Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long will it take to complete the degree?
The answer to this question will, of course, vary. MSU interns who are bringing nine (9) approved credits from their Teacher Certification Internship Year can complete the MATC in as little one calendar year, or four semesters. Students completing all 30 credits may expect to take two academic years to complete the program. All requirements for the MATC must be met within five years. (See Timeline for Navigating the MATC for a chart reflecting start and end dates for timely programs)
Q. What courses might transfer into the MATC?
The MATC will consider up to 12 combined Lifelong/Graduate Certification (GC) credits as applicable to the degree.
Of these, only nine (9) may be from the internship year for those degree candidates who did their initial teacher certification program at MSU: TE 801, TE 802 and TE 804. (An exception for those who interned 2004-05 or earlier allows TE 803 as well, though all degree requirements—including those done prior to the program or at another institution—must be met within five (5) years (i.e., five calendar years minus one semester)
MSU Teacher Preparation Program interns 2005-06 and since may bring in an additional three (3) credits (e.g., in addition to the nine (9) intern year credits) only if taken at the Graduate Certification (GC) level and approved for the student's MATC program.
The MATC will consider up to nine (9) credits of appropriate graduate transfer work from other institutions provided it meets the same conditions of timeliness and program appropriateness as determined by the MATC program advisor. While informal discussion about transfer credit may occur at anytime, actual credit transfer evalaution requires full matriculation to the MATC—e.g, program enrollment in addition to admission.
Q. What happens to my application once I have submitted all materials? How long will it take for me to hear what decision has been made regarding my application?
We review applications as soon as all materials are received. The process varies, but every effort is made to insure timely processing of your application. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for the semester they intend to start the program, however, late applications may be considered as long as space in the program and time for processing remain.
Q. How do I learn about enrolling once I am admitted?
The MATC Acceptance Letter Insert will contain pertinent inforamtion regarding the Schedule Of Courses along with activating the MSU NetID (for accessing student accounts and MSU email) as well as instructions on how to use the Schedule Builder within the Schedule of Courses for enrolling and checking on the availablilty of TE and other department courses.
MSU uses ANGEL as an electronic venue for delivering most (though not all) of its online courses.
Q. I do not have teacher certification. Will the MATC prepare me to teach in public schools?
No, the MATC does not lead to initial certification. However, lf you are interested in obtaining Michigan Provisional Teacher Certification, you may be interested in the College of Education's Post-Bachelor Teacher Certification Program. The "Post-BA" is a program that enables persons with a bachelor's degree (or higher) to be recommended for certification by Michigan State University through a combination of course work and graduated field placements culminating in a year-long internship in a K-12 school. To find out more about the Post-BA and its various requirements, please visit the College of Education's Post Bachelor Teacher Certification Program website.
Q. Who are the students in this program?
Most of our MATC students are teachers at the elementary and middle-school levels; about a fourth are secondary teachers. Some are specialists in particular subject areas, but most are generalists responsible for teaching several subjects in the school curriculum. Some of our students are school psychologists and counselors, or they teach English as a Second Language, the arts, physical education or work with students with special needs across the K-12 spectrum. A few have responsibilities in staff development or district offices. Some classmates will be principals, administrators or district coordinators who are taking certain courses in this M.A. program to enhance their work or study in other degree programs. Some students hold administrative positions in foreign ministries of higher education or teaching positions in universities overseas. About 20 percent of our students represent non-Anglo, international and domestic, ethnic groups. Currently, about 80 percent women and 20 percent men are enrolled in our program.
Q. What are the underlying goals and assumptions of the program?
Our primary goal is to help educators become more critically reflective about their own beliefs and practices, and to become the kind of professionals who can frame and address complex problems in practice in creative and defensible ways.
We seek to prepare teachers for professional roles and activities beyond the individual classroom. Teaching occurs in a larger social context than the classroom and we believe teachers should assume more proactive, critical roles in shaping their work and those policies and practices that affect curriculum, teaching and learning in schools.
In this program, you can expect to study cooperatively with peers, to engage actively in learning, and to share your professional journey and examples of your work over time with peers and faculty. Finally, you can expect to participate actively in self-evaluation throughout your program of studies and to evaluate the effects this program has had on your thinking as a professional.
Q. Will the class/workshop/activity I have already taken count?
Possibly. That's a determination your advisor makes after you're admitted. As a generalization, the university only permits 10 credits of prior course work to be transferred into one's M.A. program (those completing the five-year Teacher Preparation Program at MSU are permitted nine (9) credits). Interns bringing in coursework from the teacher certification fifth year are not allowed to transfer additional course work. (Students who opt for the pre-internship study abroad are admitted for the Summer Semester Study Abroad as MATC candidates are allowed to include [typically] TE 815 and TE 894 and therefore, do not "transfer" these six (6) credits.)
Q. How do I transfer credit?
You don't; your advisor does. Again—after admission, we encourage new M.A. candidates to meet with their advisors as quickly as possible to a) determine a program plan and b) discuss what credits previously taken need to be transferred to your M.A. program. There is no guarantee that taking course work at another institution will be approved, so please consult with the MATC program personnel prior to enrolling in any external credits, if between semesters at MSU.
Q. When should I apply?
Ideally, at least three months before you wish to enroll. Enrollment can be for any semester, including summer.
Q. When do I start?
We encourage students to progress through the program in cohorts that begin their course work with TE 807 or TE 808. Students may begin the program any semester (Summer, Fall, Spring) but TE 807 or TE 808 should be taken early in the program, ideally during the first semester.
Q. How long will it take me to earn my master's degree?
The program is designed so that it can be completed in three years or less. It may take you less time if you have already earned credit that will transfer or it may take you longer if you cannot or choose not to take a "full load" during the intensive summer sessions or at the degree centers. All of your credits must be earned within the five-year time limit.
Q. Is it too soon for me to enter the program? How much experience should I have?
The MATC is a general teacher education degree intended for practicing classroom teachers. The intent is to strengthen teachers in their classroom pursuits, regardless of grade level or subject matter. Consequently, a student in the MATC ideally is currently a teacher while taking the degree so that s/he may practice and apply the concepts learned in the program. The amount of prior teaching experience is irrelevant to success in the program; concurrent teaching is much more important. Please note that current employment in a working K-12 classroom is desired but not required for admission.
Q. I don't meet all of the qualifications. Are there any exceptions?
Students have been admitted to the MATC program who lack one or more of the qualifications, but a) they are exceptions to admission policies who have had strong credentials in particular areas that make them likely to "grow into" the qualifications or b) they are admitted on a provisional basis, pending completion of particular conditions. If you have any questions about your consideration as a candidate for admission, or simply wish to consult with the MATC program advisor about the appropriateness of our program for you, please email Dr. Paul Kurf at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (517) 884-1889.