Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education (K-6)

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Elementary school teachers are uniquely positioned to motivate, mentor and mold young students.
 Whether your career path has always been headed toward teaching, or you are looking to make a career change, UNC Charlotte’s Elementary Education graduate program will help you learn what it takes to be a great teacher and a teacher-leader. The M.A.T. is a 39 credit-hour program that leads to initial certification for students who hold undergraduate degrees in other fields and who do not hold a teaching certification.

The Graduate Certificate (27 hours) which will earn students the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Educator’s License in elementary education. (Note: This is an on-campus only program.)  Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate, you are eligible for a level “A” professional educator’s license for North Carolina.

Students who complete the graduate certificate may choose to pursue an M.A.T. in Elementary Education (12 hours) and qualify for the North Carolina Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Educator’s License. This phase of the program is offered 100% online. During Phase II, you will become a self-reflective master teacher and develop advanced competencies as a teacher-researcher and a teacher-leader.

Why choose the UNC Charlotte M.A.T. in Elementary Education?
  • The Elementary Education faculty continuously achieves regional, state, and national recognition as experts in their field in scholarship, teaching, and research. They provide you with the personal attention, instruction, guidance and the mentoring you need.

  • Our program starts with the graduate teaching certificate coursework rather than non-degree prerequisites, which allows our students to apply for available funds and financial aid.
  • We have a strong reputation for preparing exemplary teachers who care deeply about the education of children and are dedicated to ensuring that children from all walks of life reach their true potential.
  • Our coursework focuses on practical assignments so our students can analyze, study and practice classroom management in-depth.

  • We have developed a strong partnership with schools in our local area and across the state which gives our students a variety of settings in which to complete their clinicals and semester-long internship (student teaching).

  • The M.A.T. portion of the coursework is fully online so it provides flexibility and convenience for you to study at your own pace, from your home or office.

  • All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.  All programs have been approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Career Options

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for kindergarten and elementary teachers. A number of our students complete the master’s degree and become curriculum facilitators, lead teachers, and content specialist.  Graduates may also apply for a certificate in school administration or a doctoral program which prepares them for leadership positions within their school or district.

Student Opportunities

The Capstone Course, taken in the final semester, allows students to hone their research skills and showcase their competencies while working with their mentor or faculty advisor. Students develop and implement significant research projects based on data they have collected and analyzed from their own classrooms -- the results of which they can submit for publication or presentation at local and state conferences.

The Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) is an information and student success resource for current and potential teacher candidates. Their staff provides a variety of services such as: information on (and preparation resources for) testing required for program admission and teacher licensure, verification of program completion for teacher licensure, guidance surrounding the teacher licensure application process, and information on campus resources and scholarships/loans for education students.

The Center for Graduate Life provides the support and sense of community students need to meet the challenges they will face throughout their graduate experience. The Center offers workshops on topics like grant writing, presentation skills, publishing in scholarly journals, and understanding the academic job search. Virtual workshops are available online on subjects such as graduate academic writing and research writing at the graduate level.

The University Career Center provides services, programs, and support for students and alumni. Services include such options as an Education Career Fair held each spring semester, individual appointments with career advisors and the Hire-A-Niner online job and internship database. Southern Teachers Agency is a free placement service that helps recent graduates in their search for education jobs in PK-12 private and independent schools around the South.

Learn from Experts in the field of Elementary Education

Our faculty members not only demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of their field, but also a passion for the ideas embodied in their discipline. Our faculty are involved in cutting-edge research with articles appearing in some of the leading research journals in the field, including the Journal of Research in Childhood Education and the Journal of Literacy Research and Instruction. Faculty have authored multiple books such as Improving Teaching and Learning: Using Self-regulation to Engage in Strategic Action,  Research and Action Research: Using Strategic Inquiry to Improve Teaching and Learning, and Handbook of Research on Professional Development for Quality Teaching and Learning to name a few. Still others work in professional organizations by leading committee work, acting as journal editors and serving on grant review boards.

Professors have also been recognized for their teaching, research and student mentoring as recipients of several prestigious awards, including the Teaching Fellows Teaching Excellence Award, the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, the Board of Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the UNC @ i3 Technology Fellowship. Click here to learn more about all our faculty’s many accomplishments and recognitions.

Do you want to help shape the minds of the next generation? If so, click here to learn more about the requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching - Elementary Education,  graduate student financial aid and the graduate application process.  

For more information on the M.A.T, please contact:

Bethany Myers

Education Recruitment Office

Dr. Amy Good