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Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

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

  1. Are committed to students and their learning;
  2. Know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students;
  3. Are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning;
  4. Think systematically about their practice and learn from experience; and
  5. Are members of learning communities.
All MAT students who are public school teachers are encouraged to use their program of study as a springboard to obtaining national certification.

To help students reach these goals, Columbia College believes that truly effective teaching must be modeled, not just taught. Therefore faculty are encouraged to engage students in active learning, research in field situations, problem solving, interactive dialogue and questioning, and constant exploration of what is and what could be. Students are supported in their efforts: to identify and evaluate relevant issues as they relate to various aspects of teaching and learning; to engage in critical and creative thinking with colleagues, peers and professors; to develop as whole persons, valuing individualism, uniqueness and diversity of others; to consistently use reflection and research as the foundation for decision making; and, to value and promote professionalism and a commitment to learning which is never ending.

Emphasis Areas (available for Main Campus in-seat students only) Courses are grouped into three areas: curriculum and instruction, psychological and philosophical foundations, and measurement and evaluation. Students may elect to structure an academic emphasis by taking 12 hours from one area.

Add-On Certificates (available for Main Campus in-seat students only) Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Special Education, Gifted Education, and Reading Specialist add-on certificates are available to students who are certified teachers. Students wishing to pursue an add-on certificate need to work closely with their academic advisors to fulfill certificate requirements. Focused Academic Sequence A Focused Academic Sequence (FAS) can be developed and implemented to quickly and effectively respond to a student's specific needs. Any student may request an FAS to meet any baccalaureate or graduate academic need for which there is no present academic degree, major, minor, concentration, emphasis or endorsement.

In a formal business memorandum, addressed to the academic department chair(s), and jointly signed by the student and the faculty member working with the student, an FAS must be requested. An FAS request, taking the form of a specific educational objective, or objectives, and specification of the completed coursework necessary for meeting the objective, or objectives, must be approved by the department chair(s) of the department(s) in which the coursework is to be completed. The chair of the academic department in which the student is pursuing an academic major is responsible for monitoring the student's FAS progress, and for notifying the Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs when the FAS has been completed and a letter of completion is justified. The Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs issues the 'Letter of Completion' and authorizes the Registration Office to enter notice of the letter in the student's academic transcript.

MAT Program Requirements
1. Students must meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements of the College.

2. Students must complete a minimum of thirty-six graduate semester hours in an approved course of study. The program is comprised of a core of three courses required of all students, and at least two courses in each of the three areas of curriculum and instruction, psychological and philosophical foundations, and measurement and evaluation.

Alabama disclaimer: 'Educator Preparation programs: State authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at an institution outside of Alabama must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at'

Master of Arts in Teaching: 'Eligibility for initial educator certification in Washington is based on completion of a state approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Missouri. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application. Go to for more information. Educators are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.' – Washington Student Achievement Council


Degree Requirements

3. Transfer credit for courses already completed before admittance to the program may be substituted for required courses upon recommendation of the Education Department. After being admitted, the student must complete all course work at Columbia College, unless specific permission is obtained from the MAT Graduate Program Coordinator. A maximum of nine graduate hours may be accepted in transfer. Petitions for consideration of transfer credit must be made prior to the successful completion of 12 hours of graduate course work at Columbia College.

4. To complete the program, students are expected to do the following:

a. Within the first session on campus, meet with an advisor to discuss career goals and program outcomes. The advisor's signature on the registration form is required until an approved course of study is on file.

b. Complete EDUC 500 Research Design, and EDUC 504 Curriculum Design and Evaluation as early in the program as possible and define a final project topic area early in the course of study and direct course work toward the topic area throughout the program.

c. Upon completion of nine semester hours, file an intended program of study, which includes course work to be taken and personal goals and outcomes to be achieved. Once approved, students are expected to follow this program; any changes should be approved by the advisor.

d. Students may not register for EDUC 508 Integrative Project until they have an approved proposal. Students who register for EDUC 508, but do not complete the course in one session, will receive a grade of Incomplete. Subsequently, students must continue to register each session (except for Summer session) until the project is completed and accepted. Post-Baccalaureate students completing EDUC 508 in order to earn teacher certification may repeat EDUC 508 for an additional three hours of credit in order to serve as a culminating experience for the MAT degree.

e. Clinical experiences are available for a maximum of six hours of graduate credit. The purpose of clinical experiences is to provide an opportunity to do field research or to conduct professional practice; the experience must not duplicate previous experience or be a part of a regular teaching assignment.

5. Completion of the degree means more than the accumulation of the required course hours. Students must be aware that the integrative project requires acceptance as demonstrated by a satisfactory oral presentation before a jury of faculty and peers.

6. Students must participate in a final review, which includes a portfolio that documents progress toward exit competencies and program goals, a self-evaluation which demonstrates an ability to reflect and use analytic and creative skills, a collaborative assessment with faculty and an evaluation of the program.


The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is available at the following locations:

Online Campus


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