The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program at Wheaton College has a bifold focus:
- to prepare excellent educators for the contexts to which they are called to serve Christ and His Kingdom; and
- to develop teacher-scholars who are able to use the rigorous knowledge in research for the purpose of educating and leading for human flourishing.
The Department of Education offers programs for those pursuing Elementary (1-6) licensure, secondary (6-12) licensure, and special (K-12) licensure. There are two options by which candidates are admitted into the program. The first option is the Accelerated M.A.T. program, and is available to those students who are completing their undergraduate degree at Wheaton College and who apply for admission to the Graduate School by 1 March of their junior year. The Accelerated M.A.T. incorporates the undergraduate professional course work into students’ undergraduate years here at Wheaton. The second option is the General MAT program and is available for students who have received their undergraduate degree from another accredited institution. Candidates are encouraged to complete their application to the General M.A.T. program by 1 April, prior to the fall term.
The Department of Education is committed to providing an experience-oriented program set within the framework of a liberal arts education that provides a broad background of knowledge, dispositions, and skills important for a person entering the teaching profession. The purpose of the program is to prepare candidates to teach and lead for human flourishing. It is an ideal program for candidates considering teaching in public, private, or religious schools, as well as international schools. Our intent is to prepare candidates to:
- integrate Christian values and implement ethical practices in the educational setting;
- develop a knowledge base within the field of education;
- understand the nature and development of the learner;
- develop competency in decision making and problem solving regarding educational matters;
- respect cultural diversity in the school and global community;
- become knowledgeable and responsive to the specific needs of at-risk learners; and
- become liberally educated with specialization in a discipline.
To this end, the Department of Education offers teacher licensure at the Secondary (6-12), Special (K-12), and Elementary (1-6) levels. The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)/Secondary or Special Licensure graduate degree is available for candidates who desire to combine an undergraduate discipline-specific bachelor's degree with secondary (grades 6-12) or special (grades K-12) teacher licensure. The Secondary/Special M.A.T. licensure program is available for the following disciplines: English/Language Arts, Foreign Language (French, German, or Spanish), Mathematics, Science (designation in Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Space Science, or Physics), and Social Science (designation in History). The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)/Elementary Licensure graduate degree is available for candidates who desire to combine an undergraduate discipline-specific bachelor’s degree with elementary teacher licensure (1-6). The programs are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This accreditation covers Wheaton College's initial teacher preparation programs at both the undergraduate and graduate academic levels.
General Requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching
Candidates who complete a bachelor's degree plus licensure requirements are eligible for an Initial Teaching License in the State of Illinois following successful completion of the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or obtain a waiver based on ACT or SAT score, a content-area exam, and the education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA). These first two exams are given by appointment at Pearson computer-based testing sites, while the edTPA is also scored by Pearson. There is a fee for each assessment. Candidates planning to apply for licensure in other states should check with the Department of Education for requirements in those states. Persons convicted of committing any sex, narcotics or drug offense, attempted first degree murder, first degree murder, or a Class X felony may be denied an Illinois teaching license. A candidate should have a valid Social Security Number.
To be admitted to WheTEP and the Graduate School, a candidate must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. The 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA must also be maintained after acceptance into the program. According to Illinois law, only major, professional, and concentration courses in which a grade of C- or better is earned can be applied toward teacher licensure. All MAT candidates must take and pass the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency as administered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System prior to beginning graduate course work or submit an ACT/SAT waiver. Additionally, secondary (6-12) and Special (K-12) MAT candidates must pass the ILTS content area exam.
The Department of Education screens its candidates for appropriate dispositions to teach through two means:
- observations and cooperating teacher ratings during clinical experiences and
- a screening process (including the WheTEP interview) completed by professors.
Formal votes to affirm appropriate dispositions are taken at two points (admission to WheTEP and admission to student teaching) during the candidate’s preparation program. Additionally, a candidate’s dispositions to teach are carefully monitored during the student teaching experience. A candidate may be denied admission to any phase of the program or be denied licensure if, in the judgment of the faculty members, he/she does not exhibit the appropriate dispositions to teach. For more information on the screening process, please see the department.
Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching
Wheaton College undergraduate students desiring to pursue an M.A.T. need to decide no later than their junior year whether to follow the bachelor's licensure program or the M.A.T. licensure program. For those following the M.A.T. program, formal applications to the Graduate School should be submitted by March 1 of the junior year. A Wheaton Teacher Education Program (WheTEP) Application should be filed by October 1 of the junior year. By the time an M.A.T. candidate completes the bachelor's degree requirements, 100 hours of clinical experiences are required. This includes the courses: EDUC 515L,EDUC 521L, EDUC 505L; and EDUC 527L or EDUC 511L. The EDUC 507L course or other experiences may also count toward the 100 hours with Education Department approval.
General Master of Arts in Teaching
While the M.A.T. was designed as a joint B.A./M.A.T. program, persons who have already earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college can enroll in the program as well. Because some of the professional education course work may not have been completed during the undergraduate program, the General MAT program includes undergraduate course work in addition to graduate course work.
EDUC 505L. Learning Differences Practicum. (0 Credits)
EDUC 506. Classroom Communication and Curriculum Integration. (4 Credits)
Covers the communication processes germane to the teaching profession, which include the development of techniques in speaking, writing, and reading skills. Includes methodologies for teaching reading and writing across the curriculum with particular emphasis in middle school curriculum, as well as theory and practice for interpersonal communications, listening skills, public speaking, and instructional strategies (lecturing, questioning techniques, group processes and dynamics).. Prerequisites: EDUC 515L, 225, 521L, and admission to WheTEP and M.A.T. program.
