Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Graduate School of Education News

gseKey improvements to the MAT program

After careful analysis, the GSE has made several important revisions to its already robust MAT program.

The traditional, face-to-face program (10 months) now features intensive, coordinated, and distributed clinical practice in the K-12 schools during every week of the school year. Course offerings have been reconfigured into larger units of instruction to increase cohesiveness and attention to content-specific methods courses. Extended programs (three semesters, offered in both face-to-face and online formats) will have similar features over a longer period of time with program-specific adaptations to meet the needs of these audiences.

Key to the program revisions are increased partnerships with local schools. Current efforts focus on the Salem-Keizer and Gervais School Districts. Not only will students spend more time in these schools, but faculty will teach some methods courses on-site, often with local teachers as co-instructors.

The fall term of the full-time program features a one-week immersion experience in an educational setting designed to increase our candidates’ exposure to diverse learners. Candidates may spend the week locally working with students in a homeless shelter, observing and teaching on a reservation, working with alternative education programs or contributing to community/social service programs. There are also opportunities for a structured academic experience exploring neighborhoods in south Chicago or Ecuador while observing in local schools.

To better align with our new MAT program and with changes in national standards, we are revising several endorsement programs. The new ESOL program can be completed in three semesters and is available concurrently with the MAT. The reading endorsement will be redesigned to highlight literacy leadership for experienced teachers. A few initial courses will be available to our pre-service teachers.