Master of Arts in Teaching: MAT Program

The Masterful Teacher: A Reflective Practitioner-Facilitating Achievement in Communities of Diverse Learners

The faculty of St. Mary’s College believes that offering a certification program through an accredited Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree will allow its students to take full advantage of the rich undergraduate curriculum available at our college – to spend a semester abroad, to complete a double major, to take elective courses in many diverse areas, to try interdisciplinary courses – and then to be able to synthesize that richly textured content background with graduate courses in education so they can better serve their future students.

The MAT option builds on students’ solid grounding in a vigorously defined major and in the breadth of their Core Curriculum requirements while allowing them a seamless transition into the professional coursework. The MAT provides basic instruction in pedagogical strategies, assessment, curriculum development, discipline and management, and other specific elements of the professional educator’s knowledge base.

Certification programs exist for grades one through six and middle school, and secondary English, math, social studies, biology, chemistry, physics, and modern languages for grades 7 through 12. Art, music, and theater majors may also certify in their discipline for grades K – 12. It is also possible for an individual to add certification in early childhood education to the elementary certificate.

All of the teacher certification programs available through this MAT degree have full program approval from the Maryland State Department of Education and lead to reciprocity for certification in a majority of other states. Our program completers have a near 100% pass rate on the PRAXIS exams, and our hiring rate for those who choose to teach, is 100%.

The MAT is a full-time, year-long program requiring participants to be in county public schools from the beginning of the program. The mentor/cooperating teachers at the school sites provide support and expertise that will prepare the student to meet the challenge of the beginning teacher, translating theory into practice.

Admissions Process

  1. Submit the application, completed and signed, along with the required essay, and $50.00 non-refundable fee to the Office of Admissions. Current students must apply through the My Academics section of the Portal. Paper copies of the application are available at the Office of Admissions or can be downloaded from the Education Studies site.
  2. Arrange with all institutions of higher education to have official transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions. Current St. Mary’s students completing an undergraduate degree will submit a transcript that includes the course work in progress for the fall term.
  3. Submit existing SAT, ACT or GRE scores or scores for the PRAXIS I pre-professional skills tests in reading, writing, and math to the Office of Admissions. Required scores are as follows: SAT composite score of 1100; ACT composite score of 24; and GRE composite score of 1000. A composite score of 527 is required on the PRAXIS I test.
  4. Arrange to have two faculty members who have taught you in upper-division courses in your major field send letters of recommendation (use the form enclosed with the MAT application) to the Office of Admissions. Arrange for someone who has supervised you in interactions with children or young adults submit a general letter of recommendation to the Office of Admissions, in addition to the other recommendations.
  5. The application and all support documentation are due to the Office of Admissions by mid-October. Admissions decision letters will be mailed by December 1. Final admission approval will depend on the satisfactory completion of the undergraduate degree.

Program Prerequisites

In addition to the documentation listed above, MAT program participants must successfully complete a minor in educational studies at St. Mary’s or complete the coursework specified in the minor. The latter option is for students who transfer three or more courses specified within the minor to St. Mary’s, and it does not disadvantage them in any way during the application process. It is important to note that there are some differences in the coursework needed to either complete the minor or the coursework; these differences are related to the applicants’ intended area of certification, so it is important that coursework is selected with these constraints in mind. For a complete listing of these courses, please refer to the information about the minor in educational studies.

All applicants must satisfy minimum GPA requirements as well. These are:

For each certification grade level/area there are program prerequisites. Where possible, some examples of SMCM courses that meet this requirement have been provided. Please consult with the Department Chair of Educational Studies for other courses that may meet those requirements.

Elementary Candidates (Grades 1-6, EDEL)
Elementary with Early Childhood Candidates (EDEL and EDEC)

All of the elementary prerequisites, in addition to EDEC 770 (Issues, Methods and Materials in Early Childhood Education), which will be offered either before or during the MAT program. Please consult the Department chair for information about the timing of the course.

