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Master of Arts in Teaching

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We prepare teachers to transform lives.

As the first teacher preparation and initial licensure program of its kind to earn approval with distinction from the Massachusetts Department of Education, our M.A. in Teaching enables candidates to become effective, long-term teachers in urban settings. Qualified Clark undergraduates can earn an accelerated B.A./MAT with the fifth year of study tuition-free.

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Program Overview

Our intensive program — which runs for one year from May to May — includes full immersion at one of five partner schools in Main South Worcester. You will learn from a team of scholar-practitioners dedicated to transforming urban education.

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State Recognition: ‘Approval With Distinction’

Mass dept of elementary education logoThe Clark University Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program has been granted “approval with distinction” by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Approval with distinction” is the highest level of approval granted by the state.

In granting “approval with distinction,” the commissioner of elementary and secondary education noted:

“Based on the evidence and judgments outlined with the enclosed Formal Review Report, I have determined that Clark University is granted approval with distinction. A sponsoring organization or program granted approval with distinction has exceeded the already high bar for approval and has demonstrated exemplary performance. The sponsoring organization or program is operating at such a high level that it could serve as a model for other providers in the state and nation. I extend my congratulations to you and the Clark University community for achieving full approval of your educator preparation programs.”

Clark’s MAT program has the added distinction of being the first program in Massachusetts to achieve the highest level of approval.

To earn this distinction, Clark’s program underwent a rigorous and comprehensive approval process over a period of 16 months that included a three-day site visit. The process examined the program through various lenses, including school partnerships, instruction, field-based experiences, candidate experience, and organization. The on-site visiting team used surveys and interviews with a variety of stakeholders, including school personnel, current students, and alumni, in making its assessment.

Where, according to state personnel, most programs in the state earn two or three commendations in this process, Clark’s program received 17.

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National Recognition

partnership and powerful teacher education book coverNationally, the MAT program has been at the forefront of change in teacher education. The Adam Institute’s recent book — “Partnership and Powerful Teacher Education: Growth and Challenge in an Urban Neighborhood Program” — traces the development of the program toward a more neighborhood-based (or community-based) as well as partnership-based model, and delves into the clinical and collaborative learning practices that have evolved. The book has received critical endorsements from leading scholars in teacher education.

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The program’s Teacher Rounds model was cited in the 2010 report by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education advocating a more practice-based or “clinical” approach to teacher education. In 2007, the Society of Education Professors recognized the program with the annual Richard Wisniewski Award for innovation in teacher education. The program was mentioned in Linda Darling-Hammond’s book, “The Flat World and Education” (2010):

“… a growing number of universities — including Clark University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and others — have actually created new urban schools and developed partnerships that support and help transform existing schools to demonstrate state-of-the-art practices and to serve as training grounds for teachers.”

The program is represented as well in “Teacher Rounds: A Guide to Collaborative Learning in and from Practice” by Tom Del Prete (2013).

Testimonials from Recent MAT Graduates

This is what some of our recent graduates had to say:

  • “This program will push you past what you think you are capable of achieving, but at every step of the way you will have numerous support systems that will enhance your teaching practice throughout this challenging yet rewarding year.”
  • “This program gave me the tools, resources, experiences and mode of reflective thinking to start me off on my teaching journey.”
  • “I can’t think of a better way to learn how to become an effective educator than this program! You get to discover who you are as a teacher while being continually supported, encouraged and pushed to be the best teacher you can be.”
  • “This year-long process is unlike any other, the amount of growth as both a person and an educator is immeasurable. You become a teacher.”
  • “Without a doubt the most rigorous and rewarding year of my life.”

Additional Testimonials

“I believe that the MAT program provided me with exactly the skills and mindset required to become a successful, mindful, and influential educator for the young minds I have the privilege to work with every day. Going through this program of study, I grew immensely, not only as a teacher but also as an individual. I learned valuable lessons about teaching, learning, resilience, patience, and the importance of providing a supportive and loving model for children from high-risk, high-need communities.”

