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MAT online/hybrid overview

The online/hybrid Master of Arts in Teaching program provides a unique opportunity to juggle life’s demands and a teacher preparation program. Nearly identical to the full-time, campus-based program, the candidate who satisfactorily completes this program is awarded the graduate degree of Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and is recommended for an Oregon Initial teaching license at the high school authorization level with a specialty endorsement in a subject area.

The real differences between the online/hybrid program and the full-time, campus-based program are how the coursework is delivered and the pace. The online/hybrid program incorporates a blend of face-to-face and online instruction and takes six-seven terms to complete, including summer session. At least half of each course in the program is delivered using an online course management system, and the other half of each course is delivered in the traditional face-to-face format. This means that students in the Web-based program only have to come to campus for traditional class meetings about one Saturday a month. The final term of the program is full time student teaching in a school.

The program is designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in a subject area and wish to pursue licensure in teaching. The objective of the program is to provide in-depth preparation in teaching theory and pedagogy. We accept applicants on a competitive basis for each cohort. The MAT is a 56-credit hour program of prescribed courses.

 

Frequently asked questions

When does this program begin?
New cohorts in the online program start every October and January.

How long does the program take to complete?
The online MAT program takes six to seven terms to complete. Generally students register for between six and nine credits each term. Classes are also held during the summer, so the program equates to just shy of two calendar years. View a typical year and a half program schedule.

What subject(s) can I teach after I complete this program?

The subject you will be licensed to teach once you have completed the program will depend upon the NES subject area exam(s) you are able to pass, and the transcript review completed for your prerequisite coursework. Because of the way this program is designed, the assumption is that you have the appropriate grasp of the subject area you wish to teach as a result of your previous academic work. All of the coursework you receive in this program is focused on the specifics of the teaching profession, not the attainment of greater knowledge in a particular subject area. Consequently, the subject you are licensed to teach at the conclusion of the program should be related to your previous academic preparation. There are specific subject areas that WOU can recommend that you teach once you complete this program. If prerequisites are not provided below, please consult with MAT Coordinator.

Art Language Arts
Biology Mathematics-Advanced
Business Music
Chemistry Physical Education
ESOL Physics
ESOL/Bilingual Social Science
German Spanish
Health Theatre/Drama
Integrated Science

Will I need to spend time in a classroom while in this program?
This program is field-based, relying heavily upon experiences in a classroom to allow for application of coursework. Requirements for field experience and student teaching are woven throughout the program (as you can see illustrated on the enclosed schedule). The six credits of field experience will be taken during the fall and winter term of your final term in your program, prior to your full time student teaching in the spring. For those field experience credits, you start out doing things such as guided observations in a classroom and small-group work with students. The field experience then builds into responsibility for teaching a full lesson or two. By the time you complete your last field experience, the expectation is that you are prepared enough to be able to begin your student teaching.

How much time will I spend in a high school classroom as part of this program?

The time that you need to be in a classroom to meet the requirements of the field experience depends upon the number of credits for which you are registered. Each credit hour of field experience that you register for equates to 30 hours in a high school classroom, spread out evenly over the course of the term. For instance, if you register for a one credit field experience, you need to be able to spend 30 hours in a classroom during that term, which would work out to three hours a week, either all on the same day or split between two days.

Once you get to the student teaching component of the program, the expectation is that you are in a traditional high school classroom and are responsible for all activities in the classroom with each credit you register for being roughly equivalent to the number of weeks you need to be in the classroom. The first five credits of student teaching are configured such that students are required to be in the schools teaching lessons for half days during the 10 weeks of the term. The last 10 credits of student teaching require that students be in school teaching full-time for all 10 weeks of the term. While we are responsible for solidifying your placement for the field experience and student teaching components, it is helpful for us if you have conversations with schools in your area to find out who might be willing/interested in having you placed. A mandatory orientation for the practicum experiences will be held in mid-August prior to your final term in the program.

Why am I required to be part of a cohort?

