College of Fine Arts and Design

About OCAE

The Oklahoma Center for Arts Education (OCAE) is a division of the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). UCO was established as the Territorial Normal School in 1890 with the goal of preparing school teachers. Although the University holds the status as a metropolitan university, it serves students from over 75 Oklahoma counties, 35 states, and 107 foreign countries.

CFAD was established in 2001 as a product of strategic review of programs and departments at UCO. The college is part of the vision of UCO’s President, Dr. Roger Webb, who values the role of the arts in community and educational development. While UCO has long offered programs and classes centered around the arts in general and arts education in particular, it was decided that a specific college model would help focus the direction and accountability of arts programming at the University.

In 2002, the OCAE was founded in response to broad recognition among faculty and administrators in CFAD who believe in the importance for arts education in Oklahoma and saw a need for a more cohesive, statewide leadership in the field. The OCAE’s mission is to assure excellence in arts education through professional development, collaboration, and research. The OCAE serves as both a professional development institute and a learning resources center benefiting educators, administrators, artists, students, parents, businesses, cultural organizations, arts associations, and concerned citizens throughout the state and region.

In the past, the OCAE has facilitated several programs from student-centered activities to research on public perceptions about arts education to professional development. Some of the conferences and workshops have included working with the McCurtain County Educational Co-Operative for four years on delivering teacher in-service training on arts integration. Others have included hosting the American Indian Learners conference at UCO. Through these endeavors, the OCAE has strived to serve all demographics and populations of the state, especially the underserved communities that also deserve quality arts education. Through professional development, collaboration, and research, the OCAE is prepared to enhance school curriculum. Ultimately, the OCAE believes this will further the arts integration process and arts education development in more diverse areas of culture across Oklahoma.