— Vanessa Dopke, MAT ’17

“After a decade of working in independent schools, I was ready for a new challenge and thus decided to make the transition to public school teaching.  In order to facilitate that move, I enrolled in Clark’s MAT program and could not be happier with my decision to do so. The support I received from my Clark University and Claremont Academy mentors was outstanding, and I appreciated having the freedom to design units and create learning activities that I thought would best meet the needs of my students. Upon graduation, I was thrilled to receive a job offer from the Worcester Public Schools — teaching full-time at Claremont.”

— Adam Strogoff, MAT ’14

“I just completed the MAT program at Clark University, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this past year.  Shortly after graduation, I was fortunate enough to get hired by the Lowell Public School system teaching 2nd grade at a new start-up school based on STEM, and although I am extremely nervous for the first day of school, I know through the MAT program I have become a well-rounded and effective teacher.  The MAT program guided me into the teacher I am today by providing me with unlimited resources, as well as a supportive community of educators, administrators, mentors and peers. This past year I learned how to effectively overcome challenges through reflection and collaboration, and how to help my students to do the same thing.  Although I am the newest teacher at my new school, I have gained confidence through my Ways of Knowing courses that I have the ability and resources to develop engaging, discovery-based lessons in every subject.  I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without the MAT program, and I am thankful for all I have learned and experienced this year.”

— Kerien Driscoll, MAT ’14

“I am so grateful to have received a Clark MAT education. Not only has it transformed the way I teach, but also how I view urban education.”

— Michelle Reed, MAT ’13

“I work at Salem High School and teach three 9th-grade English classes, one mixed-level 9th-grade skills class called Freshman Seminar, and an 11th-grade English class.

“The MAT program helped me have the confidence I need to have my own classroom and curriculum. Having a whole year of experience stretching from the meetings before students arrived through to creating final exams has given me the perspective I needed to plan for the weeks and months ahead of me.”

— Rachael Furman MAT ’12

“Since being an MAT, I have taught in two school districts. I started out my teaching career at Leominster High School and then was lucky enough to be able to return to UPCS. I have found that the MAT program provided me with the tools that I needed to be a great teacher. I learned how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of my students and adapt my lessons to meet their needs. The design of the program, with the rounds model and professors viewing classes I taught, prepared me for the evaluation process when administrators visited the classroom as well. In addition, the preparation of the efolio prepared me for the interview process. I don’t think that I would be the teacher that I am without the MAT program, and I am very thankful for having the opportunity to develop my skills at Clark University.”

— Jessica Beaudoin, MAT ’11

“The MAT program at Clark University is structured for success. It provides students with guidance and directed support while simultaneously allowing flexibility to address the individual needs of all. As an alumnus and someone who has supervised student teachers from other graduate programs as well, I can attest to the program’s superiority in equipping its students with the skill-set and experience to become leaders in the classroom and beyond.”

— Fjodor Dukaj, MAT ’10

“I was a 2006 Clark sociology and urban development and social change graduate, and then a 2007 elementary education MAT graduate. I love the idea of the Ways of Knowing courses, having a formal e-folio in the end, and all of the experience and support I received through the program.

“I got a job at the Goddard School of Science and Technology (where I did my MAT student teaching), and I have been there since. I have been teaching at Goddard now for ongoing 5 years switching in between grades 4 and 5, and I serve on my school’s Internal Leadership Team. Since teaching in Worcester I have had the pleasure of being a mentor for MAT students. I am active in the Clark math and science curriculum teams and have presented at 3 summer Institutes. I have co-taught the Graduate Ways of Knowing Science for elementary education spring course with [Professor] Letina Jeranyama for 3 years.

“Also, for the schools in Main South Worcester (Claremont Academy and University Park Campus School), I have been the varsity-girls volleyball coach in the fall season, and the varsity-boys volleyball coach in the spring season for 4 years. Last year for the Worcester Public Schools, I was the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for excellence in student, parent, and community involvement from Claremont Academy.”

