Feb 21, 2024
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, Complexities of Urban Schooling. 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, 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.
Students in the M.A.T. program take at least two courses in common regardless of their chosen teaching level. The first is “Teaching and Learning,” offered in late spring/early summer. The second is the “Teaching and Learning Seminar,” which begins in the fall and extends through the academic year. This latter course helps to unify the program for all students, and support students in the development of their final analytic paper.
Students are assigned to cohort groups with mentor teachers in one of the partner schools from the Hiatt Center K-16 Partner School Collaborative during the academic year.
The program also includes:
- One “Curriculum and Knowing” summer institute course (in the arts, humanities, mathematics, physical and natural sciences, and/or social sciences)
- Human Development and Learning
- One or more Ways of Knowing courses in the arts, humanities, mathematics, physical and natural sciences, and/or social sciences
- A literacy course corresponding to the student’s teaching level
- Year-long practicum and on-site Seminar in one of the nearby partner schools affiliated with the Hiatt Center for Urban Education
- An electronic portfolio presentation
Departmental Eligibility Requirements
Students with undergraduate majors that align with the subject matter knowledge in their chosen teaching field are eligible for the program. Students must pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure prior to the start of their fifth year to retain eligibility.
- Ricci Hall completed an undergraduate major in history and the Asian Studies concentration. After completing the master’s degree in the fifth year program at University Park Campus School, he was hired to teach social studies at the school. He became Principal of the school in 2009.
- Drew Merrill entered the MAT program after working in engineering, and completed his practicum in physics at South High School. He now teaches at Doherty High School in Worcester.
- Dina Gabianelli completed an undergraduate major in psychology. She completed her fifth year masters degree and went on to teach fourth grade at the Goddard School of Science and Technology.