EDUC 507L. Middle Grade Practicum. (0 Credits)
An optional teacher-aiding experience in the middle grades for a full-time, five-day period when the College is not in session, usually completed during the winter or spring break. Pre-approved middle grade projects required. Graded pass/fail.
EDUC 511. Theories and Methods of Teaching Elementary and Middle School Students. (2 Credits)
An introduction to general methods of teaching elementary and middle school students, including units on the nature and curriculum of elementary and middle schools, classroom management, lesson and unit planning, adapting instruction for individual differences, and assessment. Additional study for graduate students includes professional and political roles of teaching. Concurrent with EDUC 312, 315, 317, 505L, 511L, SCI 322, SSCI 321. Prerequisites: EDUC 136L/515L, 225, 225L/521L, EDUC 305, MATH 125, admission to the M.A.T. program, and admission to WheTEP $15 field trip fee.
EDUC 511L. Methods Practicum for Elementary and Middle School. (0 Credits)
This field experience will provide an opportunity to integrate theory and practice through observation and use of the concepts and strategies developed in the professional block of methods courses and to understand the culture of elementary and middle schools through observation in various school settings and an additional extended full-time experience within a particular school setting. The elementary M.A.T. major works with a cooperating teacher over a four-week period in the spring. Concurrent with EDUC 312, 315, 317, 505L, 511, SCI 322, SSCI 321. Prerequisites: EDUC 136L/515L, 225, 225L/521L, 305, MATH 125, admission to the M.A.T. program, and admission to WheTEP. Graded pass/fail. Course fee: $50.
EDUC 515L. Cross-Cultural Tutoring Practicum. (0 Credits)
A tutoring experience with students from cultural settings different from that of the graduate student’s background. Graded pass/fail.
EDUC 521L. Teaching Aiding Practicum. (0 Credits)
Thirty hours of field-based work observing and assisting a licensed teacher in a local elementary, middle or high school and preparing a lesson to teach in this context. Concurrent with EDUC 225. Graded pass/fail.
EDUC 527L. Secondary and Middle Education Practicum. (0 Credits)
A practice of the concepts and skills acquired in the departmental methods course. Concurrent with departmental methods class, EDUC 305, 305L. Prerequisite: Admission to WheTEP and the M.A.T. program. Graded pass/fail. Course fee $50.
EDUC 529. Literacy Assessment. (2 Credits)
This course is designed to explore specific problems in the teaching of the language arts beyond those covered in EDUC 312. It deals with diagnosis and recommendations for providing supportive contexts for individual differences. Prerequisites: EDUC 587, 594, 596.
EDUC 531. Ethical Perspectives on Teaching. (2 Credits)
An examination of ethical issues related to education, such as value conflicts between cultural groups, the nature of democracy in schools, allocation of limited resources, and implications of curricular decisions applicable to the candidate’s area of teaching. . Prerequisite: Admission to M.A.T. program.
EDUC 541. Statistics in Education. (2 Credits)
A study of the techniques needed for understanding, analyzing, and interpreting data with an emphasis on descriptive and inferential statistics including correlational, t-test, and analysis of variance. . Prerequisite: Admission to M.A.T. program.
EDUC 542. Research Methodologies in Education. (2 Credits)
The study and application of skills used in preparing, executing, reporting, and utilizing educational research in order to become critical consumers and producers of research. Candidate designs a curricular project that can be used during the induction year of teaching. Prerequisites: Admission to M.A.T. program.
EDUC 587. Philosophical Foundations of Education. (3 Credits)
An examination of the philosophical foundations of education from 1635 to the present. Emphasis is on a comparison of philosophical ideas in education and on the development of a personal philosophy of education. Candidate studies literature of a chosen educational theorist. Concurrent with EDUC 594 and 596. Prerequisites: EDUC 515L, 225, 521L, and admission to M.A.T. program. Course fee approx. $250.
EDUC 594. Craft Of Teaching. (2 Credits)
An exploration of the complexities of the teaching profession within the context of student teaching. Candidates will examine their experiences within the framework of readings which will inform their methods of teaching and effective interaction with students. The course will also demonstrate how research can be done within the classroom as a means to answering some of the questions which arise from the student teaching experience. Focus is on implementing classroom research. Concurrent with EDUC 587 and 596. Prerequisite: Admission to M.A.T. program. Course fee: $300
EDUC 595. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)
EDUC 596. Student Teaching. (9 Credits)
A twelve-week teaching internship focusing on the candidate’s major area of scholarship and beginning classroom research. Usually student teaching is done within a 15-mile radius of the campus. Candidates complete their student teaching in their major teaching areas. Concurrent with EDUC 587, 594.
EDUC 598. Action Reserch Paper. (2 Credits)
A research paper focusing on an area of scholarship based on on-site experience. The candidate defines, designs, and implements an original classroom research project. Prerequisites: Admission to M.A.T. program, EDUC 541, 542, 594, 596.
EDUC 599. Action Research Continuation. (0 Credits)
See M.A. Thesis/Applied Thesis/Action Research.
EDUC 698. Thesis. (4 Credits)
EDUC 699. Thesis Continuation. (0 Credits)
See M.A. Thesis/Applied Thesis/Action Research.