Secondary Candidates (Grades 7-12, EDSC)
K-12 Candidates (Grades PreK-12 in Art, Music, Theater, EDUC)

Program Completion

MAT participants who successfully complete the program course work with a 3.0 average GPA or better, successfully complete all aspects of the internship, submit an acceptable electronic portfolio, present their research projects, and achieve passing scores on the appropriate PRAXIS II tests will be eligible for “approved program” certification in Maryland. Names of program completers will be sent to the Maryland State Department of Education, after which individuals may apply for their teaching certificate. Individuals who meet criteria are eligible for the Maryland’s “Meritorious New Teacher Candidate” award, which simplifies certification across state borders. Approved program certification allows for reciprocity with minimal additional requirements in approximately 37 other states.

Other Important Information
  1. The MAT program begins in early July and is completed in June the following year.
  2. There are no residential on-campus living options for MAT students during the regular academic year. Housing will be available for the mid-May through June traditional summer session.
  3. All internship experiences will be fulfilled in St. Mary’s County and/or Baltimore City public schools.
  4. All program participants are charged full-time in-state tuition for the fall and spring terms. Students pay the per credit rate for coursework for the two summer sessions.
  5. There is a $1330 MAT Program fee, in addition to the regular full-time student fee of SMCM.
  6. All admitted students will be required to bring a personal laptop computer with them into the program; specifications will be provided in the admissions letter.
  7. The program will admit approximately 40 students a year, with approximately 25 elementary candidates and 15 secondary/K-12 candidates enrolled.
  8. The program is a full-time cohort program which means that there are no electives and no options for part-time enrollment.
  9. Out-of-state students who complete their undergraduate degree at St. Mary’s and then enter the MAT program will be charged in-state tuition for their graduate year.

FACULTY

Katy Arnett, Teresa Filbert, Angela Johnson, David Morris, Lin Y. Muilenburg, Lois Stover (Chair)

OUTCOMES OF THE MAT PROGRAM:

"The Masterful Teacher: A Reflective Practitioner Facilitating Communities of Diverse Learners"

As an accredited program, the MAT program at SMCM is aligned to meet numerous state- and nationally-defined standards for initial teacher education.   These include:

Additionally, candidates meet outcomes based on our conceptual framework in the area of relationships, reflection, and research.  For a complete listing of the above-mentioned program outcomes, see the department website; the conceptual framework which underpins the entire program and provides us with specific program goals is also available there.  

EDUCATION COURSES (EDEC, EDEL, EDSC, EDSP, EDUC)

EDUC 500. Practicum in Teaching At-Risk Students (3)

Interns will be placed in one of the public school settings made available during the summer for students at-risk for academic difficulty. This placement is used as a site to practice observation and reflection skills that will be explicitly taught and assessed in other co-requisite courses. Prerequisite: admission to the MAT program.

EDUC 510. The Teacher as Researcher: Diverse & Underperforming Learners (2)

In this course, students identify and synthesize current research on effective teaching behaviors, practices, and strategies as it relates to the educational experience of students with diverse racial, socioeconomic, linguistic, and ability backgrounds.  Students are guided to identify and develop mechanisms for practically addressing the achievement gap between underperforming and underprivileged students and their typically-achieving, privileged peers.  Students will explore these issues through the lens of the work they complete in their Practicum for At-Risk students and through study of the policies that inform education in public schools. Prerequisite: admission to the MAT program.

EDUC 530. Instructional Design: The Curriculum Planning Process, Part I (2)

Interns will develop the ability to articulate “enduring understandings” (what we want students to know or be able to do) and “essential questions.” They will be given an overview of the processes required for gathering evidence to assess students’ existing knowledge base and skill levels, for then planning strategies to help students develop required knowledge and skills – including the use of national, state, and local outcomes/standards documents. During this first summer session, class sessions will focus on gathering evidence, which dovetails with the practicum and their other classes. Prerequisite: admission to the MAT program.

EDUC 540. An Introduction to Classroom Management (1)

The focus in this course will be on the establishment of the classroom environment (rules, routines and procedures which research has shown are crucial to success); how to establish a pattern of consistency in management and disciplinary practices; how to act like the leader in the classroom; and debriefing about what works and what does not as based on experiences in the practicum. Prerequisite: Admission to the MAT program.

