Early Childhood Education

M.A.T. Elementary Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Elementary Education is intended for those who hold a bachelor's degree and are seeking initial certification at the master's level. Successful completion of the M.A.T. program of study and passing scores on the appropriate GaPSC-approved Content Pedagogy Assessment and GACE Content Assessments lead to eligibility for Level 5 induction certification.

The program is designed to offer a comprehensive study of the specialized skills and knowledge needed to teach and support young children in grades Pre-K through 5. The program offers a wide scope of course content that focuses on theoretical and pedagogical issues while incorporating research, assessment, and technology integration. Diverse field experiences throughout the program help to prepare teachers to support the diverse needs of young students.

The program is designed for: recent college graduates with degrees in fields other than education; re-careering professionals; paraprofessionals who have bachelor's degrees; teachers who hold non-renewable certificates and who want to earn Clear Renewable master's level certificate; and teacher candidates from a wide variety of academic majors who are interested in earning both initial certification and a master's level teaching certificate. 


Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to: 

  • Understand the social, behavioral, emotional, cognitive and physical characteristics and needs of young children 
  • Understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and how the learning environment can be adapted to meet the diverse needs of young children 
  • Design and implement an integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum for all areas of a child's development 
  • Develop and implement a wide variety of formative and summative assessment strategies 
  • Integrate research based strategies and instructional technology effectively into all components of the elementary education curriculum 


Field experience is an integral part of the Teacher Preparation Program. Each candidate is expected to complete a sequentially planned series of field experiences in diverse settings, and meet cluster requirements of their individual program plan. (See program plans for specific number of field experiences and cluster requirement information.) Field experiences are coordinated through the Office of Field Placement


The M.A.T. in Elementary Education program admits students five times per year in August, October, January, March, and May on the Atlanta campus and once per year in August at the Henry County location. Classes are presented one evening a week on a sixteen-week semester schedule. The program is offered in an in-class format, and allows students the flexibility to attend class either full- or part-time at the Atlanta campus and full-time at the Henry County location. Students are also required to participate in field experiences, which are during the day.

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