The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the University of Southern California (USC) is on the move. USC has been ranked as #15 in graduate schools by U.S. News and World Report, and MAT is the fastest growing teacher preparation program in the country at a not-for-profit university or college. The complete program, which is comprised of a minimum of 30 units, can be completed in about one year on a full-time basis, or over two to three years on a part-time basis. Students may choose to specialize in any of the following:
- Multiple Subject (Elementary Education)
- Social Science
The mission of the USC Rossier School of Education is to strengthen urban education locally, nationally, and globally. To that end, field experiences are an integral part of most MAT courses. From the beginning of the program, students are placed in local classrooms to observe and practice the applications of theories and instructional methods from mentor teachers. Such practica prepare the finest educators to succeed in any and all educational circumstances.
USC Rossier Online brings the same rigorous program to distance learners as traditional students have had access to for more than 100 years. The same instructors who have been teaching face-to-face are now also online, and coursework is produced by faculty who work with world-class instructional designers. The USC Placement team will help online students locate the same kinds of opportunities for practical training as traditional students benefit from. And students both traditional and online have access to the expert Student Services Team from matriculation to graduation and beyond. Online and traditional students even share the same admissions requirements:
- A bachelors degree (prior education courses not needed)
- List of employers
- 3 essays
- 2 letters of recommendation
USC Rossier Online uses the learning platform 2SC, which allows for live face-to-face interaction between students and faculty during class time. The coursework itself is self-paced and available 24/7 any way and anywhere students are able to access the internet, including iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, through special apps designed specifically for 2SC. During their progression at USC Rossier Online, students compile a unique online portfolio that records experiences that will be available to potential employers. In addition, 2SC supports a highly interactive social networking platform.
The curriculum is always of the utmost importance, and USC Rossier Online doesn’t disappoint. To prepare teachers to deal with students of diverse backgrounds and myriad challenges, the MAT curriculum is divided into four parts that combine class time theory with classroom experience:
- Foundations: background in sociological and psychological theory; how to integrate technology into the classroom
- Teaching Methods: how to plan, implement, and assess instruction
- Language and Literacy: theories of language for students who are either primary or secondary English speakers
- Field Experience and Capstone Portfolio: observation of mentors and practical application of theories; completion of experience portfolio
The Capstone Portfolio is the culmination of the learning process. Student-teachers plan the curriculum, introduce it into the classroom, videotape the results, and upload the tape for review by instructors and peers.