Master of Arts in Teaching/Transition to Teaching (MAT/T-to-T) Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How much does the program cost?

Graduate tuition for 2014-2015 academic year is $482/credit.

In the T-to-T program you will earn at least thirty-eight (38) graduate credits. If you are an MAT candidate, you will earn at least forty-two (42) graduate credits.

In addition the graduate core education classes, some candidates will be completing additional coursework for your endorsement area. These classes are offered at the undergraduate level at a cost of $365/credit. Most classes will be worth four (4) credits.

The number of classes needed for an endorsement will vary from candidate to candidate. This will be discussed at length during the interview for the program with your academic advisor. It is recommended that candidates have at least 75% of the coursework for your endorsement area completed before beginning the graduate education core.

2.  Are MAT and Transition-to-Teaching candidates eligible for financial aid?

Yes. MAT & T-to-T students are eligible for financial aid. All prospects interested in financial aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

3.  What are loan forgiveness programs?

For prospects who will be looking to teach in high need areas (math, science, physics, and special education), you may also be eligible for loan-forgiveness programs. These programs are not associated with the federal government financial aid program. You can find out about these programs through your own research.

4.  What do I need to do to apply?

  • Complete the general application for graduate admissions (includes a personal essay and résumé).
  • Official transcripts from all institutions that you have attended
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • Interview with the academic advisor for the graduate education programs

5.  When will admittance decisions be made?

After the application is complete and all materials have been received, a recommendation is made by the Graduate Admissions Committee on your acceptance.

Currently, decisions are made on a rolling basis.

6.  Do you require the GRE? Any other tests?

No. While Simpson College does not require the GRE for admittance into the graduate education programs, if you want to submit your scores to Simpson College, our Institutional Code is 6650. GRE scores will not be used to evaluate your application materials.

However, there are three exams that candidates will need to pass while they are in the MAT or T-to-T program:

The first, C-BASE, is offered on campus through the Hawley Learning Center in the Dunn Library. Candidates will be required to take and pass this exam during the first semester of their program.

Candidates are also required to take and pass two PRAXIS II exams:  one in their content area and the second is a pedagogy (Principles of Learning and Teaching) exam. These tests are offered through the Educational Testing Service ( Candidates are required to take and pass their content area exam before student teaching; they will be required to pass the pedagogy exam before being approved for licensure.

7.  Are you accepting applications now?

Yes, we are accepting applications. To begin the process, please complete the Graduate Programs General Application and request that your transcripts be sent to:

Continuing & Graduate Programs
Simpson College
701 N C Street
Indianola, IA  50125

Deadline to apply for the Fall 2014 Cohort (Deadline Extended to): June 13, 2014.

8.  How long will this program take to complete?

MAT:  The program will take candidates two years to complete, including summers. T-to-T: This program will take candidates two years and one summer to complete.

However, if you need to satisfy classes for your endorsement area, this could lengthen the time needed to complete the program. We recommend that you have at least 75% of your endorsement area coursework completed before beginning the graduate education core.

9.  Where are the classes held?

Most of the graduate education core coursework is taught on the Indianola campus of Simpson College. We will also be offering a few of these classes on the West Des Moines campus. Additionally, coursework that may be needed to satisfy the endorsement area is offered on each of our campuses (Ankeny, Indianola and West Des Moines).

10. What is the schedule?

Graduate core education courses are held in the evening, starting at either 5:30 pm or 6 pm. Courses generally meet one night a week over the entire semester. If there is more than one education class required in a semester, we try to schedule them to be held on the same evenings.

The schedule is designed so that if candidates need to satisfy additional coursework for your endorsement area, you will be able to do so conveniently. You will work with your academic advisor to make sure that you are taking the classes that you need to in the time frame necessary.

11. What type of career will I be able to pursue?

The MAT and T-to-T programs lead to a Secondary Teaching License. At the end of the student teaching semester in the spring of your second year, candidates will be eligible for licensure and can apply for jobs teaching in the 5th–12th grades.

12. Can I keep my job while completing the program?

Yes and no.

First yes. While you are completing the coursework, you will be able to maintain a full time job. The classes for the graduate education core are offered at night and some Saturdays. While there are times during some semesters that you will need to be available during the day to participate in classroom observations (20 hours in the first fall semester; 30 hours in the first spring semester and 30 hours in the second fall semester), past candidates have not had any problem in fulfilling these practicum by taking time off of work to satisfy these requirements.

And no. You will be student teaching in the spring semester of year two of the program. This is the time when you will be teaching during the regular school day, under the guidance of a mentor teacher. You will be committing to a classroom to teach the entire semester (15 weeks). Because of this commitment, you will not be able to maintain a full-time job during the day. However, some candidates do choose to continue to work in the evenings and on the weekends.