Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) (Teacher Licensure Preparation)

Your Gateway to Becoming a First-Time Teacher

Walden’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program is ideal for those who already have a bachelor’s degree or higher and are interested in becoming a teacher. This online program is well-suited for independent, self-directed learners with excellent time-management skills. It incorporates a series of academic requirements, or milestones, designed to ensure you have acquired the necessary competencies and expertise to be a more effective educator. At each milestone, your progress within the program will be evaluated using assessments that align with national professional standards. Walden’s faculty will help you master core concepts and principles, while our student support services can provide additional academic, advising, and technical assistance. Successful advancement beyond each milestone certifies that you have the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to make a positive impact in your classroom, school, and community.

This program features:

  • Virtual Field Experiences as well as school-based field experiences.
  • Assignments that provide classroom-based teaching experiences.
  • A reflective, research-based approach to learning.
  • Best practices from national industry experts via videos.
  • A curriculum based on state and national industry standards.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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  • Licensure Preparation & Endorsement for Educators

    If your goal is to teach in a classroom or become a principal, Walden offers specific licensure and endorsement preparation programs designed to help you get there.

    If your goal is to teach in a classroom or become a principal, Walden offers specific licensure and endorsement preparation programs designed to help you get there. Learn More

  • TEACH Grants Available

    Students in select Walden education programs may be eligible for federal TEACH Grants.

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  • Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness Webinar

    Join Walden and EdWeek.org for a free on-demand webinar.

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  • NCATE Accreditation

    National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

    The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the standard of excellence in professional preK–12 education.

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  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

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Walden’s Teacher Preparation Program offers two specializations so you can focus your studies on an area that most interests you:

Find out more about the M.A.T. program now.  Request Information

Early Childhood Education (Birth–Grade 3)

This specialization in Walden’s Minnesota state-approved* teacher preparation program offers an in-depth look at increasing positive child development from infancy through the primary grades. This program will help you create a solid foundation for these early learners.

Based on national and academic standards, this specialization was developed by leading educational experts and master teachers in order to build your teaching skills and help you make a significant impact on young children.

In this specialization, you will:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development in order to build on young children’s individual strengths and respond to their unique challenges.
  • Participate in virtual and supervised fieldwork to understand the factors that contribute to the development and learning in the lives of young children who range from infants and toddlers to those in the early elementary grades.
  • Learn about the foundational theories of child development and early childhood education, including professional organizations and resources that can help you promote developmentally appropriate practices in your classroom.
  • Understand the vital importance and complexities of working with diverse parents and families in order to build partnerships that will foster children’s healthy growth and development.
  • Harness your passion for working with young children and translate it into developing effective teaching practices.

Completion Requirements

Estimated time to completion is 20 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Master of Arts in Teaching Courses

*Walden University’s teacher preparation program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching for licensure in Minnesota. Walden’s enrollment advisors can provide individuals with guidelines and other information about licensure. It remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with the out-of-state licensure requirements for the state in which he or she seeks to be licensed.

#Field experience includes a minimum of 75 hours of classroom-based and Virtual field Experience (VFE) in conjunction with coursework; 12–14 weeks of full-time demonstration teaching.

Special Education (K–Age 21)

The Special Education (K–Age 21) specialization can help you become effective in teaching students with multiple disabilities and diverse needs to learn and achieve at their fullest potential.

Part of Walden’s Minnesota state-approved* Teacher Preparation Program with a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), this specialization emphasizes the strategies and skills needed to create positive, productive learning environments that focus on a broad range of exceptionalities, including autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive disorders, health disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and other learning disabilities in the mild and moderate range.

In this specialization, you will:

  • Examine the unique characteristics and learning patterns relevant to different categories of exceptionalities.
  • Create adaptive behavioral, instructional, and literacy plans that complement the learning for students with special needs.
  • Explore effective assessment, monitoring, and intervention strategies that promote positive learning and remove barriers that inhibit learning.
  • Learn how to use Common Core Standards to guide your instruction methods and strategies.
  • Foster relationships with school colleagues, parents, and community organizations to support students’ learning and well-being.

The curriculum includes a variety of field experiences that provide opportunities to observe expert educators, receive mentoring, and apply what you learn in classroom environments.

Courses for this specialization incorporate standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and are aligned with Minnesota state’s special education licensure standards.* Prior to completing this program, you will complete the Teacher Performance Assessment.

Gain a general understanding of the guidelines and requirements of the Special Education M.A.T. program with the Special Education Candidate Guidebook (abridged version). After you download the guidebook, please call 1-866-492-5336 to speak with your enrollment advisor for assistance in reviewing the information.

Completion Requirements

Estimated time to completion is 20 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

*Walden University’s teacher preparation program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching for licensure in Minnesota. Walden’s enrollment advisors can provide individuals with guidelines and other information about licensure. It remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with the out-of-state licensure requirements for the state in which he or she seeks to be licensed.

#Field experience includes a minimum of 75 hours of classroom-based and Virtual field Experience (VFE) in conjunction with coursework; 12–14 weeks of full-time demonstration teaching.

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 46 total semester credit hours  $550 per semester hour $25,300
Books and Materials Estimated costs Included in tuition $0
Technology Fee  Per semester $160 $800
    Total $26,100
    Transfer up to 6 credits  $3,300
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $22,800

20% off if you reside outside the U.S. Click here to find out more!

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

Transfer credits for your masters program

At Walden, you can choose when, where, and how you learn thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s Master of Arts in Teaching program:

Field Experience

Walden’s signature Virtual Field Experience (VFE®)

  • Observe the best practices of lead teachers from across the U.S., via video.
  • Gain exposure to a variety of teaching styles, students, classroom settings, and activities in each segment.
  • Commit to 3 to 5 hours for viewing VFE® videos and completing corresponding assignments.

