Your Gateway to Becoming a First-Time Teacher
Walden’s online Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in Special Education (K–Age 21) 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.
Our MAT program is part of a full suite of programs in The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University, a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)–accredited institution. NCATE accreditation is a recognized standard of excellence in professional preK–12 education.
- 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.
- The teacher understands how children learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support a child’s intellectual, social, and personal development.
- The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.
- The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of the subject matter, students, community, and curriculum goals.
- The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.
- 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.
- The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
- The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
- The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
- 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 detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.
Note on Licensure
*Walden University is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board to offer the Master of Arts in Teaching which leads to Minnesota Tier 3 licensure in special education (K-21). However, before Walden can recommend a candidate for teacher licensure, the candidate must also pass the required exams for Minnesota licensure adopted by the Minnesota Board of Teaching, undergo a Minnesota background check, and complete any other Minnesota Board of Teaching requirements beyond completion of Walden’s state-approved teacher preparation program.
Individuals interested in pursuing teacher licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify for a comparable license by virtue of completing the Walden Minnesota-approved teacher preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s teacher licensing regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. Prospective students seeking to be licensed in states other than Minnesota must research their state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program, and (2) if there are any other requirements that apply, especially requirements pertaining to programs provided by out-of-state (except Minnesota) or online institutions. Additionally, prospective students are advised if they choose to relocate to carefully review, evaluate and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.
Individuals enrolling internationally must be supervised by a teacher with a valid US state teaching license, in a school that follows a US-based curriculum at the appropriate grade level for the license. Prospective students must check that the program is accepted for teaching credential in the state they reside.
Walden enrollment advisors can provide general information on state licensure; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all licensure requirements in the state they reside. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement.
Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at www.alsde.edu.
Note to all Pennsylvania residents: Walden University’s teacher preparation program is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board as leading to licensure. Because this program is not reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, candidates are instructed to apply for Pennsylvania certification as out-of-state graduates of a teacher preparation program.
*Note to all Washington residents: Eligibility for initial educator certification in Washington is based on completion of a state-approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Minnesota and is authorized for field placements in Washington by the Professional Educators Standards Board. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application. Go to https://www.pesb.wa.gov/educator-pathways/becoming-a-washington-educator/out-of-state-license-transfers/ for more information. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for teacher advancement.