Master’s of Teaching Information Guide

MastersInTeaching is a resource guide to MAT and MEd programs. Teaching may be one of the most satisfying professions, as teachers generally take great joy in seeing the development in their students and knowing that they are contributing positively to many future successes. While private school teachers need not be licensed, public schools do require licensure. In some states, a master’s degree in education is required to become a teacher; and in general, a holder of a master’s degree will be more employable and receive higher wages.

A master’s in teaching can come in form of a Master of Arts in teaching degree (MAT) or a Master of Science in teaching degree (MST). It’s generally a pre-service degree that requires a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree requirement. This degree also emphasizes advanced course work in specific areas of academic discipline to enhance your knowledge in a particular subject area.

University of Southern California
MA: Teaching
MA: Teaching (credential)
MA: TESOL
University of Southern California: The Rossier School of Education at Southern Cal offers three master's degrees in teaching. The MA in teaching with no credential is available to current teachers looking to expand their careers; the MA in teaching with teaching credential is available to aspiring teachers; finally, the MA in teaching English to speakers of other languages combines the MA in teaching with comprehensive TESOL training.
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Kaplan University
MA: Teaching
MS: College Teaching
Kaplan University: Kaplan University offers an MA in Teaching and an MS in College Teaching. The MS in Higher Education offers further specializations in college administration and leadership, college teaching and learning, and online college teaching – everything the budding professor needs to know to secure a solid career in academia. The MA in Teaching is a more general degree that offers specializations in Mathematics, Science, Teaching with Technology, and teaching students with special needs.
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Capella University
MS: Special Ed Teaching
MS: Curriculum & Inst.
MS: K-12 Studies
Capella University: Capella University's MS in Special Education Teaching is developed around national special education standards, the latest teaching strategies and techniques. Courses include field experiences for students to practice their skills in real classroom situations. The MS in Curriculum & Instruction teaches education professionals how to create curriculums, assess them, manage classrooms, and reduce achievement gaps. The K-12 Studies specialization is intended for already licensed P-12 teachers or educational professionals.
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Liberty University
MAT: Elementary Education
MAT: Secondary Education
MAT: Special Education
MEd: Teaching & Learning
Liberty University: Liberty University offers Master's in Teaching programs in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education, and Teaching & Learning. The M.A.T in Teaching & Learning is not intended for licensure, but the other programs are designed to prepare students for licensure.
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Ashford University
MA: Ed - Teacher Leadership
MAT: Learning w/ Technology
Ashford University: Ashford University's MA in Teaching & Learning with Technology is a unique program that helps teachers improve their class presentation skills through the latest technology tools, as well as online teaching. The Masters of Education with a specialization in Teacher Leadership prepares licensed educators to monitor and evaluate curriculum and instruction, and to lead instructors and students toward positive change.
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Grand Canyon University
MAT: No Certification
MAT: Professional Learning
MEd: TESOL
Grand Canyon University: The online Master of Arts in Teaching degree program P-8th grade prepares students to meet the requirements to teach in elementary and middle schools. Classes cover trends in teaching techniques and grade-appropriate studies. The Masters in Teaching also offers specializations in Professional Learning Communities and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
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Master’s in Teaching Description:

A master’s degree in teaching allows you to enter into one of the most respectable and rewarding careers. Becoming a teacher you will be responsible for shaping future generations. You’ll also be provided a rewarding opportunity with intellectual and creative job satisfaction. Teaching is not necessarily an easy job — it has demanding hours. With a master’s in teaching degree though you’ll be earning more than you would with a bachelor’s degree in teaching, and you’ll have the opportunity to specialize your degree in a subject you are passionate about.

Students are educated on practical teaching skills for use as a teacher, rather than educated on performing research in the educational field. A student teaching component is also a part of this degree, and most candidates spend one semester directly in the classroom.

There are two general models that master’s in teaching degrees follow: a 5th year model in which students spend one year extra beyond their bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree and an initial teaching license; and a Flex program which usually offers part time weekend and evening courses, or online course alternatives, to accommodate professionals who are changing careers.

This degree will help you plan lessons that satisfy certain state, district, and national educational criteria, and help you prepare students for standardized testing. It will also get you ready for situations such as cheating and plagiarism. Once you’re in the teaching field you’ll develop your own strategies and activities for teaching required material—the degree will be the starting point towards your future teaching career.

What Job Options are there for a Master’s in Teaching?

