Master of Arts in Teaching

-Jamie Busby '16, MAT Graduate, Southeast Polk Business Teacher

Program Format

(Indianola and WDM Campuses)
8-week courses

Program Information

A minimum of 42 credit hours
Faculty Profiles


$550/ credit hour

When Can I Start?

Fall Semester

Email or call 515-961-1727 to schedule a personal appointment with an advisor to discuss your career and educational goals.

We are now accepting online applications for the cohort beginning Fall 2018.


Find out more

  • Affordable evening courses offer a convenient schedule for earning your degree.
  • Study with committed Education faculty who are knowledgeable, passionate, and supportive.
  • Learn from Simpson's master teachers during classroom field experiences.
  • Our cohort model encourages peer-to-peer learning and often results in lasting professional and personal relationships.
  • Click here to view a brochure with program details.
  • Simpson’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Transition to Teaching (T-to-T) programs start every fall. Contact an Admissions Counselor at 515-961-1313 for more information and admission steps.

Required Courses (42+ credits)

Educ 500: Foundations of Education 4cr.

An introduction to public education and to the profession of teaching. By examining the historical, philosophical, and sociological aspects of American public education, the course leads graduate students through a reflective critique of our current educational system and its significance to our society. In addition, the course focuses on the needs and problems of pubescents and adolescents within the school setting. Students are introduced to the use of student data and professional research to guide instructional decision-making. There is a ten-hour field experience requirement. Orientations to the Teacher Education Program and the ePortfolio are included in this course. Candidates are required to pay for, and pass, a State DCI background check prior to beginning field experience in the schools. Candidates who plan to continue in the Graduate Teacher Education Program are required to apply for, and be admitted to Level II of the program before taking additional education coursework. Level II requires the purchase of a Chalk and Wire account (for the creation of the electronic portfolio), and they must take the C-BASE test (there is a fee for the C-BASE test). Please see the Graduate Teacher Education Program page on the Education Department’s website for a complete list of requirements for Level II admission.

Educ 506: Adolescent Growth and Development 2cr.

Explores typical and atypical growth of pubescent and adolescent youth. Relevant research and learning theory are examined and especially as they relate to a teacher’s ability to provided learning opportunities that support the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of adolescents. An emphasis is placed on individual and group behavior and motivation, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Educ 506 must be taken after, or concurrent with, Educ 500.

Educ 508: Assessment, Planning, and Teaching 2cr.

Candidates gain knowledge about the assessment, planning, teaching, evaluation sequence for teaching; there is an emphasis on understanding the “whys” of the process. A wide variety of teaching models and instructional strategies are presented as a means to encourage student’s critical and creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and the application of knowledge and skills. The goal is for candidates to be able to create an environment that encourages positive social interaction and engaged student learning. Requires a minimum of ten hours of clinical field experience in a middle/high school setting. Prequisites: Educ 144, 188 or Educ 500 and 506.

Educ 512: Exceptional Learners 4cr.

An introduction to the wide range of abilities and needs of exceptional learners, including but not limited to talented and gifted students, those challenged in the areas of physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and career; English language learners, students who are at-risk, mobile students and families. The goal is to identify educational strategies that will provide optimal learning experiences for all students. The legal bases for special education are presented, and the models of collaborative problem solving, differentiated instruction and co-teaching are emphasized. Prerequisites: Educ 114, 118, 222 or Educ 500, 506, 508.

Educ 516/516P: Secondary Education and Secondary Education Practicum 4cr.

  • Educ 516 - This course is designed to serve students hoping to teach at the middle and/or high school levels, focusing on strategies and concerns common to most subjects at those levels. The students will build upon, expand, and apply their understandings of cognition, communication, motivation, management, research-based teaching strategies, and assessment. It involves an extensive practicum of at least 30 hours. In that practicum students will examine and practice a variety of evidence based teaching strategies, including teaching at least one lesson; use and evaluate educational technology; and apply techniques that assist secondary-level students read in the content areas. This course must be taken concurrently with, or prior to, taking a course in the Educ 540 series. Prerequisite: Educ 114, 118, and 222, or 500, 506, and 508. 4 credits.
  • Educ 516P - This secondary education practicum, which is taken concurrently with Educ 516, provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in a clinical setting and to practice their skills in an authentic setting. Prerequisites: Educ 500, 506, 508, and concurrent wiht Educ 516. Zero credits.

Educ 521: Human Relations in Teaching: Diversity and Inclusion 4cr.

Students will understand and deconstruct the impact of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, SES, ethnicity, language diversity, and other factors on equitable educational opportunity. Further they will explore, confront, and proactively work to minimize the impact of one’s own biases on who they are as teachers and how one relates to/interacts with students, parents, administrators, and community members. Students will also understand the social structures and systemic “isms” (created by the intersection of diversity and power) within our society that if left unaddressed create gaping educational inequality. They will reflect upon said understandings and use such to plan for how one will integrate the various human relations issues, topics, knowledge, awareness, sensitivities, attitudes, and understandings into one’s own future classroom to create and maintain caring and democratic learning communities. To accomplish this students will explore and utilize purposefully inclusive pedagogy and student engaging and empowering organizational structures to create within one’s own future classroom a learning and living community in which each and every student is valued, respected, and cared for as they are–and that each will see themselves and all others as persons of unique worth and possibility. Prerequisites: Educ 114, 118, and 222 or Educ 500, 506 and 508.

Choose one or more Content Specific Methods and Practicum

Students select from Educ 541, 542, 543, 544, 545, 546, 550, and/or 551 depending on their endorsement areas. Educ 516 must be taken before or concurrently with one of the 540 classes.
Click here for course descriptions.

Scholarly Capstone Experiences - Educ 573: Master's Projects 4cr.

In addition to the e-Portfolio, a full semester of student teaching and a student teaching seminar, graduate candidates complete two additional scholarly projects that must be approved by the MAT Coordinator. Examples of scholarly projects include: comprehensive examination, thesis, analysis of an action research study that was conducted during the student teaching semester, an oral examination based on the candidate’s oral presentation of the portfolio, etc. Prerequisites: Educ 500, 506, 508, 512, 516, 521, 54X, 588, 589, and any required content area course work. For MAT candidates only. Must be completed within three years after the student teaching semester.

Application Capstone Experience 17cr.

  • Educ 588: Student Teaching (16 credits required)
  • Educ 589: Student Teaching Seminar (1 credit)
  • e-Portfolio (no credit)

Click here for course descriptions.

State Mandated Liberal Arts Courses

  • English Composition (2-4 credits required)
  • One Science course (3-4 credits required)
  • Math Proficiency (0-4 credits required) -  Math 105 or higher level course, Math 105 or higher level CLEP exam, or the math proficiency exam available through the Academic Resource Center.
  • Humanities and Social Sciences - History, English, Communications, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Religion, Philosophy, Economics (15-20 credits required). Minimum of five courses from four different departments. Educ 506 may be used as on of the courses.
  • Some candidates may be required to take additional content area courses.