or performer who wants to expand your employment opportunities.

  2. 2. You’re a recent arts graduate looking for direction and professional fulfillment.

  3. 3. You want regular work but still want to be free to pursue your art.

  4. 4. You love sharing your creativity with others.

  5. 5. You’re a practicing artist who seeks more ways to share your skills, more ways to develop professionally and more ways to earn a living.

  6. 6. You’re already performing as a teaching artist but you lack formal training and credentials.

UArts Continuing Education offers an online program called the Teaching Artist Certificate program. You can learn more about it here. We are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2016 Teaching Artist Certificate Program - click here to view the application!

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Special Rate for 140 Anniversary Course for the Community!

UArts 140 - Logo

UArts 140 - Logo

Fans and aspiring comic book artists alike improve drawing and writing skills in a workshop-style course, designed to expand knowledge and execution of this vibrant storytelling medium.

In honor of our UArts Founding, 140 years ago, tuition for the Making Comics course is $18.76.

Participants are asked to consider a voluntary, 100% tax-deductible donation to the President’s Fund for Excellence. Established by new President David Yager, the President’s Fund for Excellence supports extracurricular activities of students and faculty that would not otherwise be possible. This fund is entirely donor funded and can support travel, research, publication, and other creative projects that foster excellence and innovation.

To donate, please visit and choose “President’s Fund for Excellence” as your designation.

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Fall 2016 courses start Monday, September 26!

continuinged fall2016 brochure cover jpg

continuinged fall2016 brochure cover jpg

Our Fall 2016 courses are officially open for registration! Classes start on Monday, September 26th - and we can't wait to see you there. 

Check out some of our exciting offerings!


  • Metal Sculpture - Forging + Welding
    Students will learn techniques including oxyacetylene cutting and welding, arc and TIG welding, as well as plasma cutting and forging.
    InstructorPhillip Scarpone
  • Adobe Creative Suite Overview
    Learn the basics of image resolution, scanning, image import/export, print setup, photo adjustments and vectors, as well as introductory typography and design.
    InstructorChristine Bailey
  • Food Writing
    Whether you write about producing, preparing, or partaking offood, this course will show you how to make mouths water as you inform, educate, or persuade.
    InstructorAndrea Calabretta
  • Contemporary Theater
    From the iconic play Waiting for Godot to the runaway Broadway hit Hamilton, this course will sample major developments on the contemporary stage.
    InstructorToby Zinman

Visit us here for a full list of Fall 2016 CE courses and information about our certificate programs. Call us at 215-717-6006 with questions or to register over the phone!

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Welcome Juliana Noone, PIE Program Assistant!

Juliana Noone

Juliana Noone

Please join us in welcoming Juliana Noone as the new Program Assistant for PIE!

Juliana Noone joined UArts and the Professional Institute for Educators in June 2016. Before working at UArts, she was completing an internship in the programming department at FringeArts, and had also been working as a Maker Mentor in the Maker Jawn Initiative through the Free Library of Philadelphia where she ran pop up maker spaces in local libraries in North Philadelphia communities. Prior to that she completed a two year fellowship through the FAO Schwarz Family Foundation at Please Touch Museum, and worked several years working in early childhood education. Juliana is a graduate of West Chester University, where she studied Fine Art, Art History, and Psychology, and has also studied improvisation at the Philly Improv Theater. Juliana is also a co-founder of the live art troupe, ROMPUS, where she develops large scale, live painting and shadow performances in collaboration with visual artists and musicians.

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Murals tell the stories of our city.

Shira Walinsky Mural

Shira Walinsky Mural

Murals tell the stories of your classroom.

(Image) Shira Walinsky, Ethiopian Garden, 44th & Ludlow in West Philadelphia

"The city is a connected web of personalities and histories which fascinate me. The network of family, neighborhood, immigrants and teachers are some of the subjects of my murals. By exploring lives which are either marginalized or often simply forgotten by society we represent and affirm a sense of identity and a place in history within these people."

