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Quickest Route to Pursuing a Career in Teaching

 

Quickest Route to Pursuing a Career in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching is a one year program that provides a streamlined opportunity to earn a teaching credential. It is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in achieving a master's degree in one year (called the fifth-year option) and moving on to a teaching career. The second group of potential teachers that take advantage of the MAT program are people who have completed an undergraduate degree in some field other than education and are interested in making a mid-career switch to teaching.

There are online MAT degree options for this degree, which can be completed on a part time basis-an attractive option for working professionals who cannot afford to spend a year away from work. Students who are coming out of an undergraduate program have the option of completing their master's in one year and with that degree, entering the teaching profession.

Student Teaching

Despite the quick pace for this master's degree the traditional field work that any teaching student goes through is included in the curriculum. Even online students are obligated to complete a certain number of hours working in the classroom on a supervised basis. Usually this occurs in the second semester, so full time students may find themselves with MAT class obligations and a schedule that puts them in a middle or secondary school as student teacher as often as four days a week. The price for taking the quickest available route to a teaching credential is a rigorous year of academic work; as much as sixty percent of the student's time pay be spent in a student teaching position.

Teaching Credentials

Obtaining a teaching credential can be a convoluted process in many states. It gets more complicated as the level of education and specialization options enter the picture. The MAT program is designed in part to produce teachers for middle school and high school classes who have the skills to teach one of the sciences, math or technology. Successful completion of a Master of Arts in Teaching requires a background that is compatible with whatever academic specialization the student has selected.

Obtaining a teaching credential for a particular academic area may require passing a state test that demonstrates competency in the subject area as well as an exam that proves basic skills required in the classroom. It is the standard test that is important for obtaining a provisional or internship credential. Learning and proving the ability to teach a specialization such as chemistry takes place in the classroom as well.

Many states offer a provisional credential to newly graduated MAT students. The provisional teaching license allows the graduate to work for two or three years and upon demonstrating successful teaching skills over that period the state will issue a standard license. Some states issue temporary or provisional credentials to teachers from another state that does not have a reciprocity agreement with the new location for the teacher. There are also tests in every state that new teachers, transferring teachers and teachers from another nation may be required to take.

The MAT Fast Track

The key to using this one-year road to a teaching career is careful planning. Thorough knowledge of the state testing and credentialing procedures is necessary, and consulting with the Department of Education staff at the university where you are applying is a good idea. The basic proficiency test that states require for potential teachers may be something that an MAT student should take before enrolling because there won't be time to study for it once the MAT program is underway.

The other important planning component is aligning your undergraduate work with the teaching specialization for which you wish to complete certification. MAT programs have academic prerequisites for their various programs, some of which you may wish to complete as a separate effort prior to enrolling in the MAT. Even if you are a mid-career professional entering this program, some retroactive undergraduate classes may serve an important purpose in streamlining your degree completion and teacher certification efforts.

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Quickest Route to Pursuing a Career in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching is a one year program that provides a streamlined opportunity to earn a teaching credential. It is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in achieving a master's degree in one year (called the fifth-year option) and moving on to a teaching career. The second group of potential teachers that take advantage of the MAT program are people who have completed an undergraduate degree in some field other than education and are interested in making a mid-career switch to teaching.

There are online MAT degree options for this degree, which can be completed on a part time basis-an attractive option for working professionals who cannot afford to spend a year away from work.

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Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Schools
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