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Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Teaching: Initial Licensure
Inspiring the teachers of tomorrow

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 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 53-54-credit hour program of prescribed courses.

Frequently asked questions

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

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: January cohort | June cohort

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. 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:

Art German Music
Bilingual/ESOL Health education Physical education
Biology Integrated science Physics
Business education Language arts Social science
Chemistry Mathematics-basic Spanish
Drama Mathematics-advanced Technology

*Note: Endorsement in some content areas requires slightly more than just passing the appropriate NES exam(s).

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 are spread throughout the first year of the program. 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.

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.

How much does the program cost?
Contact the College of Education for more information

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

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Western Oregon University | 345 N. Monmouth Ave. | Monmouth OR 97361 | Graduate Programs | 503-838-8597 | www.wou.edu/grad | email: graduateprograms@wou.edu