Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT)

About the program

The Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) program at SPU integrates Washington Residency Teacher Certification with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Candidates in the AMAT program become effective teachers by:

  • Demonstrating effective teaching practices
  • Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement
  • Recognizing and responding to individual student learning needs
  • Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum
  • Fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment
  • Using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning
  • Communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community
  • Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instruction and learning

The AMAT program recognizes the alternative routes to certification that have been identified by the  Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). These routes are for individuals who possess a unique set of qualifications and wish to earn a Washington state Residency Certificate.

Alternate routes

Applicants to the AMAT program fit one of these profiles, though all routes require a bachelor’s degree:

  • Route 2: Currently employed staff member (such as para-educators, instructional assistants, or education aides) with a school district or private school and a minimum of one year of career-related experience.
  • Route 3: Individuals not currently employed by a school district or private school (such as those considering career change).
  • Route 4: Teachers employed in a public school on a Conditional or Emergency Certificate or teachers employed in private schools.

Certification is earned in four academic quarters, from summer to spring. The MAT degree is earned through additional coursework, which you may complete concurrently with certification requirements or in subsequent quarters.

The certification component of the AMAT program is 45 credits. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for student teaching, which is full-time and supervised, for 180 days in a classroom.

Completion of certification courses and internship requirements, and passing program assessments qualifies you for a Washington Residency Certificate. This certificate enables you to teach in public and private schools in Washington state. You earn the master’s degree by completing an additional 15 graduate level credits or five classes.

Coursework and internship

Coursework begins in the summer with online and on-campus classes in learning theory, general teaching methods, curriculum design, and literacy strategies. Your coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis.

Internships begin in late August as K–12 teachers return to school for in-service training. Candidates intern across the school year, while completing online and on-campus coursework. On-campus and online coursework integrates internship experiences to assist you in applying educational theory and research to planning, instruction, and assessment.

Candidates and mentor teachers follow a co-teaching model, where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. You begin your internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Across internship, you will complete assignments designed to maximize learning from field experiences, such as portfolio reflections, lesson plans, and program assessments. The internship concludes with you returning control of classroom responsibilities to your mentor teacher.

Completion of the MAT degree

Candidates earn the MAT degree by completing five graduate-level courses, totaling 15 credits. These classes are taken at the regular graduate tuition rate. Classes required for the MAT degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements immediately following certification to increase their base salary.

Candidates may delay completion of degree requirements for five years following the quarter of admission, as long as active enrollment status is maintained by completing one class every four quarters. Students admitted to the AMAT program with a master’s degree may petition to earn a second master's by completing EDU 6085 Moral Issues in Education.

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college and/or university attended.
    • If your degree is not from a U.S. college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript evaluation company such as WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores taken within five years of application.
    • On the former GRE exam, preferred minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 950
    • On the revised GRE exam, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147
    • On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400*
  • Two to four letters of recommendation
  • Passing WEST-B and scores including 240 on each sub-test: reading, writing, and mathematics.
    • Applicants may use a combination of SAT, ACT, and WEST-B scores to meet the WEST-B requirement (reading writing, mathematics). Please contact Graduate Admissions if you have questions.
    • Minimum SAT scores required: Math: 515, Reading: 500, Writing: 490.
    • Minimum ACT scores required: Math: 22, Reading: 22, Writing: 8.
  • Passing the State Endorsement Test.
    • Those endorsing in designated world languages or bilingual education must also pass oral and writing proficiency tests (OPI and WPT) in their language area.
    • Several NES study guides are located on the main floor Reference section of SPU’s Ames Library.
  • Endorsement Verification form
    • Endorsements are the content and grade levels a teacher is prepared to teach. The Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) provides a comprehensive list of all endorsements offered at SPU.
    • If your college major matches your intended endorsement, complete the Endorsement Verification form in the application.
    • If your major does not match your intended endorsement, please contact Jessica Bosley, certification officer. Complete the Endorsement Verification form only after contacting Jessica Bosley. On the form, indicate that you have been in contact with her and list your “Approved Plan of Study” if one has been developed.
  • Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy form (found in the online application).

*The GRE or MAT will be waived for students who achieved at least (a) a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or (b) a 3.0 in the last 45 quarter credits.

Applicants with complete files submitted by the deadline are screened for interviews, held on the SPU campus in March. Invitations to interview are sent by email. Applicants are advised to add these email addresses as contacts to avoid inadvertent delivery of correspondence to spam or junk folders.

Enrollment policy

  • Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn this master’s degree, or until officially withdrawing from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program director.
  • Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program director. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
  • SPU’s Student Academic Services 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.
  • If a student decides to no longer pursue a master’s degree, the student may officially withdraw from the program and SPU by notifying the program director and the associate director of graduate programs.

Questions?

Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs:

Peterson

School of Education Graduate Programs