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School of Education launching new dual bachelor’s-master’s program

Students who want a richer preparation for careers in education will have that opportunity through a new dual bachelor-master’s degree program launching next year at the School of Education.

The new program offers Carolina students the opportunity to coordinate completion of their bachelor’s degree with a Master’s of Art in Teaching degree. Students who obtain their bachelor’s degree from another university also can apply to the MAT program.

The new program offers more extensive experience-based preparation for teachers in high-need areas, such as math, science, middle grades and special education.

The new program launches in the summer of 2017. The first application deadline for the new dual bachelor’s/MAT program will be in January 2017. But Carolina students interested in the program are urged to consult with their advisors as early as possible to make sure their course schedules are aligned with the MAT prerequisites.

Current Carolina students will be allowed to take up to 12 credit hours of graduate-level MAT courses as undergraduates and transfer them into the MAT if they have not been used to fulfill bachelor’s degree requirements. Courses are expected to be offered beginning Fall 2016.

Fulfilling careers, meeting needs

The new program is designed to help address the need for better prepared teachers in North Carolina and beyond, said Catherine Scott, the coordinator of the program.

“Education in North Carolina, and around the country, is in greater need of well-prepared teachers,” Scott said. “We are facing an impending shortage of qualified teachers. That creates an opportunity for students who are looking for a fulfilling career. It also means we need to do what we can to help fill that need.”

The new program will include a year-long residency in a partner school, providing more extensive classroom experience than most teacher-preparation programs allow.

“We know that more intensively prepared teachers are more likely to remain in the field longer and be more effective,” Scott said. “This program was designed to provide that deeper preparation.”

Variety of licensure areas

The program launches with licensure preparation in several areas:

  • Elementary Education (Kindergarten – Grade 6)
  • Secondary Education (Grade 6-8 and/or Grade 6-12)
  • Social Studies (Grade 6-8 and/or Grade 6-12)
  • English/Language Arts (Grade 6-8 and/or Grade 6-12)
  • Mathematics (Grade 6-8 and/or Grade 6-12)

With additional coursework, program participants will have the opportunity to add on specialization in pre-kindergarten, special education, or English as a Second Language.

Other paths to teaching

The School of Education will continue to offer, with the College of Arts & Sciences, the UNC-BEST program, a baccalaureate program for math and science majors, as well as a bachelor of music program in music education. Undergraduate students in these programs will continue to earn a teaching license in conjunction with their B.A or B.S degrees.

The School also is working to establish a new undergraduate program in Human Development and Family Studies.

And, the School also has a popular Minor in Education.

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