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English Adolescence Education (Grades 7-12)

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

The English adolescence education program is for students who have an undergraduate degree in English and seek certification to teach that subject in grades 7-12. Students who complete the degree are eligible for initial certification (see Teacher Certification for more information).

What to Know Before You Apply

To apply, you must have an undergraduate degree in English, and your undergraduate work must be acceptable to the English, General Literature and Rhetoric Department in Harpur College, as well as to the Graduate School of Education. If you are under-prepared you need to take additional credit-hours in English to be eligible to apply.  Your cumulative grade point average should be 3.0 or better in English and overall.

In addition, your undergraduate courses should demonstrate a variety of arts and sciences courses.  You must have one semester of college-level foreign language study (or three years of high school study). If you are interested in applying to the MAT English program you should have an interview with a graduate adviser in the MAT program.

Your letters of recommendation should be from English professors familiar with your intellectual abilities and scholarly work. If you have held a position in the field of education, you may include a letter from your supervisor as one of your recommendation letters. 

How to Choose a Pathway Through the MAT 

The MAT degree offers two pathways to a degree: a three-semester option and a four-semester option—both full-time. The three-semester option requires significant course overloads during all semesters of the program, but you may succeed if you are well prepared and focused. If you choose the three-semester option and attend full-time, you must enter the program in the fall semester; you will then graduate in December of your third semester (and upon successful student teaching performance).

The four-semester program requires no overload and provides additional time to immerse yourself in coursework and to prepare your certification dossier. With the four-semester program you may enter the MAT English Program in either semester, and you will graduate in May.

If you are a part-time student, you may of course take longer than four semesters to complete the program with no penalty.

Note that the new NYSED teacher testing requirements described in the checklists become effective spring 2014.

How to Think about Fieldwork and Student Teaching

You must complete several core courses ---  LTRC 519, SPED 500, SEC 593A, SEC 594A --- plus 100 clock hours of fieldwork successfully before you may be admitted to the fall student teaching semester. Student teaching is by admission only; your academic work must be satisfactory, and you must demonstrate positive dispositions for teaching in both your academic courses and in your fieldwork relationships before you are admitted to student teaching.

Fieldwork places you in a variety of school settings so that you can learn about schools and students, and gain experience working alongside all kinds of education professionals.  Ms. Tami Mann, director of the Placement Office in GSE, arranges your fieldwork experiences. You may not make your own fieldwork arrangements, owing to the political complexities of working with local school administrations.  Please read about the Fieldwork Requirements here.

Because the Master of Arts in Teaching course of study is a unique graduate program that results in a professional credential, we expect our students to conduct themselves professionally at all times in both university and school classrooms.

Minimum Requirements for Degree (courses are subject to change)

This MAT English program requires a minimum of 42 credits: 22 credits in education, 12 credits in the academic discipline, and 8 credits in supervised student teaching. If you elect the three-semester option you will accumulate 42 credits; if you elect the four-semester option, you will take an additional two-credit Professional Seminar in English Education and accumulate 44 credits. You must earn grades of B or better in both SEC 593A and SEC 594A, and you must maintain an overall average of B or better to graduate.

Education Courses - 22 credits

SEC 593A Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations in the Pedagogy of English 4 credits
SEC 594A Curriculum and Teaching in English 4 credits
LTRC 519 Adolescent Learners and Literacy for the Content Areas 4 credits
SEC 500 Foundations of Secondary Education 4 credits
SPED 500 Special Education for Content Area Teachers 4 credits
SEC 502 English as a Second Language for Content Area Teachers 2 credits

Subject-Area Courses - 12 credits

12 credits in English courses

Choose elective courses in consultation with your adviser. These courses should complement your undergraduate studies by reinforcing academic preparation in the English language, in rhetoric and composition, and in literature. If your background in any of these areas is weak, you may be required to take additional courses.

Supervised Student Teaching - 8 credits

SEC 590A Pre-Service Practicum in Teaching I (Grades 7-9)                         4 credits
SEC 591A    Pre-service Practicum in Teaching II (Grades 9-12)         4 credits
SEC 5XXA      Professional Seminar in English Education (four-semester option only) 2 credits

Download the Three-Semester Option MAT English Checklist here:

Download the Four-Semester Option MAT English Checklist here:

NOTE: For more information about this program please contact Dr. Beth Burch , or Dr. Matthew McConn (program coordinators).

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Last Updated: 3/20/14