Academic Programs of Study

Teaching (PK-4 Certification)

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

  • Innovative, personalized programs 
  • Balance theory & research with practical application
  • Earn initial certification for pre-school through grade 4

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Teaching (PK-4 Certification) at Marywood

The MAT with certification (PK-4) is designed for the teaching professional whose goals include initial certification for pre-school through grade 4, as well as an MAT degree.

More About This Degree

Tammy B.H. Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Graduate Reading Program and ESL Program
This is just a sample of our Education faculty - see them all!

The McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies includes a broad range of teaching, clinical and research equipment in support of its graduate training mission. The facility includes multimedia classrooms and a curriculum lab with excellent resources for students, including an Ellison machine, a laminator, and computer facilities.

Specific Program Requirements

Prior to admission to the M.A.T. program with certification Elementary Education, all applicants must meet with the Administrator of Education Department and the Field Experience Officer. The Pre-professional skills tests (PPST) - Reading, Writing, Mathematics- must be taken and passed within the first 9 credits of the course work.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • “B” average during undergraduate study or demonstrated potential for graduate work
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official, sealed transcripts
  • Two or three letters of recommendation

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Master of Arts in Teaching and Certification in PK-4 Education

49-60 semester hours (Variable)

Prior to admission to the M.A.T./PK-4 certification program, all applicants must meet with the chair of the Education Department or 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.
  • Thirty 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.


30 semester hours

*EDUC 000

Field Experience (minimum of 190 clock hours of observation and participation)

EDUC 500 First Semester Certification Seminar (required for students seeking an Instructional I Certificate)
EDUC 501 Research Theory
*EDUC 502 Multidisciplinary Foundations of Education
EDUC 510 Emergent Literacy: An Interdisciplinary Approach 3
EDUC 554 Learning Theories
EDUC 561 Methods, Materials and Assessment ESL
*PSYC 513 Child Development
*SPED 507 Characteristics of Students with Disabilities
*SPED 539 Behavior Management Management
*EDUC 591 Student Teaching


30 semester hours

*EDUC 506 Problems and Issues in ECE 3
*EDUC 508 Integrated Curriculum 3
*SPED 511 Curriculum Adaptations for Special Needs Learners 3
*SPED 523 Programming for At-Risk Infant/Preschool Child 3
*R ED 524 Creative Teaching of Language Arts
*R ED 526 Teaching Content Area Reading
*EDUC 470F Curriculum and Instruction: Mathematics
*EDUC 470G Curriculum and Instruction: Science
*EDUC 470H Curriculum and Instruction: Social Studies
*EDUC 005E Practicum
*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 500 Special Education Law and Service Delivery 3
SPED 536 Cognitive Assessment and Remediation 3
EDUC 520 Universal Design for Learning 2

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.