Master of Arts in Teaching (Elementary and Secondary)
Certification is earned in seven academic quarters or two years. The MAT degree is earned concurrently with certification requirements or in subsequent quarters.
The certification component of the MAT program is 45 to 50 credits depending on endorsement area. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for a 14-week internship. Completion of certification courses, internship requirements, and passing program assessments qualifies candidates for a Washington State Residency Certificate. This certificate enables candidates to teach in public and private schools in Washington State.
COURSEWORK AND INTERNSHIP
Coursework begins in the autumn with online and on-campus classes in history of education, diversity, and learning theory. Coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis. Candidates typically enroll in classes with peers who are earning the same primary endorsement to promote collegial interdependence. The number of on-campus meetings for coursework varies by endorsement area. However, candidates may anticipate meeting on-campus once or twice a week, beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 7:05 p.m. or 9 p.m. depending on the class and quarter.
Candidates and mentor teachers follow a co-teaching model during internship where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. Candidates begin internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Across internship, candidates complete assignments designed to maximize field experiences, such as portfolio reflections, unit plans, and program assessments. Internship concludes with candidates returning control of classroom responsibilities to their mentor teachers.
Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn a graduate degree or until the student is officially withdrawn from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A student who decides to no longer actively pursue a graduate degree may officially withdraw from the program and the university by notifying the program chair (email@example.com) and the graduate programs manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A student may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program chair. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
The university office of Student Academic Services (SAS) requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a graduate program. After four quarters of non- enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.
COMPLETION OF THE MAT DEGREE
Candidates earn the MAT degree by completing five graduate level courses, totaling 15 credits. Classes required for the MAT degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements as they complete certification to increase their base salary.
Candidates may delay completion of degree requirements for five years from the quarter of admission, as long as active enrollment status is maintained by completing one class every four quarters. Students admitted to the MAT program with a master’s degree may complete EDU 6085 to receive the MAT degree.
ADVANTAGES OF THE MAT PROGRAM
Candidates in the MAT program must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree, preferably with a major aligned with a state-recognized endorsement area, and meet all residency certification requirements. Candidates with an undergraduate degree or major in a field not recognized as an endorsement area by Washington State may need to complete additional courses to meet content requirements.
Prospective candidates may apply to the Alternative Routes to Certification program through The Graduate Center. Applications are due March 15. Qualified applicants are invited to participate in group interviews mid-April.
In addition, prospective candidates must:
Financial aid is available for qualified applicants through Student Financial Services or by calling 1-800-737-8826.
Paraeducators, instructional assistants, and teachers employed through Conditional or Emergency certificates may be able to remain employed in their school district or private school while completing internship requirements.
Prospective candidates are encouraged to visit the Office of the Washington Superintendent of Public
Instruction and the Professional
Educator Standards Board for additional information on becoming a teacher in
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES TO CERTIFICATION
An Alternative Routes to Certification program based on the MAT degree is also available. Contact Ted Hiemstra for program comparison.
APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS QUESTIONS
Seattle Pacific University