Supervised Classroom-Based Field Experience

Enhance your newly gained knowledge with supervised, hands-on field experiences in classrooms or similar education settings (beginning in your second semester).

  • Participate at the age or grade for which you are seeking licensure, as determined by each specialization and specified in each course.
  • Spend a minimum of seven and a half hours per five-week course to complete the experience.
  • Plan to be in the classroom while school is in session. (You may be required to adjust your personal or professional schedule.)

Demonstration Teaching

  • Complete demonstration teaching during your last semester.
  • Enjoy the support and mentorship of both an experienced teacher and a Walden faculty member.
  • Gradually assume complete responsibility for an actual classroom.
  • Make a full-time, 14-week (Early Childhood Education) and a 12-week (Special Education) commitment in order to be in the classroom while school is in session. (You will be required to adjust your personal or professional schedule.)

Note: Due to the traditional school calendar we do not offer demonstration teaching experiences during the summer semester.

Learn from Leading Experts

A hallmark of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is the breadth and depth of its experts from multiple disciplines and experiences.

These experts:

  • Include educators, researchers, and policymakers who are leading change in their fields and influencing the future of education on a national level.
  • Participate in Walden courses in several ways, including planning and developing curriculum, sharing insights and research through podcasts and videos, and teaching classes.
  • Provide a research-based foundation from which students can transform their teaching practice in positive and meaningful ways.

This instructional approach enables you to have access to the latest thinking in the field as part of your program curriculum.

Special Education Experts

Margaret McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Dr. McLaughlin has been involved in special education throughout her professional career, beginning as a teacher of students with serious emotional and behavioral disorders. She is the associate director of the Institute for the Study of Exceptional Children and Youth at the College of Education, University of Maryland.

Dr. McLaughlin also directs several national projects investigating education reform regarding students with disabilities, including work with the Educational Policy Reform Research Institute (a consortium involving the University of Maryland), the National Center on Educational Outcomes, and the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative.

She has also developed programs for students with developmental disabilities in Bosnia, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

Marilyn Friend, Ph.D.
Dr. Friend is a professor and chair for the Department of Specialized Education Services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The author of numerous books and publications and co-author of Including Students with Special Needs: A Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers, Dr. Friend specializes in the areas of collaboration and consultation in special education, service delivery systems, teaming, and inclusive education.

She is involved in undergraduate and graduate teaching, field-based research, advising, and the development and coordination of teacher education programs for students with mild disabilities.

Dr. Friend has worked with teachers in most of the 50 states, as well as in Canada, Portugal, and Indonesia. She assists professionals to develop effective co-teaching skills, create and maintain effective teams, and problem-solve with parents and families.

Early Childhood Education Experts

Judy Harris Helm, Ed.D.
Dr. Helm, a former primary and preschool teacher, now works with early childhood and elementary schools, helping them integrate research and new methods through her consulting and training company, Best Practices, Inc.

A past president of the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children, she has received awards including the Outstanding Service to Young Children Award from the Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Julia Proctor White Arts and Education Award from the Peoria YWCA. Dr. Helm serves on the Illinois Director Credential Commission and the Quality Enhancement Committee for the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

Her work has been translated into five languages, and she continues to provide consultation and training throughout the country and the world.

Sue Bredekamp, Ph.D.
Dr. Bredekamp works at the Council for Professional Recognition and also serves as a consultant on early childhood curriculum and professional development. From 1981 to 1998, she served as director of professional development and accreditation for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She developed and served as on-air faculty for HeadsUp! Reading, a satellite, distance-learning course on early literacy. She is co-author of several influential NAEYC publications including Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs, the 1987 and 1997 editions, and Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children, 1998.

Important Note on Teacher Licensure

Walden University is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching to offer a teacher preparation program that leads to Minnesota licensure in early childhood education (birth through grade 3) and special education (K–12 learning disabilities and/or K–12 emotional/behavioral disorders).

Before Walden can recommend you for licensure to the Minnesota Board of Teaching, you must obtain the required scores on the required Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) exams.

For individuals seeking a comparable teaching license in a state other than Minnesota, Walden’s enrollment advisors can provide individuals with guidelines and other information about licensure. It remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with the out-of-state licensure requirements for the state in which he or she seeks to be licensed, as requirements vary state by state. Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that successful completion of any program or coursework will permit teacher candidates to obtain state certification or licensure in their home state (or any other state).

In all states there are policies regarding out-of-state procedures that must be followed when someone is eligible for or has received licensure through an out-of-state institution with a state-approved program, such as the Minnesota Board of Teaching-approved programs at Walden University. Some states require that an individual actually obtain the out-of-state license first; other states do not require the actual license, just completion of a state-approved program.

For more information, please contact your Walden University enrollment advisor who can provide information on licensing requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand and comply with the most up-to-date licensing information for your state.

“Choosing to earn my degree at Walden University has enabled me to dream again and has given me the courage to reinvent myself.”

Latunja Caster
Teacher Preparation Program with a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Graduate

  1. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of the subject matter meaningful for students.
  2. The teacher understands how children learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support a child’s intellectual, social, and personal development.
  3. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.
  4. The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of the subject matter, students, community, and curriculum goals.
  5. The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.
  6. The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  7. The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  8. The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
  9. The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
  10. The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Find information on teacher licensure.
Find information about Walden programs and licensure requirements specific to your state.

For assistance in deciding which online specialization fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.