Covenant College to Offer Master of Arts in Teaching
Next year will mark the beginning of Covenant’s master of arts in teaching program (MAT). This new program comes alongside the master of education (M.Ed.), created in 1991. Dr. Jim Drexler, dean of social sciences and the master of education program, notes that the two master’s programs exist for two very different audiences.
“The M.Ed. does not lead to teacher certification,” he says; “it’s for teachers and administrators already working in schools, coming for advanced graduate work.” The MAT, however, will be for students not certified as teachers, “who already have the content knowledge of their discipline through their BA work, and then they come and do the one year MAT with us, doing all of the professional education courses that lead to certification.”
Students interested in the MAT need only complete their undergraduate studies in one of many possible disciplines: art, biblical studies, biology, chemistry, economics, English, French, history, mathematics, physics, Spanish and theatre. While the program will offer no subject-specific degrees, in addition to classes focusing on practices of education, faculty members from various departments will serve as curriculum liaisons, helping adapt the syllabus to some degree to suit each specific discipline. The program is pending approval of the Georgia Professional Standards Committee and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In the past year, as the program has taken shape, student interest has been strong. “There’s been a lot of positive feedback from our current students and from some graduates of Covenant and other schools in the area,” says Drexler. Corban Brauer ’10, who majored in art, looks forward to pursuing an MAT at Covenant. “Eventually I want to get my MFA,” he says, “but for now I would like to be able to teach art both domestically and in a few years internationally.” He expects to gain “experience and a lot more resources to work with in terms of teaching.”
With reserved confidence Drexler estimates 15-18 students will join the first MAT class, which convenes in June of 2011.