The program leading to the degree of master of arts in teaching is designed for students who are planning to teach in elementary, middle or high schools and those wishing to do advanced study in the field of education. The M.A.T. program combines study in the field of the student's academic interest, the specific teaching field for students preparing to teach at the secondary or middle school levels, broader liberal arts and sciences subjects for students preparing to teach at the elementary level, with experience in teaching and the study of educational theory. The departments of biological sciences, chemistry, English, geosciences, government, history, mathematics and statistics, and physics actively cooperate with the Department of Education and Child Study in administering the various graduate programs.
The Department of Education and Child Study uses a variety of schools and settings to provide opportunities for observation, service learning, and classroom teaching experiences. These include the laboratory elementary school operated by the college, the public schools of Northampton and other area communities, as well as several private schools.
Students who follow the master of arts in teaching program will, in the course of an intensive five-week summer session and a full-time academic year, be able to complete the state-approved program in teacher education enabling them to meet requirements for licensure in various states.
Admission prerequisites and course requirements vary depending upon specific program; more detailed information may be obtained from the director of graduate programs.
Prospective candidates should have a superior undergraduate record and should present evidence of personal qualifications for effective teaching. Those interested in the M.A.T. in secondary or middle school teaching should also possess an appropriate concentration—normally a major—in the subject of the teaching field. All applicants should submit a paper or other piece of work that is illustrative of their writing. Applicants with teaching experience should include a letter of recommendation concerning their teaching.
To qualify for a degree, the candidate must obtain a grade of B-minus or better in all courses or seminars, although a grade of C in one four-credit course may be permitted on departmental recommendation. Courses for graduate credit may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.