Sep 30, 2020
The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program is an intensive, full-year program designed to qualify students interested in elementary, middle or high school teaching in urban settings for the “initial” teaching license in Massachusetts. The program requires successful completion of ten courses, including two summer courses and student teaching in the spring of the fifth year. The initial Massachusetts teaching license qualifies students to teach in 31 other states.
The M.A.T. degree culminates a five year “accelerated degree” program for Clark students. The accelerated degree is available to highly qualified students, and includes a tuition-free fifth year.
The five year program includes courses in Clark’s program of liberal studies, a liberal arts major, and a slow immersion in education courses and field work beginning in the senior year. Prior to their senior year, students take a foundational course in the program,
. As seniors they take 2-3 courses that apply to the M.A.T., creating room for a concentrated full year internship in a partner school during the fifth year. The fifth year includes a set of summer courses, and an integration of several more courses with the full academic year internship—a scaffolded immersion approach. Students assume increasing teaching responsibility and complete an electronic portfolio illustrating their development as teachers and the progress of their students as learners.
The program functions to provide a pool of strong beginning teachers for the district, although each year a good number of students are lured elsewhere by districts with shorter hiring timelines. Many recent graduates of the program have been hired in partner schools, with several now in a position to act as mentors for graduate students.
Program of Study
Students enter the M.A.T. program having completed their liberal arts degree. In addition, Clark accelerated degree students must have completed three (3) education courses: EDUC 152 - Complexities of Urban Schooling and two additional courses, taken during the senior year, per department advising. Those interested in the elementary level are advised also to tailor their undergraduate course of study as much as possible to the state subject matter requirements, which call for specific background in the humanities, history, mathematics and the sciences (check with the Education Department for details). Those aiming to teach at the middle or high school level generally choose to teach in the subject area, such as history or mathematics, that corresponds to their major.
All students in the M.A.T. program take the “Teaching and Learning” course sequence (three courses), regardless of their chosen teaching level. These courses help unify the program for all students. Students take
in late spring/early summer.
follow during the fall and spring semesters. Teaching and Learning II and III are essentially “practice workshops” focused on the development of each student’s teaching practice, and support students in the development of their final reflective electronic portfolio (their “practice thesis”).
Students are assigned to a cohort group with mentor teachers in one of the Hiatt Center for Urban Education’s partner schools in the Main South neighborhood of Worcester for the entire academic year (from the beginning of the school year to late April/early May). Students also have a dedicated university mentor.
The program also includes:
- A “Curriculum and Knowing” summer institute course (in the arts, humanities, mathematics, physical and natural sciences, and/or social sciences)
- One or more Ways of Knowing courses in the arts, history, humanities, mathematics and/or physical and natural sciences
- Human Development and Learning
- Literacy Development (elementary level) or Literacy Across the Curriculum (middle and secondary level)
- Culture, Language, and Educaton (middle and secondary students)
- An electronic portfolio presentation and analytic paper
Departmental Eligibility Requirements
Students must pass te Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure before the beginning of the M.A.T. program in May (students aiming to teach at the elementary level may wait to take the required Foundations of Reading test until after they have taken the “Literacy Development” course). Students must also demonstrate effectiveness working with children and youth – a recommendation from a youth program supervisor is required. Students must also write an essay that addresses program values as part of their application. The Education Department details on these and other requirements (see also http://www.clarku.edu/departments/education/graduate/mat_grad.cfm).
(Signature Required on Accelerated Degree Program Advisor Form)
Marlene A. Shepard, Teacher Education Program Coordinator of the Hiatt Center for Urban Education