EDUC 600. Internship in Public Schools, Part I (2)

Elementary and secondary certification seekers serve as interns in either an elementary, middle or secondary school; early childhood certification seekers serves as interns in early childhood placements.  During their time in the schools, students engage in structured observations, work with individual children and small groups of students as directed by their mentor teachers, and develop comfort and skill in working with whole classrooms of students.  Co-Requisite:  EDUC 601

EDUC 601.  Seminar in Public Schools, Part I (1)

In this seminar, the interns meet weekly as a group to analyze their school-based experiences and to reflect on themselves, students, schools, teaching and learning, and broader issues of education in society.  Co-requisite EDUC 600

EDUC 610. The Teacher as Researcher:  Assessment & Data-Driven Decision-Making (2)

This course assists students in using research-based practices to design, implement and interpret various student assessments of learning and to understand the current assessment mandates in public schools.  Students are guided in the processes involved in the interpretation of standardized test data, the use of this data for instructional decision-making purposes, and how such data can inform action research initiatives.  Students will also develop expertise on commercial assessment and evaluation devices that are used to monitor student learning in the public school environment.  Prerequisite:  EDUC 510.

EDUC 600. seminar and Internship in Public Schools, Part I (2 for Elementary; 3 for Secondary, K-12)

Elementary and secondary certification seekers serve as interns in either an elementary, middle or secondary school; early childhood certification seekers serves as interns in early childhood placements.  During their time in the schools, students engage in structured observations, work with individual children and small groups of students as directed by their mentor teachers, and develop comfort and skill in working with whole classrooms of students.  The interns meet weekly as a group to analyze their school-based experience and to reflect on themselves, students, schools, teaching and learning, and broader issues of education in society. 

EDUC 610. The Teacher as Researcher, Part I (3)

This course assists students in identifying and synthesizing current research on effective teaching behaviors, practices, and strategies in order to create practical constructs applicable to K-12 classroom instruction. Students are guided in developing a research question, based on their experiences in the practicum, and in developing an action plan for answering that question in conjunction with their mentor cooperating teacher.

EDUC 620. Technology in the Classroom, Part I (3)

This course focuses on integrating technology into the Pre-K-12 classroom. Learners will follow a best-practices approach to digital asset management, the creation of a multi-media lesson, and the appropriate and ethical use of software, web sites, and other technologies in the Pre-K-12 classroom. Interns will establish their electronic portfolios organized around program goals, Maryland Teacher Technology Standards, and principles developed by the New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC). Prerequisite: admission to the MAT program.

EDEL 660. Literacy Methods and Materials for Teaching Reading (6)

This six-credit block of courses combines the former EDEL 402 and EDEL 260 courses, integrating concepts of children’s literature, literacy development, and materials for teaching reading with concepts of literacy instruction more broadly. Students examine the developmental nature of literacy, exploring issues surrounding the development of phonemic awareness, issues of phonics, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary, while exploring appropriate methods and materials used for teaching students in the elementary classroom to become literate as readers and writers of diverse kinds of texts, as speakers, as listeners and thinkers. Other issues include attention to using textbooks and tradebooks, research on motivation, family literacy, and effect of gender and culture on literacy development. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual and simulated classroom instruction. This course fulfills a Maryland certification requirement in the teaching of reading. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and EDUC 540.

EDEL 670. Teaching Content Grades PreK-6 (4)

This course, required for ELEM and ECE certification seekers, begins the examination of the instructional methods used for teaching science, math, and social studies in elementary schools. Opportunities are provided to engage in, and analyze, actual and simulated classroom instruction. The course also introduces concept of interdisciplinary planning, strategies for building literacy fluency throughout the curriculum, issues of assessment, and uses of instructional resources within the school and community as part of the teaching/learning process.

Secondary/K-12 Methods Courses Part I

Each of the above courses (EDSC 660-664) focuses on the study and application of methods and materials for effectively teaching the designated subject in middle and high school classrooms. Instructional objectives, subject matter content, teaching strategies, assessment and evaluation techniques unique to each discipline are emphasized. Class members will practice a variety of effective instructional techniques in simulations and in their field placements, and will also continue the study of generic issues of planning, teaching, management, and differentiation of instruction that cross content-specific boundaries. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and EDUC 540.

