Ella E. Benson, Professor of Education
The Chowan University School of Education and Professional Studies offers a Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. The degree program is designed for individuals seeking an initial teaching license through the completion of graduate study and for individuals who hold a license and/or an education degree, but wish to earn a master’s degree to help them further their careers. The coursework consists of a 21-hour Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Core designed to give students all of the skills they will need as a classroom teacher. The 9 hour culminating Clinical Practice Experience allows the student to work in a school-based clinical setting with the assistance of a mentoring teacher and the Clinical Experience University Supervisor. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to work effectively as teachers in their chosen content areas.
The stated purpose of the Master of Arts in Teaching program is to prepare teachers with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively engage with their students, the curriculum, educational leaders, and other members of the school community. Program graduates will have the skills to interpret and apply current research findings to promote effective teaching and learning. The program is designed to develop teachers who will positively influence their students, their colleagues, their schools, and the greater educational community. The courses require application and investigation through rigorous data collection and analysis, the implementation of effective learning strategies, and the application of knowledge to solve problems.
Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
The School of Education and Professional Studies has a comprehensive plan established in accordance with national and state standards in order to ensure the effectiveness of candidates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Known as The Conceptual Framework, the researched knowledge-based program starts the very minute students enter the Teacher Education Program. A detailed plan of action lets students learn early on what needs to be done first, what should be accomplished throughout their student careers, what they will master by the time they graduate, and how they can most efficiently demonstrate all they have learned and done.
The Conceptual Framework, Preparing Committed Professionals with Knowledge and Practices for a Continuously Changing World, encourages candidates to adapt specific characteristics that help them become better teachers. Using the knowledge acquired in classrooms and in fieldwork, candidates of the Teacher Education Program mold themselves into life-long learners and scholars who thrive in the pursuit of knowledge and who can recognize their own areas of needed improvement and work to remedy them. Candidates practice a variety of instructional and classroom management skills and master ways to enhance learning for all students through technology, differentiated lessons, and data using formative and summative assessments. Candidates demonstrate professionalism through fair, respectful appreciation for diverse learners, reflect on ways to improve instruction, engage in professional opportunities and collaborate with colleagues, students, parents, and community members.
The conceptual framework identifies the following proficiencies as emerging from the three focus areas of knowledge, practice, and professionalism:
1a. Master content and pedagogical knowledge
1b. Understand educational research as a means to improve learning for all students
1c. Understand how students learn and develop, including atypical and exceptional learners
2a. Master and apply a variety of instructional and classroom management strategies to enhance learning for all students
2b. Integrate technology to enhance student learning
2c. Use data from formative and summative assessments to inform instruction
3a. Demonstrate fairness, respect, and appreciation for the diversity among learners
3b. Reflect on knowledge and practices to improve instruction
3c. Engage in scholarly inquiry and professional opportunities
3d. Collaborate with colleagues, students, parents, and community members
The student learning outcomes of the Master of Arts in Teaching degree program are aligned with the conceptual framework and the proficiencies. The outcomes are:
- Candidates will have the requisite content knowledge and be able to demonstrate its appropriate application by planning for and applying effective, responsive instruction and assessment pedagogies, including current technologies, with a wide range of learners.
- Candidates will be knowledgeable practitioners and effective decision-makers in terms of learner development, learner difference, and learning environment.
- Candidates will be ethical, reflective practitioners and well-developed decision-makers who are committed to on-going, professional learning and development of a leadership perspective in collaboration with others that will have a positive impact on students, the communities to which they serve, and the teaching profession.
Although the conceptual framework has remained constant since 2011, the Teacher Education program is guided by goals that have evolved over time but are aligned with the conceptual framework’s context. The current goals are:
Overarching Goal: Ensure that all programs, policies, and procedures of the Teacher Education program are consistent with relevant pedagogy and practices:
- Develop program-specific plans for embedding relevant pedagogy and practices in all programs, both undergraduate and graduate.
- Review program outcomes and assessment measures to ensure that relevant pedagogy and practices is appropriately included.
- Develop a policy statement regarding Teacher Education’s commitment to relevant pedagogy practices to guide all decision-making processes and procedures
Goal 1: Construct and deliver appropriate curriculum for candidates that relate content knowledge to other subject areas.
Goal 2: Promote and support scholarly activities, research, and professional development of faculty.
Goal 3: Expand online programs and course offerings to address needs in the region.
Goal 4: Provide high quality, standards-based instruction that prepares candidates to improve the learning of all students through the implementation and modeling of best practices.
Goal 5: Creates positive and caring environments for student development and learning.
Goal 6: Maintain strong field experiences through collaborative partnerships with schools and supervising teachers.
Goal 7: Enhance existing and develop new partnerships such as those with the advisory committee, adjunct faculty, community agencies, and partner schools.
Goal 8: Enhance the visibility and awareness of Teacher Education in the community.
Goal 9: Graduate candidates who enter the teaching profession fully prepared and able to improve learning through their teaching, research, or curriculum development.
