Online Art Schools in New Jersey

Given its close proximity to New York City and its ever-growing population, it should come as no surprise that New Jersey is an excellent state to attend art school in. For starters, the state takes its arts very seriously and ranks ninth in the country in per capita funding for state art agencies at $1.86 per person. Also, the state has five universities that have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design – no small number when you consider the size of the state. Of course those are just a handful of the schools in the state that offer a reputable arts education, and some of them even offer art degrees and classes online as well.

Some of the aforementioned accredited universities offer these online education options. Rowan University offers an online master’s degree in theatre arts administration, while Kean University offers more than 50 online classes to its students, but no degree options as of yet. There are other universities offering full-time online learning options as well. Farleigh Dickinson University has an Associate in Arts program and Union County College offers a litany of professional certifications in disciplines such as graphic design and multimedia arts.

If none of those are appealing, there are a slew of campus-based and fully online options offered by some of the largest and most well-known providers in the space. Schools like Avtech University of Technology and Anthem University offer graphic design degrees and have campus locations in the state, while other big online arts education providers such as the American InterContinental University and the International Academy of Design and Technology offer a variety of online arts-related degrees.

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Why take online art classes in New Jersey?

Few states can offer proximity to New York City as a lure to potential students, but what a lure it is. New Jersey is conveniently sandwiched between two of the East Coast’s largest cities in New York City and Philadelphia, and both offer an impressive array of professional options for recent graduates looking to jump start their art careers. Earning your arts education in New Jersey may mean that the arts businesses in the big city will have a familiarity with graduates from those programs, potentially offering recent graduates a leg up in the job search.

But New Jersey has a thriving arts community and industry within its borders as well. The Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries report estimated the state had just more than 25,000 arts-related businesses that employed 87,203 people across the state (although most of those in-state jobs are centered in the Northern part of the state) as of January 2012. This means that students who don’t necessarily want to leave New Jersey for work, may find a number of options to their liking and plenty of people of a similar mindset.

Online Education in New Jersey Overview

The exciting news for those interested in online education in the Garden State is that New Jersey is on the brink of offering its first virtual schools and seems intrigued by the idea of fully online education as an alternative for interested students. These two schools will offer full-time and individual online courses statewide for students in high school, while also offering full-time enrollment but not individual courses for middle and elementary school students. The state also has several school districts that are already offering individual online courses to its students and also has processes in place to ensure that digital learning providers are accountable and held to a high standard.

As one might expect from a state that is so new to the online education process, the national campaign for online learning, Digital Learning Now, praised New Jersey for its recent decision to open these virtual schools, but gave the state average scores on its report card because of serious issues with infrastructure and funding right now. They did give the state solid scores when it came to breaking down barriers to access, but it is clear that if New Jersey wants to be taken seriously in the online education world, it needs to move faster than it has been.