EDUC 660. Teaching Vocal Music to Children and Adolescents (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching and conducting vocal music with young children and adolescents, the importance of the arts in the curriculum, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and strategies for making interdisciplinary connections. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual instruction and performances. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and EDUC 540.

EDUC 661. Teaching Art to Children (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching art to children, the importance of the arts in the curriculum, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and strategies making interdisciplinary connections. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual instruction and artistic products. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and EDUC 540.

EDUC 662. Teaching Theater to Children (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching theater arts to children, the importance of the arts in the curriculum, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and strategies making interdisciplinary connections. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual instruction and performances. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and 540

EDUC 663.  Teaching World Languages to Children (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching world languages to children, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and considerations of the role of the target language, grammar, and vocabulary for developing proficiency in another language.  Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, instructional practices/models for language teaching.  Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and 540

EDUC 670. Content Investigations for Secondary and K-12 Teachers (3)

Interns will research content standards available for both teachers and students in their disciplines. They will assess their existing knowledge base using these standards to determine gaps, and they will create an action plan for developing stronger content knowledge in those areas of perceived weakness. Individuals will fulfill their action plans, developing annotated bibliographies, writing book reviews, conducting interviews with content area experts, and generating lesson plans that reflect their deepening content understanding. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and 540 

EDUC 680. Teaching Reading in Secondary and K-12 Content Areas (3)

This course is designed to introduce and analyze strategies for developing the ability of secondary school students to learn from print sources and text materials. The focus of these strategies is on reading comprehension and vocabulary development. This course fulfills a Maryland certification requirement in the teaching of reading. Formerly EDSC 360. Not open to students who have taken EDSC 360. Prerequisites: EDUC 530 and EDUC 540.

EDUC 700. Internship in Public Schools, Part II (6)

All interns complete a full-time internship from January through May in Professional Development Schools. During this time they gradually assume full responsibility for assessing student needs, planning for instruction, implementing lessons, and evaluating student learning. They engage in structured observation tasks, in self-reflection, and in peer-coaching. Additionally, they collect documentation of their movement towards program goals, including INTASC and technology standards, for their electronic portfolios. Prerequisite: EDUC 600.

EDUC 701.  Seminar in Public Schools, Part II (1)

In this seminar, interns meet once a week during their full-time internship to collaborate with their peers, under faculty supervision, in reflection upon what they are learning about themselves, schools, students, teaching, learning, and the politics of education.  Additionally, they collect documentation of their movement towards program goals, including INTASC and technology standards, for their electronic portfolios.  Pre-requisite: EDUC 601; Co-requisite EDUC 700.

EDUC 710. The Teacher as Researcher:  Action Research Design (2)

Using the principles of action research, this course assists students in developing a series of research questions to explore in relation to the internship setting and the goals of the site's school improvement plan.  Students will prepare a research plan to answer these questions in the tradition of action research; they will carry out this research while in their full-time internship.  Students will regularly reflect on the value of the data collection process and obstacles they may find themselves facing in the process, and to revise and redirect their project goals and procedures as necessary based on the realities of their classroom experiences. Prerequisite: EDUC 610.

EDUC 711. The Teacher as Researcher, Action Research Analysis (2)

In this final component of the "Teacher as Researcher" sequence, students focus on analyzing data from their field experience, putting the data into context at the classroom, school, local, state and national levels, reflecting on the research process and its importance to their professional development, and communicating the results of their research projects to the larger professional community. Prerequisite: EDUC 710.

EDUC 720. Technology in the Classroom, Part II (3)

This course focuses on developing an electronic portfolio as a tool for reflection on the internship in public schools. Multiple work samples from the internship are placed in the ePortfolio for each of the principles developed by the New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), along with lesson reflections and discussions of the participant’s educational philosophy. Proficiency in using various technologies for purposes of administration, planning, teaching, assessment, and reflection will also be documented through the ePortfolio. Prerequisite: EDUC 620.

