Catherine Snyder, Chair, Department of Education
Students at Union College can become certified to teach at the secondary school level through a graduate program with the Department of Education at Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus. Students can be certified to teach grades 7-12 in the following academic areas: English, languages (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian and Spanish, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and general science), social studies, and technology. Students can also take additional coursework to extend their certification to the middle school level or in the case of foreign languages, the elementary level.
Also available is a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT ESOL). Similar to the MAT in secondary disciplines, this degree program may be completed in one or two years, is offered at the Clarkson Capital Region campus, and includes a full year residency. This certification area allows the teacher to teach across all grade levels, kindergarten to 12th grade. The coursework for this MAT is all online, with the residency taking place in a school. For this reason, the Clarkson Department of Education could also support a candidate if they wanted to pursue this degree in a different part of New York State.
Students complete a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree from the Department of Education at Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus. The cost of the graduate program is significantly lower than the cost of each year in the undergraduate school.
Undergraduate Component: Students complete the traditional undergraduate major, Educational Psychology (PSY 246 ); at least one term of a foreign language for the MAT in secondary disciplines, 30 credits in foreign language for the MAT in a foreign language, or 12 credits of foreign language for the MAT ESOL; and the structured field experience, ED-500. Students with questions about the prerequisites, or concerns about meeting them should reach out to the Department of Education Coordinator at (518) 631-9870 with questions.
Details about the Department of Education teaching programs.
Admission to the MAT Program
Students should declare their interest in applying to this program by completing an application to the Department of Education at Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus. Applications to the M.A.T. program require submission of GRE or Miller Analogies Test scores as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0. The Miller Analogies Test is offered at the Clarkson Capital Region Campus monthly. Please contact the Department of Education Coordinator at (518) 631-9870 for registration information. The graduate application form can be obtained from at https://gradapp.clarkson.edu/apply
Union students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher automatically qualify for a scholarship for the MAT programs at Clarkson. Additional scholarship related to specific disciplines, locations, or academic success are also available. For more information go to https://www.clarkson.edu/graduate-admissions/admissions/financial-aid-costs-scholarships.
Courses to be Completed During the Undergraduate Program:
Students complete the regular requirements for their college academic major in addition to courses related to education. Specific courses that are required for each major are listed within the departmental listings of biology, chemistry, classics, economics, English, geology, history, mathematics, modern languages, physics, political science, and sociology.
Required prerequisite courses related to education include:
- PSY 246 - Educational Psychology (In order to take PSY 246, Union undergraduates must take the pre-requisite PSY 100 );
- Structured Field Experiences (ED 500 a non-credit course) before graduating from the undergraduate college. Students spend two consecutive school days on each of two site visits observing classes and meeting with secondary school teachers in the discipline for which they seek certification. At least one experience must be in a junior high or middle school and at least one must be a high school experience. One visit must be either in an urban or rural high-needs district. Visitations will be arranged during term breaks in the student’s sophomore, junior or senior years. In unusual cases, exceptions can be made for observations to take place during the MAT year, but it is strongly discouraged. Students can obtain information and arrangement forms from the Department of Education prior to arrangement of these experiences.
- At least one term of one foreign language (including American Sign Language) is required of all teachers seeking NYS certification in secondary disciplines. In the case of candidates seeking certification in a foreign language, a full major in that language is required. Candidates pursuing the MAT ESOL degree must complete 12 credits in a foreign language or combination of foreign languages (including American Sign Language).
Overview of the MAT Program:
In the summer between their senior and graduate year, students will complete Psychology of Teaching (ED 540), Curriculum and Methods (one of the following: ED 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, or 516), a Micro teaching Lab (ED 540L), and ED 541 Literacy for Secondary Teachers. In the fall, term students will complete the Effective Teaching for All Learners (ED 550), Writing Literacy (ED 544), and one graduate level discipline-specific course, and begin a year-long teaching residency (ED 551-552). In the spring term, students will complete the teaching residency, the Modern Teacher seminar (ED 560), the MAT Project class (ED 580), and one graduate level discipline-specific course. It may be recommended that students take an additional discipline-specific class if there is a gap in content knowledge.
Other program requirements include the New York State mandated workshops, e.g, SAVE school violence prevention, DASA, bullying.
It is also possible for interested candidates to complete the MAT over two years. Please speak to the Department of Education Coordinator at (518) 631-9870 for more details.
New York State Certification
Program and faculty advisors will meet with students throughout their program to plan how to best meet these criteria through a variety of courses and experiences. Upon successful completion of the M.A.T. program and verification of meeting the criteria for certification, students will be recommended by Clarkson University for New York State certification (many other states have reciprocity agreements with New York).
Each applicant for an initial teaching certificate must also achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the:
Educating All Students (EAS) the Education Teacher Performance Assessment - (edTPA), and the Content Specialty Test (CST);
Clarkson University’s MAT degree provides graduates with the master’s degree functionally related to their field of teaching and qualifies them for Professional Certification once they have completed three years of successful teaching (which does NOT have to be in New York State or in a public school). The MAT is a national award winning program with a 100% job placement rate over the last two years. Union College students interested in careers in teaching are strongly encouraged to stop by the Clarkson University Capital Region Campus (one block from Union) to learn more about the program. Candidates’ questions regarding teacher certification can be directed to the Department of Education of Clarkson’s Capital Region Campus at (518) 631-9870.