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Master's degrees

The MAT and M.Ed. degree programs are approved in the State of Missouri by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. State approval does not guarantee licensure eligibility in any state for the MAT, M.Ed, or any specialty emphasis areas within these degree programs. (Certification within some M.Ed. emphasis areas are for Missouri certification only.) For all states other than Missouri, there has been no determination of licensure eligibility. Students residing outside of Missouri must email to determine eligibility in their state.

Master of Education, Educational Leadership

M.Ed. degree requirements M.Ed. degree checklist 

The Master of Education, Educational Leadership program is designed for candidates who wish to prepare for school leadership in the areas of School Principal and Instructional Leadership. (Instructional Leadership includes emphasis areas in Reading Specialist, Gifted Certification and Instructional Coaching.) An undergraduate degree with teacher certification in one or more areas and teaching experience are required for admission.

M.Ed., Educational Leadership courses are designed to meet the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards. Classes are foundational, theoretical and applicable. Coursework uses a common language for results aligned to a standards-based approach for determining performance levels. The courses are primarily designed for students who are currently working in the field of education and desire advancement in their careers.

Note: The school principal certificate, special reading certificate and gifted certificate are for Missouri certification only. In order to add on one of these certificates, a student must already hold a Missouri teaching certificate. Out-of-state students who wish to obtain a Missouri teaching certificate based off of their state's teaching certificate must apply through the Non-Missouri Graduate Application process. (Educator Certification [DESE] will evaluate transcripts based on current Missouri requirements and does not guarantee immediate issuance of a Missouri certificate. DESE's fee for this application is $100.)

Online disclaimer: Columbia College is currently in the process of seeking approval to offer the Master of Education in Educational Leadership in certain states. The degree is currently not available in all states. Please see the state authorization website for specific details.

Students who reside outside of Missouri and plan to enroll in the Principal Track are responsible for verifying that the program meets requirements for licensure as a principal in their state.

Master of Arts in Teaching

MAT degree checklist

For the Master of Arts in Teaching program, Columbia College and the education faculty have endorsed national certification of teachers. The college and faculty have adopted the core proposals of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as goals of the program. When conducting best practice, teachers:

  • Are committed to students and their learning;
  • Know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students; 
  • Are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning;
  • Think systematically about their practice and learn from experience; and
  • Are members of learning communities.

To help students reach these goals, Columbia College believes that truly effective teaching must be modeled, not just taught. Faculty are encouraged to engage students in active learning, research in field situations, problem solving, interactive dialogue and questioning. We encourage constant exploration of what is and what could be.

Students are supported in their efforts. Students are encouraged to:

  • Identify and evaluate relevant issues as they relate to various aspects of teaching and learning;
  • Engage in critical and creative thinking with colleagues, peers and professors;
  • Develop as whole persons, valuing individualism, uniqueness and diversity of others;
  • Consistently use reflection and research as the foundation for decision making; and
  • Value and promote professionalism and a commitment to learning which is never ending.

MAT degree completion

The final product of the MAT degree is the integrated project portfolio. Enrollment in EDUC 508: Integrated Project gives MAT students one-on-one guidance with an education faculty advisor. In order to register for EDUC 508, students must get permission from the education faculty member they wish to serve as the chair of their EDUC 508 committee. Once permission is granted, the student and/or the chair will notify the Education Office. 

The integrated project handbook gives additional guidelines for preparing and presenting the portfolio. 


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