Derek Balsley


Hello, I’m Derek. Founder of The Art of Education University.

In 2011, my wife Jessica and I founded The Art of Education to improve professional development for K-12 art teachers around the world.

Several years later, when we decided to transform The Art of Education into the world’s only graduate-university exclusively serving art teachers, we began by asking ourselves a series of questions. Questions which helped us envision an entirely new kind of university.

  • “What if universities weren’t something you attended, graduated, then abandoned — but instead were a valuable learning institution you invested in for life?
  • “What if universities didn’t try to offer programs for every student imaginable — but instead, specialized by serving one specific type of student as deeply as possible?
  • “What if universities not only offered traditional degrees — but also provided a full spectrum of lifelong learning opportunities to reflect their students’ needs over an entire career?

The Art of Education University is a new kind of institution. A “University for Life” which serves a single type of student, over an entire lifetime, with a full spectrum of learning opportunities.

It’s an honor and pleasure to serve alongside the entire AOEU team, today consisting of more than 140 inspiring team members, committed to fulfilling our mission of growing amazing art teachers!


Derek B. Balsley
Founder and CEO
The Art of Education University

P.S. To learn more about the values which underpin this unique institution, take a closer look at our official seal.