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Columbus State University

Master of Arts in Teaching
Secondary Education - Earth Science

College of Education and Health Professions

Department of Teacher Education

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Secondary Science Education degree is designed for individuals holding a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching field who wish to obtain a teaching certificate and master's degree in Secondary Biology, Secondary Chemistry, or Secondary Earth Science. The M.A.T. provides professional and pedagogical studies that develop proficiency in the knowledge, skills, and habits of beginning teachers.

Educator Preparation at Columbus State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

All educator preparation programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of the M.A.T. program and passing scores on the appropriate Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) basic skills, ethics, and content assessments and the edTPA (a teaching performance assessment completed during Clinical Experience III) allow the candidate to be recommended to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for teacher certification at the T-5 level (i.e., the letter "T" indicates that the certificate is in a teaching field and the number "5" indicates that the candidate's highest degree is a master's degree recognized by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission).

Admission Requirements

  • Degree in closely related field or a minimum of 25 semester hours of approved coursework
  • Transcript evaluation to determine content courses needed for certification
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (regular admission) or 2.50 (provisional admission) on all undergraduate work at an accredited United States institution in fulfillment of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree
  • A passing GACE content test score is required for admission. Candidates may be exempted from the GACE content test for program admission only, if they meet one of the following conditions:
  • Candidate holds a degree, earned within the last three years, in the content area in which he/she is seeking certification, and has grades of B or better, or a minimum 3.0 GPA, in content coursework
  • Candidate has at least 25 hours of content coursework, earned within the last three years, in the intended field of certification, and has grades of B or better, or a minimum 3.0 GPA, in content coursework

NOTE: Candidates having an exemption for GACE content tests for program admission must still have a passing GACE content test score before they can be recommended for certification at the completion of their program of study.

  • The successful applicant must not have a criminal record or discharge from the armed services that would prevent recommendation for related teacher certifications

NOTE: Candidates must meet all requirements for admission to Teacher Education during their first semester of enrollment in the MAT program. For a list of requirements, go to http://safe.columbusstate.edu/forms.php and click on “Masters Admission Requirements for Teacher Education.”

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will: 

  • demonstrate knowledge for teaching to include procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, mathematical/scientific reasoning and problem solving, and understanding of the nature and processes of science, 
  • demonstrate continual growth and proficiency in planning inquiry-based instruction built on standards and knowledge of students,   
  • demonstrate proficiency in using a wide range of instructional strategies and differentiating instruction to help all students learn,  
  • demonstrate the ability to create positive and academically rigorous learning environments by successfully implementing classroom management plans and using professional and academic language to foster effective communication, 
  • demonstrate proficiencies related to selecting and using curricula, technology, and other materials (e.g., manipulatives) to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics and science, 
  • demonstrate proficiency in developing and using multiple forms of assessment to include diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments, 
  • demonstrate proficiency in analyzing student assessment data and using data to improve teaching and learning for all levels of learners, 
  • apply educational research related to the teaching and learning of mathematics and science and use research to justify instructional choices, display ongoing reflection and growth regarding values, commitments, dispositions, and habits associated with effective and professional teaching, including analysis of teaching effectiveness and impact on student learning. 

Additional Program Requirements

  • Students must earn a 3.0 GPA calculated on all graduate work attempted. "Academic Forgiveness" policy does not apply to graduate studies
  • Students cannot graduate with a grade of "C" or below in more than two (2) graduate courses
  • A minimum of 27 hours of the hours required for the degree must be earned in residence (75%). Asynchronous (online) and distance learning courses administered through Columbus State University constitute courses taken in residence
  • A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of transfer credit or courses taken at CSU prior to full admission to a masters degree program may be applied toward the degree. Courses with earned grades of "C" or below cannot be transferred. The student’s advisor and the coordinator of the program in which the student is enrolled must approve any courses transferred
  • All degree requirements must be completed within seven (7) years of first enrollment.

Program Of Study

Area 1 Foundations Required Hours: 10
EDCI 6227 Foundations of Education: Human Development, Motivation & Learning
EDCI 6481 Clinical Experience I
EDCI 6796 Introduction to Teaching and Inquiry-Based Lesson Design
EDSE 6165 Literacy in the Content Areas
SPED 6111 Introduction to Special Education

Area 2 Teaching Field Studies Required Hours: 9
EDCI 6482 Clinical Experience II
EDSE 6111 Assessment in Secondary Education I
EDSE 6137 Curriculum and Methods in Secondary Science
SPED 6112 Teaching Exceptional Learners

Area 3 Professional Practice Required Hours: 9
EDCI 6483 Clinical Experience III
EDSE 6755 Secondary Education Seminar

Area 4 Advanced Studies Required Hours: 8
EDCI 6158 Trends and Issues in Middle and Sec Education
EDSE 6175 Program Evaluation Applied to the Educational Setting
EDSE 6212 Assessment in Secondary Education II
ISCI 5555 Contemporary Topics in Science

Total Required Hours: 36

Note: A minimum of 25 semester hours of approve science coursework is required for admission to the MAT program. Additional hours (3-15) of science coursework may be required depending on content background. Prospective students who do not have a degree in science must request a transcript evaluation and meet with the program coordinator to determine content courses needed for certification. Teacher candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the areas of core and advanced principles in a science content area, laboratory experimentation and methods, and related science area competencies.