The cohort model design is a way to provide built in community and support for you as you progress through the challenges of the program. Research supports the cohort model’s success.  Thus, the cohort model design of the program makes it necessary for all candidates to begin the program at their designated start term and complete the program in the designated number of terms for their cohort, following the outlined sequence. Candidates must take courses as assigned to their cohort by the MAT coordinator, or step out of the program and re-apply / join another cohort. Students who find they cannot stay on the designated schedule must meet with the coordinator of the program to seek solutions. Students who modify their own program plan without meeting with the coordinator for options, will be dropped from the program.

How much does the program cost?
Please use the tuition calculator to get an estimate of your costs.

What about technology?
The online program uses the Internet to deliver much of the coursework. Students are expected to connect to the Internet and participate in online portions of the courses. Here is what you need to successfully interact with Moodle, the WOU online course management system:

Suggested Web browsers:

Internet Explorer (v5.5 or later)
Firefox (all versions)
Mozilla (v1.7 or later)
Netscape (v7 or later)

Note: The HTML editor in Moodle does not work in most versions of Safari and Opera.

Adobe Acrobat Reader
56K or greater modem (broadband highly recommended)
Sound card and speakers

Employment During the MAT program

Can I keep a full-time job while enrolled in this program, given the time I need to spend in a classroom?

Several scenarios might be possible depending upon your particular situation. Some people have the ability to flex the time that they work in their job. If you are able to do this, and can work things out so you can spend the required time in the classroom during the field experience portions of the program (amounting to about two hours a day when registered for a three credit field experience), this program could be a match for you. By the time the student teaching comes around, you would need to be free from full-time job responsibilities to concentrate on your classroom responsibilities.

If you’re not able to flex your time in your job, all hope is not lost. There might be a school program in your area that is conducted in the evenings or on the weekends (like alternative school or GED completion program). Conducting your work with these kinds of programs would be limited to the field experience portions of the program, but that would at least help you get through the first couple terms of the program while continuing to meet obligations of your current employment.

If you’re already involved in a school environment (teaching in a private school, teaching in a public school with a transitional license, or working as an instructional assistant), you probably won’t have much challenge meeting the field requirements for this program, as long as we can insure that you would have full responsibility for a classroom during the student teaching portion of the program.

What should I do if I come into the program on an emergency license?

If you come into the program on an emergency license:

Many students in the MAT program come into the program already hired as a full time teacher of record in their own classroom, on an emergency license.  If you are on an emergency license, please be sure you understand the requirements of your license as outlined by your district, and be sure the discipline you are teaching in matches the endorsement area for which you have applied and been accepted into the program.  In the beginning 3-4 terms of the program, you will be enrolled in classes that will increase your understanding of the field of education in general. The last three terms of the program, you will continue with foundational coursework and participate in your practicum (ED 609, ED 616, ED 697) experiences.  You will complete the practicum requirements in your own classroom.  You will not have a clinical teacher assigned by WOU, but you will have a mentor assigned to you from your building. This could be the principal, another teacher in your content area, etc.  You will work with them to understand their role as a mentor teacher, and they will conduct the mentor teacher observations. You will also have a University Supervisor assigned from WOU.  All practicum requirements apply to you while you are in the practicum classes, and you must complete the coursework for practicum.

What should I do if I’m offered a teaching job, while I’m in the program?

If you are offered a job on an emergency license, while you are in the program:

At times, MAT students are offered a full-time teaching job on an emergency license, after they have begun the program. If this happens to you, you MUST check with both the MAT coordinator and the site director, before accepting the job, to be sure that the job fits within your admitted endorsement area and path to licensure. You cannot take a job outside of your endorsement area and have it count toward your licensure, nor can you switch endorsements after you have entered the program. In rare cases, if a student has coursework completed in an additional area from their admitted endorsement, there may be exceptions, but at all times, the students MUST first check with the coordinator and site director. There are no exceptions to these guidelines.

 

CONTACT US:

If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Dr. Melanie Landon-Hays- College of Education, MAT Graduate Programs Coordinator, haysm@wou.edu or 503-838-9223. If you have any questions, please contact us! If you are having difficulty deciding who to contact, please check out our Organizational Chart.