                           - Shira Walinsky, Artist & Educator
In Mural Arts + Storytelling for the Classroom, developed through a partnership with the Mural Arts Program, participants study the historic context of murals in Philadelphia and explore the process of visual translation and community collaboration. The course includes a guided tour of Philadelphia murals, as well as guest speakers and projects that build an understanding of collaborative artmaking.

See our full course catalogue HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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Sewn books, flexagons, and pop-ups...oh my!

Denise Carbone (left)

Denise Carbone (left)

Printmaking for the Classroom

Denise Carbone, artist and educator, is a faculty member with The University of the Arts and the book conservator at The American Philosophical Society Library. Denise's personal work challenges traditional methods of printmaking and book structures by incorporating mixed media, found material, letterpress and alternative processes. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.
Printmaking for the Classroom: Book Arts + Language Arts integrates text, image and structure through hands-on projects and exercises for educators in the classroom. You will explore and create several book structures, including accordion variations, sewn books, flexagons and pop-ups, using simple methods to generate images, to which we will add narrative.

See our full course catalogue HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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July PIE Offerings, Going Fast!

There's Still Time to Enroll in a July Course!

See our full course listing here for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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Digitally-Driven Instruction

Your Classroom, Your Technology

Research suggests that, on the whole, K-12 educators have been slow to adapt instruction in meaningful ways to technological advancements.  But there are definitely exceptions. A growing number of educators are becoming influencers in the ed tech space by leveraging digital tools in their subject areas and by sharing their experiences with others. Become that influencer at your school.
Join veteran educator and PIE faculty member Scott Duggan for your choice of courses:

See our full course catalogue HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

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Tell a story through the written word.

David Greenberg, CE Instructor

David Greenberg, CE Instructor

Put it on the page.

Creative Writing is getting kicked into high gear this summer in CE and we want to tell you all about it!

Writer and author Michael Aranovitz's first novel Alice Walks is being released in paperback and electronic forms through Dark Regions Press. Michael also did a review of the famous Bill Leverty from the 90's powerhouse metal band Firehouse. Congratulations, Michael!  

Screen writer and instructor David Greenberg has written or doctored over 40 screenplays for features, shorts and documentaries. His feature writing and directing debut Stomping Ground is in post-production. The features, Used To Love Her and What Matters Most, both played festivals in the past few years.

Be sure to check out their courses below! Classes start next week!

  • Screenwriting - Developing Your Script
    This course allows you, the budding screenwriter, to begin at the beginning and develop a feature film idea into a story treatment with complete beat sheets, character bios, an outline, and a first draft screenplay at a professional, industry-standard level.
    InstructorDavid Greenberg
  • Writing the Short Story
    Writers of all levels and experience will learn how to develop fictive ideas, moving from idea generation toward exciting and heartfelt climaxes.
    InstructorMichael Aranovitz

Visit Continuing Education for course and certificate program information, or call us at 215-717-6006 with questions or to register over the phone.

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NEW for ArtsWeek: Non-Credit Course Options

We Listened - Register Now!

They're here!
Are you interested in an immersive arts experience, but don't need graduate credits? Non-credit courses for 2016 UArts ArtsWeek are available for a special, discounted tuition rate! Check them out - we can't wait to see you this summer!

See our full course catalogue HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

    • pages from uarts16017 artweekpostcard r4 jpg
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New This Summer - Design Thinking for the Classroom

Meet Your Classroom Design Challenge with Phil Holcombe

Phil Holcombe is a professional designer, educator, and founder of PlusUs, a Philadelphia-based educational design consultancy that uses the design process to optimize learning experiences for today's students. Phil's NEW course, Design Thinking for Educators, is tailored for K-12 educators looking to deepen their understanding of Design Thinking and to discover ways to use Design Thinking in their classrooms - whether to strengthen curriculum, align instruction, organize resources, structure lesson plans, or foster communication.

See our full course catalogue HERE for more details.

Ready to register? Online at or call the Continuing Studies office at 215.717.6006.

    • phil holcombe face final jpg
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