School of Education  

M.A.T. Program

On this page you will find a full description of the M.A.T. Program at Aquinas College, and information for applying to the program. There is also information on the endorsement areas for graduate education, as well as a summary of courses and links to our current course schedules.
M.A.T. Overview

The Master in the Art of Teaching program at Aquinas College was created in 1988 to offer advanced studies for classroom teachers and to improve the quality of direct instruction to children. Today, our M.A.T. is the graduate program of choice for scores of teachers throughout West Michigan. The program’s philosophy is that teacher education should promote thinking. We have structured the course of study to encourage the individual skills of each of our students. In turn, our Master degree candidates learn to apply the same strategies within their own classrooms to form connections with each of their students. In education today, the mastery of communication skills is paramount to any teacher’s success. Here, those skills will become the key to your success – in and out of the classroom.

Our M.A.T. faculty are exemplary professors and professionals. They are selected not only for their academic preparation and theoretical knowledge, but also for their extensive practical experience – as teachers, consultants, administrators and researchers. Each faculty member has earned advanced degrees and has pursued additional study; many have published articles in their respective fields. Extensive experience in the classroom with both K-12 students and college students has enhanced their ability to provide a dynamic mix of professional theories and practical approaches for teachers to use in the classroom. At Aquinas, we know the best teachers and administrators are those who have the ability to recognize a good idea and who know how to share it with others. Who better to teach you than those who have mastered the techniques themselves?

You will also be exposed to different perspectives in every project and every class. Just as all students are unique in their learning style, aptitude, and exposure, teachers come from a multitude of backgrounds and varied interests. Whether you are a teacher with years of experience or new to the field, you will benefit from interacting with the Aquinas faculty and peers who share your passions.

At Aquinas, we are anticipating changes and preparing teachers for whatever the future may bring. Here, you will become a master thinker and adapter. By focusing on issues from sociology to school motivation and problem solving to research design, you will learn more than new ways of teaching. You will learn new ways of thinking. What you bring to your own classroom will depend on your life experiences. Here, your studies will lead you to a style of teaching that is authentically your own. We believe a life balanced among teaching, family and friends has greater stability than one centered solely on work and achievement. That is why we have designed our Master in the Art of Teaching program to help you develop the knowledge, skills, and perspectives that will serve you well both professionally and personally.

With the demands of family, jobs and other responsibilities, flexibility may not be possible in your schedule. We have made our schedule as versatile as possible to compensate. Aquinas offers late afternoon, evening and Saturday class times, as well as late night and early morning library and computer lab hours. Regardless of the time you choose, our specially-trained advisors, experienced faculty, and accommodating financial aid programs will help make your transition to Aquinas as stress-free as possible. On behalf of all our faculty and staff, welcome to Aquinas College and to the School of Education.
M.A.T. Admission Requirements   Application materials may be mailed to:

Applications are accepted throughout the year for the M.A.T. program.

A candidate may begin the program in any semester.

Admission requirements are:

  • Michigan teaching certificate
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Admission interview with the MAT Program Advisor
  • Completed application (Note: There is no application fee for the M.A.T. program.)
  • Copy of your Michigan teaching certificate
  • Two official transcripts from each college attended.

Aquinas College School of Education
1607 Robinson Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Materials may also be dropped off at the School of Education office located in the Academic Building, room AB 260.

You are invited to meet with the MAT Program Advisor to obtain further information regarding the program, individual courses, and the faculty. Please call the School of Education at (616) 632-2800 to schedule an advising appointment.

Program Requirements for M.A.T. Degree
Candidates who wish to earn the M.A.T. degree are required to complete a series of courses and a minimum of 21 credit hours in a concentration or endorsement area. All prospective students meet with the M.A.T. Program Advisor to review an exact course of study based upon undergraduate coursework and graduate program goals. Please note that all coursework for the M.A.T. degree must be completed within five years of the time enrolled in the first course. The degree, Master in the Art of Teaching, is conferred when the following requirements are met:  

  • A minimum of 36 semester hours of approved graduate course work in the M.A.T. program; a minimum of 27 credit hours must be taken at Aquinas College.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Culminating experience (EN 690: Master Teaching Project) judged at mastery level.
  • Payment of all financial obligations to the College.
  • Proper application for the degree. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the process two semesters prior to anticipated completion of the program or after the completion of 27 credits.


