Overview of the Professional Education Unit (MAT and MEd)

Chair, Dr. Virginia (Jennie) Pilato
Associate Chair and Director of Assessment, Dr. Datta Kaur Khalsa
Academic Coordinator, Ms. Deena Britt
Academic Coordinator, Ms. Dianne Sullivan
Administrative Assistant, Mr. Esercainas Valencia
Assistant Director, MAT Student Support and Success, Ms. Kristin Kubik

Three Master's Degree Programs (MAT, MDE, MDE) – all online

MAT Program Director, Dr. Warna Gillies
MEd Program Director, Dr. Randy Hansen
MDE Program Director, Dr. Stella Porto

The department has three master's degree programs currently, two of which (Master of Arts in Teaching and MEd in Instructional Technology) constitute, for NCATE purposes, the professional education unit because they prepare professional educators for roles in K-12 schools.

The third program, the Master of Distance Education and E-Learning, which is aimed at professionals seeking to develop knowledge and skills related to management and training, does not have as its purpose the preparation of K-12 educators. This program is distinguished by its Technology-Enhanced Learning (CEL) accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The department also has a variety of certificate programs, as well as six three-credit, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)-approved reading courses for teachers needing to meet Maryland reading requirements.

Professional Education Unit

Because UMUC is preparing teachers for state certification, the department's professional education unit is subject to reporting requirements from numerous external organizations to meet numerous state, national, and federal reporting, approval, and accreditation requirements.

A professional education unit requirement of data based performance assessment verifying that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions for their professional roles necessitates use of a technology-based data system; the professional education unit adopted TK20 in 2009.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

This program is designed for students who wish to earn secondary teacher certification. Unlike the great majority of other UMUC programs, MAT students must meet entrance requirements. Re-developed and re-approved for implementation by MHEC and MSDE in 2008, the current MAT program opened in the Fall 2009 semester. This program is designed for students who wish to earn secondary teacher certification.

  • Current secondary certification areas are (17 areas): STEM areas: Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Space Science, and Physics
  • English
  • History
  • Social Studies
  • Foreign Languages: Spanish, French, German, and Chinese

Courses cover professional and pedagogical topics, grouped as introductory, student-specific, instruction-specific, and direct practice in teaching with a mentor teacher during a full-time student teaching internship lasting 80 in-school days. Focus is on producing teacher candidates who can demonstrate research-based and practice-validated strategies for teaching and learning, teach subject matter to a diverse student body, analyze and improve their practice for improving student learning, and integrate technology and global perspectives for student and professional growth. Consistent with UMUC's teaching model, MAT faculty members are expert practitioners with specializations in the areas they teach.

Link to more MAT information

Link to Organizational Charts

The Master of Education (MEd) in Instructional Technology

The MEd in Instructional Technology, begun in Summer 2001, is an advanced degree program (11 three-credit courses) that focuses on strengthening and transforming preK-12 teaching and learning through technology integration. The program interweaves three areas of study related to the preK-12 schools.

  • Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (in the classroom)
  • Technology Integration
  • Leadership (at the school and district levels)

MEd students also develop expertise in current and emerging technologies, but the focus remains on the use of the technology to maximize student learning.

Link to more MEd information