EDUC 730. Instructional Design: The Curriculum Planning Process, Part II (1)

Interns reflect on the implementation of instruction in terms of the curricular planning process as they assume full-time responsibility for their assigned classrooms, completing units of instruction that are designed to meet student needs as determined by data-driving determinations, national/state/local standards, and technology mandates. Prerequisites: EDUC 530, 600.

EDEL 760. Literacy Assessment (3)

This course is designed to provide participants with an overview of the range of assessment strategies available to professional educators concerned with determining how well an individual student is developing in the area of literacy, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Participants will be introduced to a variety of techniques, both formal and informal, both standardized and teacher-made, and will be asked to apply them in their public school settings in an effort to better plan literacy instruction for all their students, regardless of ability and experience levels. This course fills a Maryland State Department requirement in the area of reading.

EDEL 770. Teaching Content Grades PreK-8 Part II (4)

This course, required for ELEM and ECE certification seekers, extends and deepens the examination of instructional methods used for teaching science, math, and social studies in elementary schools. Opportunities are provided to engage in, and analyze, actual and simulated classroom instruction. The course also develops further the concept of interdisciplinary planning, strategies for building literacy fluency throughout the curriculum, issues of assessment, and uses of instructional resources within the school and community as part of the teaching/learning process.

EDEC 770. Issues, Methods and Materials in Early Childhood Education (3)

This course extends on the problems, issues, curriculum, and methods for elementary education to apply to children in early childhood settings, taking into account their developmental natures and needs.  The course will: 1) offer the knowledge and skill base necessary for adapting curriculum and methods of the young child and for creating developmentally appropriate educational environments and experiences; 2) provide a structured mechanism for receiving training and experiences to enhance understanding of teaching young children; and 3) allow for the integration and application of prior educational experience to the educational needs of young children.  This course is required for ECE certification seekers.

Secondary/K-12 Methods Courses Part II

Each of the above courses (EDSC 760-764) focuses on the advanced study of pedagogical strategies, both generic and content-specific, as well as further investigation of instructional materials for effectively teaching the designated subject in middle and high school classrooms. Issues of assessment, equity, and differentiation will be emphasized. Class members will practice a variety of effective instructional techniques in simulations and in their field placements, and will also continue the study of generic issues of classroom management and discipline issues. Prerequisite: The appropriate course from EDSC 660-664.

EDUC 760. Teaching Instrumental Music to Children and Adolescents (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching and conducting instrumental music with young children and adolescents, the importance of the arts in the curriculum, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and strategies for making interdisciplinary connections. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual instruction and performances. Prerequisite: EDUC 660.

EDUC 761. Teaching Art to Adolescents (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching art to middle and high school students, the importance of the arts in the curriculum, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and strategies making interdisciplinary connections. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual instruction and artistic products. Prerequisite: EDUC 661.

EDUC 762. Teaching Theater to Adolescents (3)

Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching theater arts to middle and high school students, the realities of directing theatrical productions at the middle and high school level, the importance of the arts in the curriculum, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and strategies making interdisciplinary connections. Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, actual instruction and performances.

EDUC 763.  Teaching World Languages to Adolescents (3)
Participants examine instructional methods and materials used for teaching world languages to children, issues of assessment and differentiation of instruction, and considerations of the role of the target language, grammar, and vocabulary for developing proficiency in another language.  Opportunity is provided to engage in, and analyze, instructional practices/models for language teaching.  Prerequisite:  EDUC 663.
EDUC 780. Problems and Issues in Teaching Content Area Literacy in Secondary and K-12 Classrooms (3)

This course builds on content and issues explored in EDSC 680. It allows participants to determine strategies for helping middle and high school students who have reading difficulties to develop as readers, and for helping all students become more adept at the literacy tasks demanded of them within specific content areas. Participants will apply strategies, both teaching and assessment techniques, directly within public school settings, and will investigate the research and theory related to current issues in this field. Fulfills Maryland State Department of Education requirements for secondary reading in the content areas, part II. Prerequisite: EDUC 680.