Master of Arts in Teaching, M.A.T., and Certification in PK-4 Education

(59-62 semester hours; Variable)

Prior to admission to the M.A.T./PK-4 certification program, all applicants must meet with the chair of the School of Education or a designated department faculty member and the director of professional field experience.

The M.A.T./PK-4 Education program is designed for the teaching professional whose goals include initial certification in grades PK-4 education and an M.A.T. degree. This program consists of a minimum of 49 hours of graduate work. Students with no education courses may need to take up to 60 semester hours. The courses are divided into four categories:

  • Eighteen semester hours in professional education courses which are intended to give the student an understanding of foundations of education, special needs youngsters, human growth and development, and the psychology of the teaching/ learning process.
  • Twenty-nine hours in specialty area courses which provide an understanding of the curriculum taught at the elementary school level.
  • Student teaching.
  • Six hours in core courses , providing the student with the opportunity to integrate theory and practice in both research and learning theory.

These courses are certification requirements for those students seeking both the degree and Pennsylvania Instructional I certification. Eligibility for certification is determined by fulfillment of state requirements.

All candidates are required to fulfill field experience and student teaching requirements.

Field Experience – Education certification candidates in all programs must maintain continuous registration for field experience and sign up each semester in the Office of Professional Education Field Experience. Clearances (Criminal Background, Child Abuse Clearance; FBI Fingerprints, Mantoux test, and others required locally) must be active and on file in the Field Experience Office throughout field placement and student teaching semesters.

Level I – A three-hour block of time each week is required at the assigned school. In the early field experience placements, the candidate performs tasks that are considered legally permissible for the teacher’s aide. (Minimum 40 hours required)

Level II – Candidates at this level are enrolled in supervised practicum courses. Second level field experience students are to engage in specific activities such as developing learning activities and participating in team teaching. Activities completed in this placement level are related to the objectives of the upper level methods courses in which they are currently enrolled. (Minimum 150 hours)

Candidates are required to spend seven weeks, three hours per week, in each of two pre-student teaching placements during the semester prior to student teaching. With a successful placement and teacher and district approval, the co-operating teachers would be the same for the pre-student teaching and student teaching placement.

Student Teaching – Candidates are assigned as a full-time student teacher for one semester, usually during the last year of their program. This typically will include two placements representative of all content and levels of the certificate involved. Placements are made by the Director of Professional Education Field Experience and are within an established radius from the University. Candidates seeking PK-4 certification are required to take SPED 511: Curriculum Adaptations for Special Needs Learners during the student teaching semester; candidates seeking Special Education PK-8/PK-4 certification are required to take EDUC 520: Universal Design for Learning during the student teaching semester. No additional coursework may be taken during student teaching.

I. Professional Education and Core Courses (30 semester hours)

EDUC 000


EDUC 500Seminar: First Semester Graduate?Certification


EDUC 501Research Theory


EDUC 502Multidisciplinary Foundations of?Education


EDUC 510Emergent Literacy: an Interdisciplinary?Approach


EDUC 554Contemporary Learning Theories


EDUC 561Methods Materials and Assessment in ESL?Teaching Esl


PSYC 513Child Development


SPED 507Characteristics of Students with?Disabilities


SPED 539Behavior Management Approaches


EDUC 591Graduate Level Student Teaching


EDUC 598BSpecial Topics in Student Teaching


EDUC 000: minimum of 190 clock hours of observation and participation

EDUC 500: required for students seeking an Instructional I Certificate

EDUC 000, EDUC 502, EDUC 510, EDUC 561, PSYC 513, SPED 507, SPED 539 and EDUC 591: Courses leading to certification.

II. Concentration (29 semester hours)

EDUC 506Problems and Issues in Early Childhood?Education


EDUC 508Integrated Curriculum - ECE


SPED 511Curriculum Adaptations for the?Special-Needs Learner


SPED 523Programming for the At-Risk?Infant/Preschool Child


RED 524


RED 526Teaching Content Area Reading


EDUC 470FElementary Curriculum: Math


EDUC 470GElementary Curriculum: Science


EDUC 470HElementary Curriculum: Social Studies




EDUC 506, EDUC 508, SPED 511, SPED 523, RED 524, RED 526, EDUC 470F, EDUC 470G, EDUC 470H and EDUC 005E: Courses leading to certification.

Candidates may also seek dual certification in Special Education PK-8 with the M.A.T. in PK-4 Education.

The following coursework will be required for dual certification instead of EDUC 508 and EDUC 510:

SPED 500The Law and Special Education and?Service Delivery


SPED 536Cognitive Assessment and Remediation


EDUC 520Universal Design for Learning


The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that certain criteria be met prior to acceptance into certification or degree programs. Program requirements discussed in this section are subject to change based on guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.