Written By Liz Moore
Drew’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is so exceptional, its administrators say, that for three years in a row, a graduate of the MAT program was selected as an outstanding student-teacher in the state of New Jersey.
Now, a national education accreditation organization has given Drew’s MAT program a lengthy review and awarded it a five-year initial accreditation, which is the longest duration given for newly accredited programs.
The accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), which was announced last month, is the culmination of a three-year application process that evaluated everything from Drew’s MAT curriculum to the hiring rate of its graduates. It also involved a team of evaluators coming to Drew for three days and Drew’s MAT program director answering further TEAC inquiries in person.
“This is the crowning moment for this program since its inception,” said Stephanie Koprowski-McGowan, MAT program director. “It further demonstrates Drew’s commitment to the outstanding preparation of teachers for private and public schools in New Jersey and in other states.”
One thing that sets Drew apart from other MAT programs is that Drew’s students get an additional nine credits of intensive graduate-level study in their individual subject areas—something not required in other programs. That higher level of education and course of study makes Drew’s future teachers more knowledgeable and better prepared than their peers, said Robert Ready, dean of the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies.
“They are people who are valued in the market place because of this enriched content,” he said. “It goes beyond the state’s expectation.”
Drew currently offers a Master of Arts in Teaching in 10 subject areas—biology, chemistry, English, French, Italian, mathematics, physics, social studies, Spanish and theatre arts—for students who want to teach at the secondary school level. Future plans are to expand the program to the elementary school level and to offer special education certification at both the elementary and secondary school levels.
The new accreditation is also a seal of approval that will further propel the careers of Drew’s MAT students. “We’re holding the program to the highest standard in the preparation of teachers,” said Koprowski-McGowan. “It produces passionate teachers who really do live the vocation,” said Ready. “It already has an extraordinary success rate.”
This fall, for the first time, undergraduate students can enroll in a program that will give them bachelor’s and MAT degrees in five years. As part of that opportunity, undergraduate students who enroll in the program will take four graduate courses toward their MAT while still underclassmen.
Ready said Drew’s MAT program prepares younger students who are pursuing their first jobs, mid-career graduate students who are looking to change professions and graduate students who want to go on and pursue PhD programs.
For more information about Drew’s MAT program, click on drew.edu/graduate/academics/mat.