Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- Is the program online?
While the program is predominantly online and does meet the Arkansas established guidelines for an online program, a few of the MAT classes have minimal face-to-face (F2F) meeting requirements. We do this for a reason. The MAT program prepares teachers to work with students in a K-12 school setting. Working with students is a complex, rich, and rewarding experience that requires human interaction. So we do feel that some of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions we are modeling must be shown to you in a face-to-face context.
You can see what classes have meetings by reviewing the MAT Program of Study. That document indicates which classes do have face-to-face requirements and how often they meet. You can also look up class schedules by semester by visiting www.uca.edu/scheduleor by looking at the resources www.uca.edu/teaching.
Classes that do have face-to-face components primarily occur early in the program of study. We use this time to get to know you, to let you get to know us, and to train you on the technologies required in the MAT program. When classes do meet, they meet in the evenings or on the weekends on the Conway UCA campus in Mashburn Hall. Directions and campus maps are available on the UCA website.
- How do I apply? What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?
Please visit the MAT ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS page on our website.
- Is there an application deadline? What is "Rolling Admission"?
Rolling admission means that we accept applications on a continuous basis. You can register for classes starting the next available semester at the point that your application is complete and you have been accepted into the program. Semesters start in January, June, July, and August. You can see start dates by visiting the UCA Academic Calendar webpage.
- Is there a minimum GPA to be accepted into the MAT program?
Yes. The MAT program requires a 2.7 cumulative GPA for acceptance into the program. The UCA Graduate School must receive official transcripts from all of your prior institutions, and they will complete an official evaluation and calculation of your GPA.
- What classes do I take?
All of the classes you are required to take in the MAT program are listed on the MAT Program of Study. Sample curriculum maps have been provided for you here as well. Graduate school considers 9 hours to be full time. Most candidates in the program take two to three classes per semester.
Example Curriculum Maps for Completing the MAT Program for Early Childhood Licensure (Not an option for candidates entering after the Fall 2013 semester)
- What options do I have for licensure in the program?
You may choose one of the following options for licensure:
- Early Childhood (grades P-4)/Elementary (grades K-6) - Interested candidates can obtain Elementary licensure by first obtaining the Middle Childhood licensure and then "testing down" into the Elementary licensure areas. That means candidates would first complete the MAT program for the Middle Childhood track and then take/pass the Praxis content tests required for Elementary teachers. This then would allow the state to grant you the license to teach K-6. The MAT program can no longer accept candidates into it's P-4 program and are not allowed to enroll candidates for the new K-6 licensure.
- Middle Childhood (grades 4-8) - it is possible to license in up to 4 content areas (math, science, English, and social studies). You must pass the Praxis test for at least 2 of these 4 areas. You can only teach the subjects for which you pass licensure, so it may not be possible to be hired in an "all inclusive" classroom if you do not pass all 4 tests.
- Secondary (grades 7-12/P-12) - The options for secondary licensure include areas like English, Business, Social Studies, Math, Life Science, Physical Science and so forth. For a complete listing of secondary areas, please refer to the ADE listing. Please note that the MAT program will need to verify that you have 30 related content hours for your license. For example, if you choose to pursue secondary math licensure, we will need to review your transcripts for 30 hours of math content classes from your prior transcripts. If you do not have enough hours, you can make up those hours while in the MAT program as long as you complete them prior to Internship.
- Do I have to take the GRE? What about Praxis vs. GRE? When do I have to complete these testing requirements?
The tests you are required to take for admission into the the MAT program are listed on MAT ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS page and on Praxis Exams page. The UCA Graduate School will accept either the GRE or Praxis exams. We recommend that you take the Praxis exams as our preference. You may take up to one semester's worth of coursework before submitting passing test scores under conditional admittance; however, you will not be eligible for financial aid until you do submit passing scores. The MAT program does not accept the Miller's Analogy Test.
- What is a provisional license?
A provisional license is a teaching license that allows you to be hired as and work as a teacher in Arkansas while you are still in the MAT program and completing the MAT program requirements. You may apply for a provisional license for up to two years by which time you need to have completed all of the MAT program requirements. For information on the Provisional license, go to the PROVISIONAL LICENSE page of our website.
MAT candidates teaching under a provisional license MUST maintain enrollment in the MAT program.
MAT candidates who move schools from year 1 to year 2 of their provisional license, must notify the MAT program office by having their new district complete the Provisional License Recommendation letter.
- Is Internship required?
Yes. The state of Arkansas requires all teacher candidates to complete a full semester of internship (student teaching) to be eligible for a standard teaching license. This is a full-time, 16-week commitment that must take place in either the Fall or Spring semester. You have two options for fulfilling this requirement. First, you can make room in your life for this requirement and we will arrange for placement for you in a school. Alternatively, you can secure a teaching position through the provisional license option (see above) and can complete the internship requirements in your own classroom.
- How much will the MAT program cost?
Currently the program costs $240 per credit hour (no fees), but for the most up-to-date information, please visit the Student Accounts website.
- Are there grants or scholarships available to me?
Generally, it is harder to find funding for graduate level studies. You should talk to the Office of Financial Aid for assistance in this regard. If you plan to teach Middle or Secondary Math, Science, or English, you may also be interested in the UCA Partnership for Transition to Teach grant program.
- How long will it take to get through the program?
While you have 6 years to complete the program, most candidates take 5-6 semesters to finish all the required coursework. Please note that if you elect to work on a provisional license (see above), you must complete the program within 2 years of securing that license.
- Will this program license me in states other than Arkansas?
No. Every state controls their own licensing requirements. However, once you have a license in Arkansas, you can apply for reciprocity to other states for a transfer of your license.
- How do I add areas to my license?
Once you have a standard teaching license, you may add additional content areas by passing the appropriate Praxis content test(s). Please refer to page 3 of the ADE Levels and Areas of Licensure document. If you are seeking to add areas such as Special Education, Administration, Gifted, ELL, Counseling, Coaching, etc., then that will require taking additional coursework in an approved program of study (not the MAT program) and meeting the ADE guidelines for those areas.
- Who should not enter the program?
If you currently hold a teaching license (provisional or standard) and/or have completed a student teaching internship at this or any other institution, you are ineligible for admission into the UCA MAT program.
- What is the difference between the different types of background checks?