MAT Frequently Asked Questions
What are you looking for in an applicant?
Three things: 1) high academic preparation as indicated by transcripts and test scores; 2) high interest and commitment to working with children as indicated by community service and activities listed in your application; and 3) high interest and commitment to education as a profession.
I'm just beginning to work on my Bachelor's degree. What should I major in?
For the Early Childhood/Elementary level, applicants are encouraged to select an undergraduate major that is a significant part of an elementary school curriculum such as English, Math, or Geography. For the Elementary/Middle School level, applicants must select a subject preparation area and be able to document in-depth knowledge in the subject which can be done by majoring in that subject. For the Middle/High School level, applicants must major in the subject they select to teach.
I haven't had much experience working with youth in public schools. Does this prevent me from being accepted?
While public school experience is preferred, experience working with groups of children via social agencies is acceptable. It is important that you have a chance to find out if you really like working with that age group.
Can I work on the experience portion after I apply?
You will need at least two experiences working with age-appropriate children prior to applying. It will always strengthen your abilities to continue to gain experience so we wouldn't discourage you from continuing to work with children, but you will need to file two letters of recommendation from experiences with your application.
Will a letter of recommendation from a professor be acceptable?
We strongly encourage you to submit both letters of recommendation from people who have observed you working with groups of children. You may submit a letter from a professor, but be aware that you will not earn points for this type of letter.
Can I participate in the program as a part-time student?
Yes! SOU now offers the MAT program on a part-time basis.
How much time does it take to complete the program?
The Full-time MAT Program is a 12-month program that runs from July to July for five academic quarters. The Part-time MAT Program runs from June year-one to June year-two for a total of eight academic quarters.
What tests are required for licensure and completion of the MAT degree?
There are three testing categories which must be met for an Initial I Teaching License and for the MAT degree: 1) "Basic Skills," 2) "Subject Knowledge," and 3)"Civil Rights."
1) The "Basic Skills" testing requirement is met by passing all three sections (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) of the NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS) http://www.orela.nesinc.com/TestView.aspx?f=HTML_FRAG/NT001_TestPage.html. While the NES EAS is the preferred test, all three sections of either the CBEST or the Praxis PPST I will also meet this requirement. You must have met the Basic Skills testing requirement to qualify for admission to the program.
2) The "Subject Knowledge" test(s) relate to the authorization level and subject you want to qualify to teach:
Candidates admitted to the Early Childhood/Elementary and Elementary/Middle cohorts must pass the NES Elementary Education Subtest I and Subtest II exams http://www.orela.nesinc.com/TestView.aspx?f=HTML_FRAG/NT102_TestPage.html .
Candidates admitted to the Middle/High cohort must pass the single-subject NES exam(s) as noted in the Admissions Requirement section http://sou.edu/education/mat/admission.html and, for subjects other than Art, Music, and P.E., to qualify to teach the single subject at the Middle level must also pass the NES Elementary Education Subtest I and II (link is available above).
3) The "Civil Rights" testing requirement is met by passing the "ORELA Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment" exam http://www.orela.nesinc.com/TestView.aspx?f=HTML_FRAG/OR008_TestPage.html.
What if I don't have passing scores on the appropriate Subject Knowledge exam(s) by the beginning of the program?
While it is recommended that you pass all exams required for licensure and the MAT degree before beginning the program, you can qualify for full admission with passing scores for "Basic Skills" alone.
So, as long as you have passed all three sections of the CBEST (or the PPST) by the beginning of the program, you will qualify to begin the program.
What happens if I don't complete all prerequisite courses before the program begins?
For the Full-Time MAT Program, you must complete all prerequisite courses before the program begins or you will not be allowed to enter the program. However, you can begin the Part-Time MAT Program without having completed all prerequisite coursework as long as it is finished by the end of the first year of the program.
Will I be able to work if I am in the Part-time MAT Program?
Yes, the Part-time Program designed to meet the needs and schedule of the working professional. During the first year you will be taking on average, two classes a quarter, half of which are in-person with the other half are conducted on-line. This schedule works out to one evening a week and one Saturday a month. During the second year you will be spending time working in a public school classroom, which will require some adjustment to your work schedule to meet this demand.
What happens if my GPA isn't high enough?
If your GPA during your last 90 quarter or 60 semester hours was below a 3.0, we encourage you to still apply. You must provide a written statement explaining why your GPA was low. You might also consider taking additional courses to help boost your GPA while also strengthening your background.
Will I be able to work while I am in the Full-time MAT Program?
Working is not encouraged in the full-time program. You will be taking a full load of classes and spending time working in a public school classroom. There is a substantial amount of written work assigned to each class plus preparation for your public school assignment. In short, it is a very demanding program and requires a high level of commitment.
How much does the program cost?
You will need to check with the Financial Aid Office and Business Services to determine the cost of the program. Tuition and fees are listed under "Student Financial Information."
Is Financial Aid available for part-time graduate students?
Yes, as a graduate students you must be enrolled in at least five credits per quarter. In the Part-time MAT Program you will be enrolled in at least six credits per quarter. You will need to check with the Financial Aid Office in order to determine whether or not you qualify for aid that is based on need.
What is an authorization level?
When you complete the MAT program, the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) will issue you a license that authorizes you to teach at stipulated grade levels. The levels are Early Childhood (ages 3 years through grade 4), Elementary School (grades 3 through 8 in an elementary school), Middle School (grades 5 through 9 in a middle school) High School (grades 7 through 12).
Can I change my authorization level after applying?
No. Once you have been admitted to the MAT program, you are committed to the authorization for which you were admitted. Each authorization entails specific course requirements prior to admission, as well as courses tailored to the specific authorization levels.
Can I earn two endorsements for the Middle and High school levels during the MAT program?
If you wish to pursue two endorsements during the program, you must meet all prerequisites for both endorsements. We strongly encourage you to talk with Dr. Steve Thorpe, MAT Programs Coordinator, so that a plan can be mapped out for you. Students sometimes prefer to qualify for additional endorsements after they are in a paid teaching situation.
I just want to be an ESOL teacher. In order to receive an ESOL endorsement, do I have to complete the entire MAT program first?
Yes. The ESOL/Bilingual endorsement is an add-on endorsement which means you must first have a teaching license before you can add the ESOL/Bilingual endorsement.
What do you mean by "cohort"?
The program is managed according to the "cohort-model" concept. This means that students stay together for the duration of the program, take the same classes at the same time, and, in effect, develop a coherent and cohesive learning community.
What are the possibilities of getting jobs after graduation?
Nationally, teachers are in high demand. Most of our graduates have been able to find jobs in their field. Factors such as location, subject area, and school financing all play an important role in the job market.