Kaplan University Master of Arts in Teaching
The Kaplan online Master of Arts in Teaching program is available nationwide for students who would like to enroll in the academic component of a teaching program. The degree has a series of specialization options that are available for those who wish to teach a specific academic subject, and who have an undergraduate academic background that aligns with the choice of teaching topic. There are also administrative options for this degree, if graduates are interested in some of the management positions that are needed at every school and in every school district.
The Iowa Teacher Certification Option
Kaplan University has campuses in many states but the school is based in Iowa. Thus the University is able to offer an online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with an Iowa teacher certification option. The geographic issue with an online teaching degree is the requirement for student teaching hours as a part of the curriculum. A student will not qualify for a state teaching license without completing an internship, and that has to occur in a place where there can be some faculty supervision.
There are many MAT programs designed for working teachers who already have a license and who can make any classroom participation possible within their professional framework. But the Kaplan MAT is a degree for beginners who hold a bachelor's degree in some other field, have no teaching experience, and who wish to enter the profession. The Iowa certification program is available for teachers enrolled in a MAT specialization for teaching in grades 5-12. Students who live close enough to the state to go through an internship in an Iowa school are also eligible.
MAT Non-Certification Option
For students who live too far from Iowa to pursue teaching licensure through the state, the curriculum provides options in other areas. This degree is also designed for teaching in grades 5-12, and though a student in the non-certification track may not be studying for an immediate application for a provisional teaching license, the academic preparation is there nonetheless. Kaplan University staff counselors can help students enrolled in this MAT track work out a program for pursuing alternative licensing in the state of their residence. Most states have alternative licensing options for career changers who have completed a MAT degree; it is up to the student to align the Kaplan curriculum choices with state academic requirements.
Teaching Curriculum Options
At the middle school and secondary school levels teachers generally focus on one academic subject. The Kaplan MAT provides these options for degree specialization: Secondary English, Secondary Mathematics, Secondary Science, Secondary Social Studies, Foreign Language, and Visual & Performing Arts. The reading class is also tied to the area of concentration. The field work for classroom observation and for student teaching will be aligned with the student's choice of academic specialization as well.
For all students the curriculum focuses on middle school and high school teaching. The curriculum for both tracks includes courses in Educational Psychology, Secondary Classroom Management, Secondary Student Assessment, and Child & Adolescent Development. There is also a course in teaching reading for the selected content area; remedial reading and writing have become essential teaching skills in districts where the schools have been overwhelmed with large classes and/or first generation children.