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Master of Arts in Teaching

Ready for the next step? Use your bachelor's degree to earn secondary teaching licensure.

Research, theory and practice form our comprehensive education for future educators

You’ll examine all aspects of American public education and participate in student teaching in real classrooms to gain a greater understanding of your role as a teacher. MAT candidates will earn at least 42 credit hours and complete student teaching field work; T-to-T students will earn at least 38 credit hours.

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EDUC 500: Foundations of Education
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. 4 credits

EDUC 506: Adolescent Growth and Development
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. 2 credits

Have you always wanted to be a teacher?

Study in our MAT program, and you can be credentialed to teach at the post-secondary level in just over two years.

Here are a few reasons you should consider pursuing your dream of becoming a teacher.

How long does the program take to complete?

In the MAT program you will earn at least 42 graduate credits. The program will take candidates two years to complete, plus the summer semester following licensure completion for student teaching.

Concurrent with coursework, there are 80 clock hours of daytime classroom fieldwork which allow candidates hands-on experiential learning. Please note 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 percent of your endorsement area coursework completed before beginning the graduate education core.

Can I work while pursuing my MAT?

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. While there are times during some semesters that you will need to be available during the day to participate in classroom observations (10 hours in the first fall semester; 40 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.

Where can I take classes?

Most of the graduate education core coursework is taught on the Indianola campus of Simpson College. A few classes are also available on the West Des Moines campus. Coursework that may be needed to satisfy the endorsement area is offered at either of these campuses or online.

When are classes?

Graduate core education courses are held in the evening. Courses 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 you need to satisfy additional coursework for your endorsement area, you will be able to do so conveniently. You'll work one-on-one with your academic advisor to make sure that you are taking the classes that you need to in the ideal time frame.
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When do these programs start?

New cohorts for the MAT program begin once a year in the fall.


We're committed to making sure our graduate programs are accessible and affordable for all students.  Tuition: $550/credit hour

Financial Aid

Graduate students in these programs are eligible for federal financial aid and we allow an interest-free grace period for students receiving employer reimbursement. 

Transfer Your Credits

We accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. Transcripts are evaluated to determine how many credits will transfer, as well as how a student’s former coursework meets Simpson’s degree requirements.

Prepare to become a confident and caring teacher

Simpson College's geographic location means we can help you find field experiences in whatever classroom setting you prefer, whether that's urban, suburban or rural K-12 schools.

These professional field experiences prepare you for student teaching and are integrated into your coursework, which means full-time Simpson faculty supervise, rather than temporary adjuncts. These expert practitioners will work with you the whole time as you apply theory to practice and grow into a highly effective teaching professional.

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