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Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education Graduate Major (41 credits)
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary Education program is designed for college graduates who have decided to use their knowledge and skills to become certified teachers. If you are a Columbia College undergraduate who wishes to apply your knowledge and passion for the arts to the education of children and youth, we encourage you to consider this graduate degree as a natural continuation of your Columbia College experience.

This program is also a natural fit for “career changers,” those who have completed a Bachelor’s degree and want to become a certified teacher, and it is designed to be completed in two years. To meet the scheduling needs of graduate students, we offer courses in the early evening.

Students in this MAT program learn how to engage students in kindergarten through grade nine in the discoveries, joys, and challenges of becoming citizens of the world. Our graduate students study, discuss, examine, critique, and practice research-based pedagogy through the modeling and guidance of our faculty members, who are themselves experienced and accomplished educators. Concurrently, they participate in field experiences in K-9 classrooms, and finally in urban schools as student teachers. The rigorous and thoughtful curriculum is designed to place our students at the intersection of theory, research, practice, and critical reflection from their first days on campus through their final week in the program.

Graduates of the MAT in Elementary Education are certified to teach all academic content in grades K-5 and, depending on their undergraduate coursework, specific content in grades 6-9 in Illinois.

Integrating the Arts in the Elementary Education Program
We view the arts as integral to the content of K-9 classrooms and to the learning of children and youth. Current research demonstrates positive relationships between the arts and reading and language skills, math skills, thinking skills, social skills, motivation to learn, and an overall positive school environment.

Our courses are specifically designed to take advantage of the rich knowledge base of Columbia’s arts faculties and students. They visit our classes to demonstrate and develop ways in which visual arts, dance, music, and theater are legitimate tools that contribute to children’s learning and provide authentic evaluation of children’s understandings. Thus, our students graduate with a facility and passion for integrating the arts into all subject areas, and with the spirit of creative leaders.

For further information about the MAT in Elementary Education, or to observe a class, please contact Ms. Sheila Brady at sbrady@colum.edu or at 312.369.8147.