Requirements for Admission
All applicants to the Master of Arts should submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:
- A completed School of Graduate Studies application, online at www.chowan.edu/school-graduate-studies;
- A non-refundable application fee of $50.00, payable to Chowan University;
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum grade point average of 2.7;
- Completion of 24 credit hours of course work in English;
- An official transcript of all previous academic work beyond high school, to be sent directly from each institution attended;
- Three professional recommendations;
- A personal statement describing the rationale for pursing the M.A.T.;
- A current resume;
- International Students also submit:
- A satisfactory TOEFL score, unless English is the student’s native language or the language of instruction.
- Transcripts, certificates, and/or diplomas from any institution outside the United States. These must first be submitted to World Education Services (WES) for evaluation before being mailed to the School of Graduate Studies. Application for WES evaluations may be found at www.WES.org.
- A Statement of Financial Responsibility, along with a letter from student’s or sponsor’s bank showing amount to cover one year of graduate study.
- All application materials should be in place at least 90-days in advance of the beginning of the semester.
Types of Admission Status
Admission for graduate study at Chowan University is granted in the following categories:
An applicant who meets all criteria for admission may be granted full admission.
If the applicant has failed to meet any of the requirements for full admission, the Dean of Graduate Studies may decide to extend the offer of provisional admission to that applicant. In this case, the Dean will communicate a list of conditions that must be satisfied within the first six hours of graduate work completed at Chowan University. Any exceptions to this “six-hour” rule must be approved by the Dean at the time of the provisional acceptance decision and indicated in the letter of acceptance. Once the student meets these conditions, he or she will be granted full admission to graduate study at Chowan University.
An applicant who wishes to take courses for professional and/or career enhancement as a non-degree seeker or who desires enrollment to Chowan University to take courses for transfer to the institution in which he or she is enrolled as a degree candidate may be admitted under special status. Non-degree seekers must submit a School of Graduate Studies application and official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions. Students seeking transfer hours must submit a School of Graduate Studies application and a letter from the dean or director of the program in which she or he is regularly enrolled, indicating good standing.
Probation, Dismissal and Appeal Process
In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress all graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
Any student not meeting the criteria for satisfactory academic progress is subject to academic probation after the first semester. At this point, the student will meet with the Graduate Program Director to discuss any mitigating circumstances that are affecting the student’s ability to complete coursework. Students who have been on academic probation for one semester and who fail to meet criteria for satisfactory academic progress the following semester will be academically suspended from the University.
Students under academic suspension may seek to regain eligibility for continued enrollment by appeal.
A maximum of six semester hours may be accepted from a regionally accredited graduate program toward the fulfillment of requirements for a graduate degree at Chowan University. The University Registrar interprets the transfer policy, approves courses for transfer, and certifies students for graduation.
Credit will not be given for courses taken more than six calendar years before applying for admission to graduate study. Only courses with a grade of “B” or “A” will be considered for transfer and must be substantially parallel to Chowan University courses. Credit will not be given for courses taken to obtain another master’s degree.
Courses accepted in transfer are recorded as credit only. The grade point average used for administering policy and for graduation is computed on academic credit earned at Chowan University.
Students currently enrolled in any of the graduate programs at Chowan University must have prior written approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator to take courses from another institution for transfer credit.
Students are expected to take the appropriate courses offered by Chowan University once they enter the program. Permission may be granted to take courses offered by other institutions when the appropriate course is not offered by Chowan University or when it is more convenient for the University to approve a course for transfer than to offer the course by special arrangement. Strong undergraduate students at Chowan University may be permitted, under special circumstances, to register for graduate courses with the permission of the Graduate Program Coordinator. Graduate level courses may not be counted toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
- The student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate level work.
- The student must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on all graduate work attempted and have earned no more than six (6) credit hours below a “B” grade.
- The student must submit a completed edTPA and take PRAXIS II.
- A student who wishes to complete a graduate degree from Chowan University must complete the last twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for the degree in residence.
- The student must discharge all financial obligations to the University.
- The student must have the recommendation of the faculty and approval by the Board of Trustees.
- A student must choose to meet the requirements of the catalog under which he or she entered or the catalog in effect at the time of graduation, but may not use both interchangeably. Major and minor requirements must come from the same catalog. A student who has returned to Chowan after a break in enrollment of more than one semester must choose to meet the requirements of the catalog under which he or she was readmitted or the catalog in effect at the time of graduation, but may not choose the catalog under which he or she originally entered Chowan. The candidate must indicate on the application for graduation the catalog under which he or she intends to graduate.
- All degree candidates, including transfer students, are allowed six (6) years from the date of enrollment at the University to satisfy the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of enrollment. After six (6) years, the current requirements must be met.
- Any substitutions or changes in course requirements must be recommended by the department chair and approved by the Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- The student is responsible for making an official application for graduation to the Office of the Registrar. Application for graduation must be submitted to the Registrar no later than March 1.
The Master of Arts in Teaching degree requires 30 credit hours, with clinical practice as a culminating experience. The program consists of a 21 credit hour Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Core with a 9 hour Clinical Practice Experience. Students will need to complete state assessments in their licensure area as well as the edTPA Assessment for licensure in North Carolina.