2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Master of Arts in Teaching, MAT

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs by College

Statement of Purpose

The Master of Arts in Teaching program at Southern Arkansas University is designed to enable career changes for those people who hold a baccalaureate degree.

Pre-candidates will be required to choose a track (elementary, middle, secondary, or K-12 licensure) prior to program start and must continue that track. SAU MAT program allows for candidates to be initially licensed in any content area the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education recognizes as an initial licensure area. It is incumbent upon candidates from other states to determine the licensing requirements in their state.

Required Alignment and Accountability

The EPP holds candidates accountable for their knowledge, skills, and dispositions throughout the program of study based on DESE competencies, InTASC standards, ISTE standards, and SAU adopted professional competencies. All coursework is aligned with assignments and assessments to ensure candidate growth. Through various milestones candidates are assessed on these standards.

For more information, please visit the MuleSTEP Guidebook here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XtadeSLr77ZfDCn5NrTSDViwCPrO_4zt/view.

Admission to the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP)

A pre-candidate who plans to follow teacher preparation programs must, in consultation with their advisor, must be admitted to the graduate school along with the MAT program. Pre-candidates can be admitted conditionally or unconditionally to the EPP and should work closely with their College of Education and Human Performance advisor to determine when the criterion for admissions is met.

For more information on the admission policy for conditional and unconditional admissions, visit the following link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19M3xIs37CIgSsXD5LjYepL49m8zgpUIx/edit

Specific Degree Requirements for Master of Arts in Teaching

Each candidate for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree must complete 30 semester hours of coursework (33 hours for the elementary education track and 36 for Special Education). All candidates regardless of licensure level will complete the core courses. Candidates will select the appropriate licensure track and complete requirements for that track.

Arkansas History:  Candidates enrolled in the K-6, middle school, and secondary social studies licensure tracks require a course in Arkansas History for standard licensure.


MAT Initial Course

(Required to be taken during first term by all MAT Candidates)

Supervised Experience All Tracks

(choose 6 credit hours)


** Any candidate that has completed the initial hours of coursework and has not found a teaching position is eligible to student teach and will take Student Teaching I MAT 6053  and Student Teaching II MAT 6063 .


Educator Preparation Program Professional Responsibilities


Candidates are bound by the Code of Ethics for Educators established by the Arkansas Department of Education Professional License Standards Board (PLSB). The Code of Ethics is governed by the Arkansas Code of Ann. §6-17-428. Violation of the Code of Ethics may result in an administrative hearing by the PLSB, who reports their findings to the State Board of Education. Violation of the Code of Ethics may result in disciplinary action or removal from the Educator Preparation Program.

Science of Reading

Candidates are required to complete a Science of Reading (SOR) pathway to be eligible for licensure based on the Arkansas Licensure Law 3 - Elementary Education and Special Education must be proficient in SOR by taking MAT 5173 - Teaching Literacy I  and MAT 5273 - Teaching Literacy II . Candidates will also be required to take and pass the Foundations of Reading exam.

All other initial licensure candidates must meet awareness and be provided the option of proficiency based on the Right to Read Act 2017. Awareness can be met by taking MAT 5003 - Strategies for Content Area Reading  (fall, summer I) or MAT 6083 - Reading Diagnostics  (spring, summer II). Proficiency can be met by taking MAT 5173 - Teaching Literacy I  and MAT 5273 - Teaching Literacy II .

Additional Trainings

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) also requires professional development by the Arkansas Code of Ann. §4-2.01.7 for all candidates in Educator Preparation Programs. Candidates must complete these requirements prior to student teaching and continue to uphold professional responsibilities.

Completion of ethics, science of reading, and additional training is a requirement for licensure approval.

Requirements for Arkansas Teacher Licensure

Candidates will not be eligible for the standard license until all Praxis II and Pedagogical assessments have been passed. Elementary Education and Special Education candidates must also pass the Foundations of Reading exam.

Graduation from Southern Arkansas University does not guarantee Arkansas Teacher Licensure. All Arkansas teaching licenses are issued by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.

After graduation and after the degree is posted on the transcript, the completer must submit an application for a teaching license. The application process is completed online and instructions for submitting the application will be provided to completer during their final semester by their advisor. Issuance of a professional license is not automatic - the candidate must apply. See advisor for application information.

Note: Teacher candidates who complete all required courses for licensure and who pass content knowledge exam(s) will be recommended for a standard teaching license. Candidates who have not passed the content knowledge exam(s) cannot be recommended for a provisional or standard teaching license.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs by College