BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College has announced the establishment of its first graduate degree program — a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) — set to begin with the start of the 2010-2011 academic year. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools gave its official endorsement of Bethany’s program this week.
“The Master of Arts in Teaching is an innovative degree program that builds upon Bethany’s already high-impact education curriculum,” stated Bethany College President Scott D. Miller. “Our Department of Education is well-known for preparing exceptionally qualified graduates with a thorough understanding of successful teaching practices. Now — by taking advantage of our new, graduate-level coursework — students can look forward to even more professional opportunities upon earning a degree from Bethany College.”
The MAT degree at Bethany is a progressive program created to serve individuals who have earned their baccalaureate degree in education and teaching certification and wish to further their professional development through graduate work in pedagogy. In addition, the MAT program provides a pathway into teaching for those who hold a baccalaureate degree outside of education, allowing them to pursue graduate-level studies while completing the requirements for initial teacher certifications in elementary (grades K-6) or middle school education (grades 5-9).
Bethany’s MAT program also provides an option for Bethany undergraduates entering their senior year to seek provisional admission to the program and begin coursework. This plan enables students to graduate in five years with a baccalaureate degree, initial licensure and an MAT degree.
“The Master of Arts in Teaching degree provides an excellent opportunity for current teachers or recent graduates of bachelor degree programs to pursue advanced study in pedagogy and teacher preparation in a curriculum consistent with our rich, 170-year tradition as a liberal arts institution,” stated Dr. Darin Fields, Bethany’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “Our own undergraduate students interested in education can enter the workforce with initial certification, a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in five years, giving them a significant competitive advantage. We are delighted to add this program to our already excellent array of programs in education at Bethany College.”
The MAT program is designed to be a part-time program lasting approximately two years. Graduate classes will be held on evenings and weekends during regular semesters, along with January and summer term coursework. Online classes may also be offered. The program culminates with a full-time, semester-long internship in a public school.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.