December 4, 2019 at 1:15pm
Dane Lisser

New degree program addresses shortage in elementary and early childhood teachers

The Millikin University School of Education announced on Dec. 4 a new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program designed for individuals seeking an initial Illinois teaching license through the completion of graduate study. The School of Education will enroll its first Master of Arts in Teaching cohort starting in fall 2020, pending curricular approval.

The MAT degree program is open to all career-seeking professionals who have completed an undergraduate degree in an academic area other than education.

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

Millikin President Dr. Patrick E. White

"Millikin University's commitment to service and education at all levels has led us to establish this important program," said Millikin President Dr. Patrick E. White. "We all know the profound effect that quality teaching can have. Through this MAT program and Millikin's Performance Learning, ambitious people from all walks of life will engage excellent teacher/mentors in the School of Education and emerge ready to inspire, motivate and educate the next generation of successful learners at schools throughout Illinois and beyond. We know this program will have an enormous positive effect on schools and communities near and far."

Millikin University's MAT degree program allows candidates who wish to enter the teaching profession the opportunity to become licensed teachers in Illinois in the areas of early childhood education or elementary education.

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

Millikin Provost Dr. Jeff Aper

This unique education graduate program provides students with a variety of options for completing their studies. Students may choose to follow a prescribed plan of study for evening courses that run year-round; complete the full program during traditional daytime classes; or create a combination of daytime and evening courses that best suit their schedules.

"Preparing highly qualified teachers for Illinois schools is something Millikin has done for a very long time," said Millikin Provost Dr. Jeff Aper. "That record of excellence and the need for increasing numbers of teachers in central Illinois and throughout the state has led us to develop a master's program that will deepen and extend our capacity to prepare outstanding teachers."

Dr. Pamela Barnes, director of the School of Education at Millikin University said, "Developing a Master of Arts in Teaching is a great accomplishment for Millikin University's School of Education. With a statewide shortage in elementary teachers and early childhood teachers, this degree will attract candidates who possess a bachelor's degree in an area outside of education who want to enter the teaching workforce in Illinois. The MAT degree will allow those who are career-changers the opportunity to complete an advanced degree, and upon successful completion of state licensure requirements, receive an initial teaching license."

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

Millikin University's Master of Arts in Teaching offers numerous benefits including:

• Program options for early childhood education and elementary education

• Two years of coursework to complete degree and licensure requirements

• Eligibility for financial aid

• Increased job stability and opportunities

• Provides a path to earn teacher licensure

• Additional earning potential with an advanced degree

• Furthering the educational pathway to a terminal degree

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

Regional Superintendent of Schools Matt Snyder

"The Master of Arts in Teaching degree will provide an incredible opportunity for individuals to transition into a teaching career during a time of need for teachers both regionally and statewide," said Dr. Pam Lindsey, interim dean of the College of Professional Studies at Millikin. "This program benefits those who hold a bachelor's degree in another field by preparing them to be eligible for an initial teaching license after earning a master's degree."

Millikin University's MAT program combines intensive coursework and immersive teaching experiences to prepare students to become impactful educators.

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

​Superintendent for Decatur Public Schools District 61 Dr. Paul Fregeau

Dr. Aper added, "We are proud of our history in teacher education and glad to work in active partnership with the Decatur Public Schools, our Regional Office of Education, the Illinois State Board of Education and Golden Apple to help assure that students in our schools have the guidance and support of the best teachers in the country."

Alan Mather, president of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois said, "With the dramatic and growing Illinois teacher shortage, I could not be more pleased that Millikin University is adding the MAT degree program to add to the teacher pipeline for those who want to become licensed teachers in early childhood education and elementary education. With the growing partnership between Millikin and Golden Apple, including a $500 scholarship match for Golden Apple Scholars who attend Millikin and an additional push to align with schools in Piatt & Macon counties – including the Decatur Public Schools – I could not be more thrilled with Millikin's work to solve big problems."

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

Millikin School of Education

The Millikin University School of Education seeks to create communities of learners and learning environments that demonstrate the value of diversity, inclusion and active learning.

Millikin Master of Arts in Teaching

Students in the School of Education at Millikin University benefit from small class sizes, experience in the field beginning their first semester, co-teaching training and continual opportunities for Performance Learning to apply learned skills.