Karen J. Sangren, Ph.D.

Professor of Art Education
Chair, Department of Art & Design

Karen J. Sangren, Ph.D., completed her doctoral degree in art education from the University of Oregon, after master's studies in fine art at SDSU. She has taught art education, art appreciation, design theory, and studio courses during her career at PLNU. Sangren chairs the Department of Art and Design. She has served with the VAPA strategic planning group for the San Diego City

Schools; created art partnerships between PLNU, local museums, and area schools; and was a long-term member of the Art Advisory Panel for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in Sacramento, CA, the panel that wrote the State Visual Arts Standards for art teacher preparation programs, as well as designed assessment and scoring strategies for the California art CSET exam. Sangren serves on the national Board of Directors for Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). She led a three-year study for the 2010 CCCU/CIVA National Study of Art and Design Programs, which became a gold standard in CCCU schools. She coordinates the PLNU arts education program, has participated in faculty art exhibitions displaying freeform clay bowls and objects, and is an avid international traveler.


  • Doctorate, Art Education, University of Oregon
  • B.F.A., San Diego State University

Courses Taught

  • Fundamentals of Art – ART 102
  • Two-Dimensional Design – ART 103
  • Three-Dimensional Design – ART 104
  • Visual Arts in the Classroom I – ART 319
  •  Non-Western Art – ART 325
  • Visual Arts in the Classroom II – ART 455

Experience in Field

  • Faculty Art Exhibitions 2006, 2016, 2017 – Freeform Clay and Mixed Media
  • Author, PLNU Art Subject Matter Program Self-Studies, 1996, 2006
  • Author, 2010 CCCU/CIVA National Study of Art and Design Programs
  • Assessment Teams: Member and Chair for California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing Art Subject Matter Programs
  • Member, California's VAPA Art Subject Matter Program Standards Art Advisory Board
  • Visiting Art Teacher, Harbor Summit School, St. Vincent de Paul Center, homeless 5th-8th grade students

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Coordinator, PLNU Arts Partnerships with Balboa Park's Mingei International Art Museum, SDUSD and SBUSD schools
  • National Executive Board Member, CIVA/Christians in the Visual Arts
  • Member, San Diego County Arts Empower Advisory Assembly
  • Member, San Diego Museum of Art Advisory Council
  • Presenter, CIVA Biennale Conference, 2010 CCCU/CIVA National Study of Art and Design Programs
  • Presenter, CCCU International Forum, 2010 CCCU/CIVA National Study of Art and Design Programs

Awards and Honors

  • South Bay Union School District West View Elementary Service Award
  • CIVA, Christians in the Visual Arts, National Distinguished Service Award
  • Professional Service Award, PLNU School of Education