Master of Arts in Teaching General Information

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is designed to prepare individuals who are seeking initial certification to be a classroom teacher. There are two MAT pathways; the traditional and accelerated pathways. Certification available in the traditional pathway includes secondary certification in biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, or social studies; K-12 art, French, music, physical education, Spanish, or special education; and early childhood (PK-3), elementary (2-6), or middle level (5-8). Certification available in the accelerated pathway includes secondary certification in biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, or social studies; K-12 certification in art, dance, French, physical education, Spanish, special education, or theatre; and early childhood (PK-3), elementary (2-6), or middle level (5-8).

To ensure knowledge of content, MAT teacher candidates are required to achieve the South Carolina passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment prior to the internship semester. Candidates for the MAT in Spanish and French must achieve a passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment prior to admission to the program. In addition, successful graduates must obtain a satisfactory score on the edTPA before earning teacher certification.

MAT teacher candidates must demonstrate dispositions that reflect the highest standards of the profession as they relate to students, their families, and their communities. The Richard W. Riley College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences has established appropriate criteria for professional dispositions in the following areas: commitment, integrity, communication, and fairness. 

The MAT curriculum covers a variety of subjects from professional core courses to courses specific to the graduate candidate's content area. Acquired competencies emphasized in this program will enable graduates to assume leadership roles in their classrooms, departments and schools. Through a dual advisement system that includes content and education faculty, transcripts will be evaluated and a program of study will be developed for each student. Additional course work may be required to address deficiencies in the content area. Education coursework is designed around the Initial Teacher Preparation Unit Standards Framework outlined below.

Initial Teacher Preparation Unit Standards Framework


Initial teacher preparation at Winthrop University is built around the central belief that teachers must be able to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions that produce learners prepared for 21st century challenges within the context of a free and democratic society. Through field-focused learning in school partnership settings, candidates demonstrate evolving skills in the domains of diverse needs of learners, learning environment, technology, assessment, instruction and learner engagement, literacy, and professional learning and ethical practice. These domains are embedded throughout an integrated series of classroom and field experiences involving core and discipline-specific curricula, grounded in evidence-based practice and professional standards, and designed to support teacher candidates as they learn about themselves, individual learners, classrooms, and the American school system.

Expectations for Candidate Professional Dispositions

I. Fairness
The teacher candidate assumes responsibility for the learning of all students in the classroom in a caring, nondiscriminatory, and equitable manner and persists in effective learning for all students.

II. Integrity
The teacher candidate demonstrates a recognition of and adherence to the moral, legal, and ethical principles of the University and the profession.

III. Communication
The teacher candidate interacts in ways that convey respect and sensitivity.

IV. Commitment
The teacher candidate embraces the complexity of work through reflective practice and professional growth.


Unit Standards and Elements

US1. Diverse Needs of Learners

The teacher candidate plans and implements differentiated instructional strategies for diverse learners (including, but not limited to, English language learners, learners who are living in poverty, learners with disabilities, gifted and talented learners, and other exceptional needs in general education settings) to achieve learning outcomes.

US2. Learning Environment

The teacher candidate creates a positive, safe, and caring environment that promotes learning through active engagement and respect for individual differences.

US3. Technology

The teacher candidate plans and implements meaningful learning opportunities that engage learners in the ethical and appropriate use of technology to meet learning outcomes.

US4. Assessment

The teacher candidate designs, selects, and implements multiple assessments and systematically uses data to make instructional decisions that support, monitor, and promote learning.

US5. Instruction and Learner Engagement

The teacher candidate uses developmental and pedagogical content knowledge to independently and collaboratively plan and implement learning experiences that are relevant, appropriately challenging, and aligned with curriculum goals and standards.

US6. Literacy

The teach candidate implements essential components of literacy instruction (reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and visual representation) within the discipline(s) to enhance opportunities for learning.

US7. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

The teacher candidate participates in ongoing professional learning and critical reflection, upholds ethical and legal standards, and articulates the impact of social, legal, and political contexts on American schooling.