The University of the arts


Mission + History

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The Professional Institute for Educators empowers educators across disciplines to continually advance their teaching skills to improve learning for all students. Through graduate courses, PIE develops innovative and creative educational programming to serve the professional development needs of K-12 teachers in and through the arts.

Professional Institute for Educators Student Learning Outcomes

  • Educators will enhance skills to improve teaching and student learning, both within specific subject areas and across disciplines, to increase their effectiveness in the classroom.
  • Educators will implement techniques to evaluate, critique and assess student learning.
  • Educators will gain skills, tools and techniques to enrich creative education through the arts to ensure high-quality arts education in schools.
  • Educators will recognize and apply methods to address and serve all students.
  • Educators will recognize and foster their role in the lives of students by participating in and exploring the arts and humanities in order to integrate cultural resources into their classroom.


The Professional Institute for Educators was founded as the New Studies Center in 1973, providing a series of community outreach courses within the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. Since its inception, PIE’s mission and goal has been to provide innovative graduate-level courses to expand the knowledge and skills of educators for teaching in and through the arts.

The program has undergone many programmatic and name changes over the years, as the needs of the market have evolved. Throughout the past 30 plus years, the program has featured various travel courses, studio intensives, arts experiences, lectures, flexible schedules and community-based cultural partnerships. 

As the requirements of educators have changed and grown, so has the focus of the Professional Institute for Educators. In its broadest sense, PIE’s goal is to serve the needs of teachers and their districts and support creativity in education. Programs have expanded exponentially in the area of digital technology, adapted to the education trends of regional school districts, developed to address the PA Department of Education certification requirements and grown into the vast regional market through multiple locations in the Greater Philadelphia region. Throughout this evolution, the commitment to the arts, cultural resources, excellent faculty, and effective education for teachers has always guided PIE.

Today, the Professional Institute for Educators offers educational courses designed especially for a wide variety of subject teachers, including courses for curriculum development, inclusionary practices, classroom management, literacy, the arts, technology, enrichment and leadership. PIE is an approved provider for PA Act 48 and NJ Professional Development.