The secondary education Master of Arts in Teaching degree emphasizes the preparation of effective and reflective teachers who are knowledgeable in the content they are preparing to teach and cognizant of the characteristics of adolescents, ages 12-18. The licensure areas for which individuals are prepared include English, mathematics, natural sciences (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics), and history and social sciences (includes licensure to teach history, economics, geography and political science).
Undergraduate candidates and post-baccalaureate candidates planning to teach at the secondary level (grades 6-12) should consult with a secondary education adviser to ensure completion of the required prerequisites. Candidates should visit the departmental office in 3200 Memorial Hall to be assigned a secondary education adviser. A specific arts and sciences major or equivalent course work and experiences may be required for admission to some programs of the M.A.T. and for licensure to teach in certain disciplines and grade levels. Candidates should check with their adviser frequently to be apprised of changes in the offerings and requirements listed that may affect them.
The fifth-year licensure programs build on the extensive foundational course work and experiences candidates have completed in their undergraduate programs. Candidates will have completed the prescribed course work to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors needed for successful completion of the M.A.T.
Candidates interested in the requirements for the M.A.T. program in physical and health education (PreK-12) should refer to the description for that program in the Department of Kinesiology. Candidates interested in the requirements for the secondary licensure program in foreign languages should refer to the description for that program in Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the undergraduate catalog.
Although individual candidate’s programs of study will vary depending upon major and licensure area, the following represents the breakdown of the required credits in a typical program of study. The program of study for secondary education is as follows.
Undergraduate candidates in the secondary education pre-professional program must complete an arts and sciences major or equivalent in a specific discipline related to the teacher licensure area of intent. Majors related to approved licensure areas at JMU include biology, chemistry, English, Earth-science, history or political science, mathematics and physics. Candidates with majors in history or political science must also complete course work in the interdisciplinary social science minor.
Candidates must also apply to and be admitted to teacher education at JMU. Candidates must initiate their application by contacting the Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education. Criteria for admission to teacher education are described in the Undergraduate Catalog.
To be considered for admission to the secondary education M.A.T. degree program, candidates must have:
- Satisfied all requirements for admission to teacher education.
- Submitted Virginia passing Praxis Subject Assessment scores to the JMU Education Support Center prior to beginning more than 12 hours of MAT graduate course work.
- Exhibited and demonstrated personal qualities and dispositions that reflect effective development as a professional educator.
- Satisfied all requirements for admission to The Graduate School, including achieving an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
This program is intended for JMU candidates continuing from the undergraduate pre-professional secondary education program. The secondary education Master of Arts in Teaching degree is designed to enable candidates to develop a strong professional education on a foundation of undergraduate preparation in General Education, an appropriate major and introductory professional education experiences.
The Post-Baccalaureate Entry Option
Prospective students interested in becoming a teacher but who have not completed the undergraduate pre-professional Secondary Education minor at JMU are not eligible for this program. Students may be eligible for the Education: Initial Licensure in Secondary Education Concentration, M.A.T. or the Education: Initial Licensure in Middle Education Concentration, M.A.T. graduate-only programs.