Ithaca College

Adolescence Education

Major Adviser: Linda Hanrahan, Chair of Graduate Programs in Education,

The master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) program prepares liberal arts graduates for teaching careers in adolescence education, grades 7–12, in the following subject areas: biology, English, French, chemistry, mathematics, physics, social studies, and Spanish.

The M.A.T. program in adolescence education is housed in the School of Humanities and Sciences and is registered with and approved by the New York State Education Department. Graduates of the program are fully eligible for initial teaching certification in New York State, which also has interstate reciprocity agreements with more than 30 other states and jurisdictions.

The design of the M.A.T. curriculum combines an introduction to the field of education with continued study of the student’s academic discipline. M.A.T. students complete 21 graduate credits in education and 12 credits of coursework in the discipline. The full-time, 12-month program begins in late June each year.

Core components of the M.A.T. program include

  • The integration of theory and practice in coursework and field experience
  • Opportunities to observe, tutor, and teach in multiple and diverse settings, including Ithaca-area schools and the Frederick Douglass Academy in New York City’s Harlem community
  • An emphasis on culturally responsive teaching that supports the personal and academic achievement of all learners
  • Collaboration with local community agencies and organizations to enhance school and classroom effectiveness
  • Commitment to and ongoing participation in the processes of reflective practice and action research

Completion of the M.A.T. program requires (1) the preparation and oral defense of a professional portfolio, and (2) a paper and poster presentation documenting a classroom-based action research project.

Application Procedures

In addition to the regular application procedures for admission to graduate study at Ithaca College, applicants to the graduate program in adolescence education must also submit an essay. The topic for the essay is included within the online application. Finalists for admission are also required to participate in a campus interview with M.A.T. faculty.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.A.T. program is highly selective. Applicants are expected to have a strong general education background in the liberal arts and sciences, a depth and breadth of knowledge in the content area they intend to teach, and a demonstrated interest in and commitment to working with diverse adolescents in educational settings.

Applicants must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) from an accredited college or university, with the completion of a major, or its equivalent, in the study of the discipline in which the applicant is seeking initial certification in adolescence education (biology, chemistry, English, French, mathematics, physics, social studies, or Spanish). Applicants in social studies are expected to have an undergraduate major in history or government/political science and to have completed "study in economics, government, and at least a total of 21 semester hours of study in the history and geography of the United States and the world" as per state requirements.

Admission to the M.A.T. program -- and teaching certification in New York -- also requires the successful completion, or the equivalent, of at least one year of college-level study in a language other than English.

The M.A.T. in adolescence education has established three specific prerequisite courses:

  • PSYC 21010 Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 34000 Social and Cultural Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 21910 Early Field Experience: Theory and Practice (includes 50 hours of field experiences in school settings)

These prerequisite courses are offered at Ithaca College multiple times each year. Ithaca College undergraduates who plan to apply to the M.A.T. program are encouraged to take these courses prior to graduation. Applicants from other accredited institutions can submit evidence of course-equivalent syllabi and grades of B or better in these courses, as well as satisfactory completion of 50 hours of course-connected field experiences in secondary schools. M.A.T. applicants who have not completed these prerequisites may be admitted provisionally and enroll in the May and the first summer session offerings of these courses, just prior to the start of the M.A.T. program.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to take -- prior to admission, for advising purposes -- the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), one of the three examinations required for New York State teacher certification. For information about this exam:
Teacher Certification Examinations

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis and are awarded to students with strong academic records and the ability to assist program-area faculty with research and development efforts, especially those connected with the College’s school and community partnerships. Applicants interested in applying for graduate assistantships should refer to the additional information provided in the "Financial Aid" section.
Financial Aid

Requirements for the M.A.T. in Adolescence Education

A total of 33 credits, including a full professional semester of student teaching, is required.

This program is designed for candidates seeking initial teaching certification in adolescence education, grades 7–12, in biology, chemistry, English, French, mathematics, physics, social studies, or Spanish.

M.A.T. Core Education Courses (21 graduate credits):

  • Pedagogy and Practice across the disciplines -- 3 credits
  • E-learning systems -- 3 credits
  • The Exceptional Child in the Classroom -- 3 credits
  • Literacy development and second language acquisition -- 3 credits
  • Professional Semester in Education -- 6 credits
  • Seminar in Reflective Practice -- 3 credits

M.A.T. Discipline-Specific Courses (12 graduate credits):

Pedagogy and practice in the discipline -- 3 credits

Select one:
English Pedagogy and Practice for the English Teacher
French/Spanish Pedagogy and Practice of Teaching Languages Other Than English
Mathematics Pedagogy and Practice for the Mathematics Teacher
Biology/Chemistry/Physics Pedagogy and Practice for the Science Teacher
Social Studies Pedagogy and Practice in the Teaching of Social Studies

Three courses in the discipline – 9 credits

English Graduate seminars in English language arts, American literature, and world literature
French/Spanish Three courses selected in conjunction with the faculty adviser
Mathematics Graduate seminar in mathematics and two additional courses selected in conjunction with the faculty adviser
Biology/Chemistry/Physics Three courses selected in conjunction with the faculty adviser
Social Studies Graduate seminars in U.S. history, European history, and global history

Teacher certification requirements (noncredit workshops):

Prior to graduation, all M.A.T. students must have attended and participated in two state-required workshops, both of which are offered several times a year on the Ithaca College campus:

  • Child Abuse Identification and Prevention
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Identification and Prevention

A grade of B or better must be earned in each education course in the M.A.T. program. A cumulative average of 3.00 or better must be maintained in order to graduate.

Professional Portfolio and Action Research Project

In lieu of a thesis requirement and/or a comprehensive exam, the M.A.T. program includes the graduation requirement that all students complete both a professional portfolio and an action research project. The professional portfolio provides evidence that the M.A.T. candidate has met College, state, and national standards for effective teaching, and its preparation begins during the first week of the M.A.T. program. The action research project is also a yearlong project: the research proposal is developed and refined in the summer and fall, data is collected and analyzed in the spring, and the research report is written and presented in the final summer semester of the program.