UMUC Responds to Teacher Shortages, Launches Online MAT

Cost of the eight-week online preparation course for the Praxis/MAT exam can be applied to the cost of graduate tuition.


By Kerry O'Neill (koneill@mghus.com) |   March 27, 2009

ADELPHI, Md. (March 27, 2009) – UMUC today announced the launch of its new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program for secondary education, with concentrations in computer science, earth/space science, mathematics and English. Aside from a required in-classroom internship, the program will be offered online, allowing students to accommodate their own busy personal and professional schedules. The university will also offer a Praxis/MAT exam preparation course online during the summer, with the cost deductible from tuition for students who go on to enroll in UMUC's MAT program.

“UMUC has a long history of serving the needs of adult students while also responding to the demands of the workforce,” said UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge. “We are particularly pleased, then, to offer the new Master of Arts in Teaching online, which promises to open doors to a field with ongoing demand for skilled personnel while at the same time responding to current and projected shortages of qualified teachers in Maryland and nationwide.”

Given the troubled state of the economy, the MAT program is expected to be particularly appealing to individuals who wish to enter a more stable industry. The program is designed for students who hold a degree outside the field of education and wish to teach computer science, earth/space science, mathematics or English at the secondary level. Coursework for the MAT program will include field experience, a 9-credit internship, a professional seminar and an on-site residency. Graduates of the program will be eligible to apply for the Standard Professional Certificate I and receive their Maryland state teacher certification.

To help students prepare for the MAT program, UMUC will offer a Praxis/MAT online preparation course during the summer. The eight-week, non-credit course is designed to prepare students to take the PRAXIS/MAT test, which is required for admission to any teaching program. If a student chooses to take the PRAXIS exam online, UMUC will apply the cost of both the preparation course and the exam to that student’s graduate tuition.

Students who wish to enter the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Have earned at least 36 credits in one of the areas of concentration
  • Have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the area of concentration
  • Have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for highest degree earned
  • Have passed either the Praxis I or other MSDE-approved certification exams