The Master of Arts in Teaching program provides talented college graduates, newly graduated non-education majors, career changers, and other potential candidates with a challenging program of study within their academic discipline while preparing them for an initial certification leading to a master's degree in education. The program is open to individuals with undergraduate degrees who do not hold teacher certification. The M.A.T. combines graduate level work in the teaching field with education courses and a two semester clinical practice or internship under the direction of carefully selected and trained cooperating teachers or mentors in P - 12 schools in northwest Georgia.
The objectives of the Master of Arts in Teaching program are to:
- Attract exceptionally well-qualified candidates with strong liberal arts backgrounds into the teaching profession;
- Provide candidates further depth in the teaching discipline through graduate work in the field;
- Provide applied learning experiences for candidates to develop the skills, dispositions, and professional knowledge to effectively teach their subject area to diverse students;
- Enable candidates to develop and effuse technology into their teaching; and
- Diagnose and solve problems of teaching and learning by teaching them the skills of reflection and analysis
In conjunction with these objectives, candidates will meet the Teacher Education and Graduate Education Program Principles (INTASC). The M.A.T. program provides learning experiences for future teachers at the early childhood, middle-grades, or secondary levels through coursework in Berry College's nationally accredited Graduate Education Program. Through collaborative arrangements with surrounding school districts, the M.A.T. ensures that its candidates have a thorough understanding and application of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed in elementary, middle, or high school teaching.
The course of study is highly individualized and reflects the student's interests, needs, and future teaching plans. In addition to a rigorous preparation that supports their subject matter fields, teacher candidates develop their ability to apply pedagogical theory to practice and to reflect on the complexities inherent of effective educators. Teacher candidates are engaged in effective teaching practices that support students with a variety of learning styles and abilities. Our candidates value diversity including, but not limited to, racial, cultural, developmental and learning differences. Primary advising on course selection is based on the student's background and interests, Georgia Professional Standards commission certification requirements, and recommendations of the professional societies to which the student aspires. The advising process is provided by graduate education program administrator, program specialist and faculty, who are well versed in certification and professional society requirements and who are best qualified to discuss their department's offerings.