A master’s in teaching degree is almost exclusively a stepping stone toward becoming a teacher and working in a classroom. Therefore, most of the jobs available upon graduation would be within the education system working as a teacher. With a master’s degree you will see a boost in salary from the regular teaching salary. The following is a list of eight types of teaching job you could get after earning a master’s degree:

  • Early Childhood Education: This term applies to pre-school, nursery schools, day care programs, or kindergarten level public education. If you’re interested in using your master’s in teaching in a management field, this would be a good place to start your career.
  • Elementary School Teacher: As an elementary school teacher you must have patience and self-control to manage children all day, every day. Elementary school comprises first through fifth grade. These teachers are required to teach all subjects including history, math, reading, language arts, social studies, and penmanship. Generating your own lesson plans and grading homework will also be part of your responsibility, as well as working with individual students who need extra help.
  • Middle School Teacher: Middle school, sometimes called junior high, is usually sixth through eighth grade, or students aged 11-14. The emphasis is placed on helping students develop skills to be successful in high school. Sometimes this choice of master’s requires a double major, as middle school teachers are expected to manage classrooms in general but also to be accomplished in teaching one or two specialized subjects such as mathematics, English, science, or social studies.
  • High School Math Teacher: Teaching mathematics is a necessity in all public schools. In order to teach math at the secondary school level, teachers must pass a competency exam to obtain a state teaching credential. Also, if you enroll in a master’s in teaching program for mathematics, you must have college level experience in algebra, calculus and statistics. As a high school math teacher you’ll be focusing on preparing students for college and career mathematical encounters.
  • High School Science Teacher: High school science usually includes biology, chemistry and physics, though it is unlikely that the same teacher would handle all three of these subjects. Typically master’s in teaching programs require you to have a bachelor degree background in relevant science experience. High school science can be a fun subject to teach because you’ll be working both in a classroom and lab settings, and you’ll be proposed with challenging questions and thought processes. Again, in this position you’ll be expected to prepare students for college entrance exams as well as college level science courses, or career application of the sciences.
  • High School English Teacher: Undergraduate English majors who love literature would serve well in a high school English teaching position. Each grade level, 9 through 12, provides a different platform for introduction to literature. Teachers are expected to develop reading and discussion lists for the different levels of maturity, as well as focus on communication and writing abilities. In this position you can help those who need help in literacy, and you can influence greatly those students who show great writing ability.
  • Special Education (early childhood, middle childhood, and young adult): Special education is a field that you need special training for in addition to your master’s in teaching degree. Usually you would specialize in a certain age group so you can take courses that will help you learn how to deal with disabilities within those grade levels. If you’re looking to go into the special education profession you need a lot of patience to be working with children who have learning disabilities. In high school special education you will often work with school counselors to play an active role in special education management.
  • Special Education – Cognitive Disability: The range of problems that can affect cognition in a child is immense. Some of these areas include physical problems, neurological problems, genetic issues, and behavioral challenges. As a special education cognitive disability teacher you will be conducting classes for segmented age groups in order to try and limit the behavioral issues associated with age. Again, with this degree you usually need additional training as well as testing to receive a certification in teaching special education.

Master’s in Teaching Degree vs. Master of Education Degree:

Although master’s in teaching and Master of Education degrees sound similar, there are differences between the two. It’s important to understand these two degrees so you can decide which is the best for you and your future career.

  1. Master of Teaching: This degree serves to increase your knowledge in one particular subject area of teaching. Through focusing on a subject area the teacher becomes more skilled and a more valuable asset to education institutions. This degree facilitates the accumulation of teaching skills and expertise; therefore most people seeking this degree are interested in teaching in middle school and secondary school settings. Every program has its own requirements and format, but most programs incorporate a period of student teaching in which the applicant can experience teaching before actually acquiring the degree.
  2. Master of Education: This degree is focused more on one of several general areas that can be used for those in the profession of education. This is different than a master’s in teaching that focuses on a subject area instead. Common areas of focus for a master of education degree include counseling, administration, and curriculum and instruction. If your goals lie in higher education or administration, this degree may be a better fit for you than a master’s in teaching degree.

Overall the degree choice is up to you. You need to clearly know what kind of career you want in the field of education before deciding which master’s program to pursue. You can ask yourself a few questions such as: What position do you wish to hold? How much money do you want to make? What are the education requirements in the state you live in? What are the education requirements in the type of institution you wish to work in? Do you want to work in secondary education or post-secondary education? After answering these questions you should be able to decide which degree path is the best choice for you.

More Resources on Master’s in Teaching Degrees

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics: This page offers information on careers you can get with a master’s in teaching degree such as vocational, kindergarten, elementary, middle, preschool, and special education teachers. Information includes job descriptions, projected salaries, education and training, and more.
  • The American Federation of Teachers: The AFT Teachers division represents approximately 850,000 Prek-12 public school teachers. The division is involved in developing and implementing school improvements, enhancing teacher quality, and generating higher standards and better assessments.
  • The National Education Association: NEA’s mission is to advocate for education professionals and to unite its members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world. They provide material on lesson plans, curriculum, grants, and more.

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