New for Fall 2015: Online MAT in Secondary Education - Science and Mathematics

Monday, June 29, 2015

Starting this fall, the Watson College of Education will offer an online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program to help meet the significant market demand for high school science and mathematics teachers in North Carolina. Classes begin in mid-August and applications will be accepted through Aug. 2 for the fall semester.

MAT programs provide an opportunity for non-education graduates to pursue a rewarding teaching career. The Watson College has offered a MAT in secondary education since 2008. The new MAT is a distance-learning program, designed to appeal to working professionals and career changers across the state.

“WCE’s secondary MAT program has been very successful, but it’s an intensive one-year program offered here on campus and that’s not always a viable option for working professionals,” said Ginger Rhodes, associate professor of mathematics and statistics and secondary MAT program coordinator at the Watson College. “We hope the new distance-learning program will attract professionals who would like to teach but need more flexibility in the program structure.”

The distance-learning MAT is a two-year program. Courses are offered entirely online with the exception of the final semester, which is dedicated to an in-school internship. Initial concentrations will be offered in the high-need areas of mathematics and science. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will earn both a master’s degree and an M-level license to teach mathematics or science at the high school level in North Carolina.

Working professionals, career changers and recent graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, science or a related field such as engineering are eligible for the program.

The new MAT has been designed to offer flexibility without sacrificing quality, Rhodes said. “All courses will be taught by experienced secondary education faculty at the Watson College. Our professors are very comfortable offering interactive and engaging online courses and they’re highly committed to providing students with the knowledge and field placements needed to succeed in the high school classroom.”

Data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education shows the need for secondary mathematics teachers in North Carolina dates back to 1998, and science teachers have been in short supply in the state since 2002. Loan forgiveness programs (PDF) are now available to students who successfully complete teacher education programs in high-need areas and go on to teach for five or more years in certain secondary schools that serve low-income families.

The deadline to apply to the UNCW Graduate School for WCE’s new distance learning MAT in Secondary Education - Science and Mathematics is Aug. 2.Prospective students who would like more information are encouraged to contact program coordinator Ginger Rhodes at