Grand Canyon University Master of Arts in Teaching


There are two Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degrees offered by this Phoenix based school, both of which are available online and on campus. They are designed for working teachers who have already completed teacher training at the bachelor's degree level and earned a teaching license. The goal for working teachers who enroll in a MAT program is to upgrade their academic credentials. In virtually all states teachers who have earned a MAT or a Masters in Education are paid more than their colleagues working the same jobs who hold a bachelor's degree. The other element to earning a MAT is the opportunity to apply for National Board Certification, a voluntary program that establishes each applicant's teaching abilities through a series of assessments conducted by fellow teachers.

Two MAT Options

At Grand Canyon there are two MAT programs, neither of which will provide the necessary academic background for state licensure. They are designed solely for working teachers, providing the opportunity to move to advanced teacher status. The online programs have flexible formats because they are meant for working professionals; teachers don't have to give up their jobs in order to complete these degree programs. In fact, students must have access to a K-12 classroom in order to complete assignments.

The MAT with Emphasis in Professional Learning Communities is a degree that focuses on the administrative and leadership roles needed in schools and school districts. The coursework includes some classroom management courses and work on current educational theory. But there are also extensive course offerings in such areas as Educational Action Research, Data-Informed Decision Making for School Improvement, and Collaborative Structures in a Professional Learning Community. Learning to work with the public school database can lead to a number of administrative opportunities.

The other option at Grand Canyon is the MAT with Emphasis in Teacher Leadership. As with the other MAT program, this curriculum has some focus on classroom technique including courses in Classroom Engagement & Management, and Current Classroom Methods & Strategies. In the area of teacher leadership the curriculum has several management oriented classes that prepare the student for a leadership or administrative role. Among them are classes in Legal Issues in Education, Instructional Leadership and Collegial Coaching.

Academic Format

Grand Canyon University's online program operates on a cohort system, taking students through courses sequentially and as a group. While the classroom forum may be a laptop computer, the communication between students is significant and the individuals proceeding through the curriculum together also work together on multiple assignments. Communication with faculty members is readily available online, via email or an online discussion board. Working with fellow students one class at a time allows for an in-depth academic experience that is shared among a group of professional teachers who get to know one another well before graduation.