Professional Development


VSA Vermont (VSA VT) provides Professional Development for artists to help teaching artists work effectively in our programs using inclusive methods and adaptive tools. Participation in a variety of our programs also helps artists with disabilities who are interested in furthering their professional goals.

Recent Examples

Arts Connect

VSA Vermont (VSA VT) led a partnership of arts and education organizations in presenting Vermont's first ever graduate level course for teaching artists in Arts Integration and Universal Design for Learning, presented through Saint Michael's College with Burlington's Integrated Arts Academy as the training site. Participating artists engaged in classroom observation as well as reading and reflection, all of which they used to design of model curriculum units designed to demonstrate inclusive teaching methods that can support the goals of classroom teachers in core curriculum subjects. Participating arts partners included VSA VT, the Flynn Center, Burlington City Arts and the Vermont Arts Council. Educational partners were Burlington's Integrated Arts Academy and Saint Michael's College.

Participating Artists

"Teaching is a learning process as much for the instructor, as it is for the students. This last point has challenged my assumptions. I understand that we are learning all the time, but to see how we can improve ourselves by observing others, really is an awakening."

Participating teaching artist

"The Universal Design for Learning Guidelines has provided me with a brilliant framework to make sure that I am hitting all areas to engage and move as many students as possible."

Participating teaching artist

For more information about future course opportunities for artists or to find out how these and other artists can bring their expertise to your school, contact us.


Professional Development includes both on-site experiential mentoring and after class reflection.

VSA VT's Start With The Arts program for childcare providers is an example of professional development linked to State Core Competencies, applicable to STARS applications and tailored to the needs of each provider.

Childcare providers participating in Start With The Arts get 20 training hours that are authorized by Northern Lights Career Development Center for required Core Competencies in Teaching and Learning. Training hours also can be used in applications for STARS points and for Advanced Training hours used for Specialized Care status. Start With The Arts training hours also may be used to advance in the Vermont Career Ladder for early childhood professionals.

"The thing I learned is, you can just sit and read a book, but when you add in activities it really makes it interesting. The whole experience shows me now I can do that."

Participating Childcare Provider

VSA VT resolves challenges in improving quality childcare identified in 2011 Early Childhood Professional Development Survey by VT State Child Development Division.
Training Access Challenge VSA VT Program Activity/ Solution
Cost: A significant number of respondents indicated that cost was a challenge in accessing professional development. There is no cost to preschool providers for Start With The Arts. Participating preschool providers receive 20 State credits in required Core Competencies applicable to VT’s STARS Quality Recognition System
Location: Significant number of respondents indicated that the location and subsequent travel to other locations was a challenge. Start With The Arts experiential learning opportunity takes place on site with provider’s children over 12 weeks at the childcare site and at nearby libraries after childcare hours.
Time: A significant number of respondents indicated that the timing of trainings was such that it was difficult to access them. Start With The Arts is scheduled individually with each preschool provider to match her or his schedule. An additional 8 hours of after childcare hour training is scheduled in neighboring support pairs.
Access to an Advisor/Mentor: A significant number of respondents indicated they wanted an advisor or mentor. Preschool providers receive 28 contact hours over 7 months and are supported to create, document and evaluate 16 weeks of their own arts-based literacy activities using SWTA methods.
Advanced Training: Respondents reported there is not enough advanced level training available. There are not enough trainings at any level in supporting children with developmental delays or, behavioral issues. Preschool providers can receive 6 State authorized Advanced Level Training for Specialized Care status for Start With The Arts.

Our partners at Vermont Birth-3 and the Vermont Childcare Providers Association Accreditation Project (VCCPA) are available to help childcare providers with the paperwork to make use of Start With The Arts authorized training hours.

For more information see Start With The Arts or contact us.