Applications for degree are available in the School of Education main office in Academic Building room 260. When the student returns the completed application to the School of Education, his/her record will be audited. Students who complete requirements in December of the previous year, or May or August of the graduation year are encouraged to participate in the May commencement ceremonies.  

Students may also elect to complete only the requirements to add an individual endorsement to a current teaching certificate. The endorsement requirements range from 21 credit hours to 36 credit hours, depending upon the area of endorsement, plus a passing score on the state test for the individual endorsement.

M.A.T. Core Course Requirements


  • EN 510 Research Methods, Design and Analysis (3 credits)


  • EN 690 Master Teaching Project (3 credits)




Other required core courses are dependent upon the particular endorsement or concentration program and may include one or more of the following:


  • EN 610 Inquiry-Based Literacy and Differentiated Instruction  (3 credits)


  • EN 544 Language Acquisition and Teaching (3 credits)


  • EN 561 Assessing Student Learning (3 credits)


  • EN 596 School and Culture in the 21st Century (3 credits)


The culminating experience of the Master in the Art of Teaching program is carried out as a three credit master teaching project through the EN 690 course. The goal for each student is to bring together what s/he has learned formally and experientially into a focused project. It will synthesize the relevant theories and practices he/she has come to know into a project that celebrates these understandings. Each project will include an extensive bibliography that reviews the relevant work of others as it applies to the project, a clear and professional description of the project, its implementation, results, conclusions drawn from the project and suggestions for next steps.


M.A.T graduate students choose one of the following concentrations or endorsements. A concentration is designed for students who are already endorsed in the area of choice. An endorsement is designed for students who are not currently endorsed in the area of choice.  


Bilingual Spanish (YF) Endorsement

Learning Disabilities K-12 Endorsement


Early Childhood (ZA) Endorsement

Secondary Education Concentration


Educational Technology (NP) Endorsement

Secondary Education Endorsement


Elementary Education Concentration



English as a Second Language K-12 Endorsement



Educational Technology (NP) Endorsement



Language Arts K-8 Endorsement  

Master in the Art of Teaching Schedules:

Summer 2015

Fall 2015

Courses: Click here for graduate course descriptions
Current Tuition: $548/credit

  • Additional activities beyond class meeting times will be required for most courses.
  • Nine graduate credits are considered full time. Permission is required for more than twelve credits per semester.
  • Parking permits are required and available at Campus Safety (616) 632-3754.
  • Please notify the Graduate Education Office if you have an address or telephone number change.
  • We attempt to contact students if a class is cancelled. Keeping us updated with your contact information could save you a trip to campus later!
State Competency Tests:

Any MAT student adding an endorsement to a Michigan teaching certificate must pass a State subject area test for that endorsement area only. Contact the School of Education office at (616) 632-2800 for additional information and registration materials.

Application for Degree:

A student completing a master's degree must complete an Application for Degree one semester prior to the anticipated graduation date (December, May, or August). Contact the School of Education Office at (616) 632-2800 to obtain an application for degree.

Field Components:

Some MAT courses require a field component. You are encouraged to contact your education advisor or the instructor prior to registration for specific field component information.

Donnelly Scholarships/
Hruby Scholarships:

New or prospective students may be eligible for tuition assistance. For information, please call Adult Student Recruitment at (616) 632-2923. If you have already received a Hruby or Donnelly Scholarship, please call Financial Aid at (616) 632-2893 each time you register for classes so the scholarship will be posted to your account.

Accounts Receivable Information:

Payment is due in full by the first day of each semester unless you have applied and paid for our Multiple Payment or Employer Reimbursement plans. Unpaid accounts will receive AR HOLDS barring further registration until charges are paid in full, and will result in the application of interest charges of 1% per month. Please call Student Accounts for payment plan forms and further information at (616) 632-2864.

No-Show Policy:

Students who do not officially drop a class within the initial 14 day add/drop period and are administratively dropped from a class, will be assessed a fee of $150 per class. For students officially dropping a class, either before the class starts or within the first two weeks of the class, there will be no charge. It is not the instructor’s responsibility to drop you from a class or to deliver your add/drop slip to the Graduate Education Office.

Campus Parking:

Parking permits are required and available at the Campus Safety Office (616) 632-2462. You will need to present both your driver's license and car registration forms for documentation. Visit the Campus Safety site for additional information.

Student Photo ID:

A student photo ID is necessary to use the services of the Grace Hauenstein Library and the computer labs. You may have the ID prepared at Campus Safety.