Despite COVID-19 curtailing the 2020 Spring Semester in public schools, all Clarkson University Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT) students are on track to graduate this June with their master’s and New York State Certification in large part because Clarkson’s program surpasses New York State requirements.
“While the COVID-19 national emergency continues to impact students and families around the nation, Clarkson’s professional MAT students have the confidence of knowing that they will be ready to start their teaching careers in September,” said Catherine Snyder, Chair of Clarkson’s Department of Education.
Clarkson’s teacher education programs continually evolve to meet the demands of this dynamic field and stay ahead of the needs of children and schools. The curriculum is designed to welcome new teachers into the classroom as professionals, with a full-year mentored experience and support throughout the graduate program. The advanced curriculum is aligned with New York State standards but surpasses the in-class-time requirements as well as meeting the standards of the professional teaching organizations and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
“Our alignment with National Board standards requires that we supersede in rigor the requirements of all fifty states for teacher education,” says Snyder. “This means our candidates graduate ready to make a positive impact on their students and their school.”
Established in 1989 as a rigorous, one-year program with a full-year teaching residency, this program has withstood the test of time. Since 2016, one hundred percent of Clarkson’s MAT graduates who sought teaching positions in New York State were hired. While other teacher preparation programs have been shrinking, Clarkson’s MAT has tripled in size over the last three years and added five new teacher certification pathways to meet the needs of P-12 school partners. Among those new programs are the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, the Master of Arts in Teaching Business, and the Master of Arts in Teaching Computer Science.
It is estimated that New York will need to hire 18,000 new teachers annually for several years in order to keep up with shortages. More than a third of New York’s teachers are, or shortly will be eligible for retirement, and New York’s teacher preparation programs are down in enrollment by an average of 53 percent.
“While we could never have foreseen this crisis, we are fortunate that the program’s robust requirements are keeping this year’s cohort on track,” said Department Chair Dr. Catherine Snyder. “Now is not the time to reduce the number of new teachers entering the field. Clarkson’s teacher candidates will be fully prepared and ready for classrooms in September.”
Graduates agree about their preparation for marketplace challenges. “When I was enrolled in the Clarkson MAT program in 2016, I never imagined that the Modern Teacher class would be so influential in my teaching practice as it is today. When my Maine school announced their pandemic closure on March 13th, I was quickly able to implement a distance learning plan and assist my colleagues in developing their own. I was comfortable with the variety of digital learning programs passed along to me by Professor Mike Mosall. In addition, I was able to create a plan that was simple for students but didn't sacrifice an ounce of rigor. This preparation allowed me to spend more time focusing on addressing what students would need to be successful at home, instead of spending hours learning new tech-based programs for distance learning,” said Maria Frasier ‘17. “This is just one way that the education and preparation I received during my time in the Clarkson MAT program continues to serve me years beyond graduation.”
To learn more about the program, visit the Master of Arts in Teaching website or reach out to Angelia Kehl at firstname.lastname@example.org.