— Petra Kristie, MAT ’07

“I don’t think I fully appreciated how much the MAT program did for me until my first year on my own. There is a lot to be said for already having a full year of teaching experience under my belt thanks to the yearlong practicum I had at Jacob Hiatt. I felt comfortable with the routines and introductions of the first day, the last day, and every day in between. The Ways of Knowing Courses left me feeling confident that I could turn any lesson into something that would be engaging, productive, and appropriate for my students. About a month into my first year I found myself missing the rigor of teaching all day and going to class in the afternoon. I am so appreciative of all the things my professors did to help prepare me for teaching.”

— Lauren Arruda (Grade 3 teacher), MAT ’07

“I have been teaching high-school-level math in Boston Public Schools for nine years. I have taught Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and MCAS Prep, so I have compiled many activities and resources over the years. I would love to work as a math coach in the near future. I am thankful for Clark’s MAT program and that it was made available to me…It truly changed my career direction, and I think my life would have been completely different without having participated in this program.”

— Amira Abdal-Khallaq, MAT ’04

“I would hire all of them if I could.”

— Maureen Binienda, Superintendent, Worcester Public Schools

“The Worcester Public Schools greatly value the Clark Master’s Program, which prepares its students to be effective urban educators. Clark has designed a preparation program that provides the critical skills urban educators need…Clark master students also have a passion and commitment to urban public education which is rooted in a belief system that high quality education can improve the human condition and strengthen communities.”

— Stacey Deboise Luster, Human Resource Manager

“We hired more than ten teachers over the past decade here in Waltham, a socioeconomically diverse district in the greater Boston area. These Clark teachers have transformed teaching and learning here in Waltham. The key to the success of Clark teachers has its origins in their unique approach to teacher training and the intensive, mentored yearlong teacher preparation model. Teachers from Clark, just beginning their careers here in Waltham, arrive already possessing advanced levels of instructional practice. Moreover, these teachers are distinguished by their embrace of the call to work in urban education. They are professionally collaborative in ways that have not only benefitted our students, but positively changed the culture here in Waltham.”

— Thomas O’Toole, Director of English and Drama

“UPCS really cherishes the responsibility to help train the next generation of urban teachers. These young prospective teachers also keep us on our toes, keeping us continually reflective about our own practice. UPCS and Clark are part of a shared community of learners. All of us, from professors to teachers to students are sometimes the learners and sometimes the experts. There is a continual flow of information and people between Clark and UPCS. Our high school students access many university resources and classes. Our teachers often take or even help teach university classes. Clark professors see high school teachers and students as the center of the very real work of urban education. Clark is a valuable, reflective, and supportive partner in envisioning what education in Main South can truly be.”

— Dan St. Louis, Principal, University Park Campus School

“I cannot say enough about the value of the Clark M.A.T. program to Claremont Academy and the Worcester Public Schools. In the fifteen years that I have been involved in education in this neighborhood I have seen firsthand the incredible work done through the Clark program and their tremendously prepared graduate students. Students in the Clark M.A.T. program get the best of both worlds: experience in real schools with real urban students and exposure to the research-based foundation of educational theory. Working fulltime in the schools, Clark M.A.T. students leave the program with more than a degree; they get genuine and true teaching experience that ensures their smooth transition to the teaching profession.”

— Ricci Hall, Principal, Claremont Academy

“South High Community School strongly endorses Clark University’s M.A.T. Program. The M.A.T.s make a positive impact on our professional community by their focused instruction for our students, the participation of our staff in the rounds process, and the strong academic conversation that is generated daily. South High relies on the M.A.T.s and Clark University to join with us as we make continual improvement in our practice.”

— Maureen Binienda, Principal, South High School

Explore courses in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program

Contact Information

Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice

  • Jonas Clark Hall
    Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • 1-508-793-7222
  • 1-508-793-8864 Fax