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Graduate School of Education News

Graduate School of Education launches online MAT program

GSE LogoThe Graduate School of Education has begun an online master of arts in teaching (MAT) program, allowing students anywhere in the world to earn a Willamette teaching degree from a location that works for them.

Students in the 18-month program can complete their teaching coursework online, followed by in-the-classroom student teaching in a school district in their area.

Assistant Professor Alisa Bates, faculty coordinator of the program, says the format is particularly beneficial to people in rural areas who may not be near a university, or those who want greater flexibility about when they complete coursework for their degree.

The online program allows students to do assignments at any time of day, without having to attend classes at a set time, making it easier for people to earn their MAT without giving up other life commitments such as jobs or family engagements.

“The flexibility of the program gives students an opportunity to continue with other important things in their daily lives while they’re working on their degree,” Bates says. “It’s also geographically friendly. You can live anywhere and still pursue your dream of earning a high-quality teaching degree from Willamette.”

Another distinctive aspect of the online program is that every student is required to earn an endorsement in reading or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), in addition to the endorsement for the area in which they want to teach. The second endorsement makes students more marketable when searching for jobs, Bates says, as school districts like to hire teachers that have added experience in high-need areas.

Students in the program will spend the first semester and summer completing online courses that are similar to the traditional MAT program. The following fall and spring, they will complete several more online classes, along with practicum and student-teaching positions in schools in their region — giving them valuable experience working with students.

A coordinator at Willamette will work with each MAT student to find solid student-teaching placements.

To apply or learn more, contact admission director Heather Daniels at hdaniels@willamette.edu or 503-375-5453.