Converse College unveiled today a master of arts in teaching program designed specifically for professionals with bachelor degrees in disciplines other than education who may be looking for a career change. The two-year program, which received full endorsement from the South Carolina State Board of Education August 8, will prepare future educators to teach in grades 5-8 in South Carolina in compliance with new State of South Carolina requirements. Current teachers can also benefit from the program by gaining add-on certification for middle level grades. Late afternoon and evening courses will be offered to accommodate for work schedules.
“This program is an ideal opportunity for people who have a bachelor’s degree in any field besides education and have considered teaching as a new career to take that first step,” said Dr. Joseph Pitts, associate professor of education at Converse, and Director of the MAT in Middle Level Program. “School districts will benefit greatly from this program because it will prepare future teachers specifically for the middle level grades. Interested individuals can apply to the program by August 23rd, and must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and 21 hours of study in the content area in which they choose to teach. For example, if someone wants to teach social studies, he or she will need to have taken 21 hours of course work which includes history, sociology or other related topics,” said Pitts.
Current teachers seeking add-on certification need to complete and submit the Special Status and Registration forms to the Converse Business Office by 4 p.m. August 27.
After being admitted to the School of Education and Graduate Studies, applicants will take graduate introductory courses, such as Introduction to Education, Middle Level Philosophy and School Organization, and possibly courses in content areas including English, math, science or social studies. “The number of content hours required may vary depending on academic background,” said Pitts. Once those requirements are satisfied, the student will then apply to Converse’s Teacher Education Program. In the Teacher Education Program they will take methodology and practicum courses and conclude with a semester-long student teaching component. For more information about the program, call (864) 596-9220 or send an e-mail to Joe Pitts.