Sep 28, 2023
The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) English as a Second Language (ESL) program is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree (in any area) interested in teaching English Language Learners (ELL) in K-12 public schools. The M.A.T. program is a 39 credit hour program comprised of two phases: the Graduate Certificate phase (Phase I) and the Master’s degree completion phase (Phase II). Completion of Phase I (Graduate Certificate) leads to the initial Standard Professional I teaching license in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Phase I requires 24 credit hours of coursework, including a required graduate student teaching/internship experience. Upon completion of Phase I and formal acceptance into the M.A.T. program by the Graduate School, qualified candidates may continue into Phase II to complete the remaining requirements for the Master’s degree and qualify for the advanced Standard Professional II teaching license. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate School for formal admission to the Graduate Certificate program in TESL (Phase I). Upon completion of Phase I, another application must be submitted for formal admission to the Master’s program (Phase II). For more information on the M.A.T., please visit pathwaytoteaching.uncc.edu.
Note: Admission to the Graduate School is separate and distinct from admission to a graduate certificate degree program and not an indication of automatic admission to the M.A.T. degree program. For more information on this option, refer to the M.A.T. section above.
All courses for both phases of the M.A.T. must be completed within six years. Coursework within Phase I/Graduate Certificate must be completed within four years.
General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School
Please refer to general information provided in The Graduate School section.
Admission Requirements for all M.A.T. Programs
- Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Teaching
- A minimum graduate GPA of 3.5 in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching
- Three recommendation letters that include at least one from a full-time faculty member who has taught the student in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language program
- A statement of purpose (500-1000 words)
- Apply online at graduateschool.uncc.edu
The admission process includes timely completion of the Admission to Candidacy form and the Application for Graduation from the Graduate Certificate program.
The GRE or Miller Analogies Test may be required for students with GPAs that do not meet minimum requirements. There may be additional requirements (at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director) for admittance to the TESL Master’s program.
Phase I/Graduate Certificate Required Courses (24 credit hours)
*TESL 6470 is a full-time internship requiring employment as an English as a Second Language teacher in an approved school or a non-paid placement with a licensed ESL teacher in a public school. It requires a formal application and approval during the semester prior to the internship.
Phase II/ Completion of M.A.T. Required Courses (15 credit hours)
Note: All requirements of Phase I must be completed before beginning Phase II.
Plus one of the following:
- An approved Study Abroad Program (3)**
- An approved course substitution (3)
**Written approval must be given in advance by the Graduate Program Coordinator.
The capstone experience for the M.A.T. will be fulfilled by completing the Comprehensive Electronic Portfolio project. In addition, candidates for the M.A.T. will complete an electronic licensure portfolio during coursework that demonstrates their readiness for the advanced Standard Professional II teaching license.
Clinical Field Experiences
Most courses require students to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in public school/agency settings. All students are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least two significantly diverse settings. Clinical field experiences provide opportunities for helping all students learn, including children with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. During clinical experiences, students apply theories and understandings gained in coursework, analyze P-12 student learning, and develop the ability to positively impact all learners. All students are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least two different settings. Upon approval from course instructors, these structured experiences can take place in multiple settings such as neighboring schools or districts, day care centers and after-school programs, alternate youth centers, community organizations, non-profit organizations, or in the schools and classrooms in which the candidates work.
Candidates who are lateral entry teachers and teacher assistants must move beyond their own classrooms and schools for at least two clinical experiences. Alternative settings must be approved by the instructor. A limited number of clinical experiences may be approved in significantly different classrooms within their school of employment. Employed candidates are encouraged to seek assistance and support from their administrators.
The graduate-level student teaching/internship is the culminating experience in Phase I of the M.A.T, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the initial Standard Professional I teaching license. Students are assigned to an appropriate classroom for a full-time, semester-long experience under the supervision of the classroom teacher and university faculty. Lateral entry teachers and teacher assistants must contact the Office of Field Experiences to determine the appropriateness of their classroom for the student teaching/internship experience and licensure requirements. This contact should take place at least one semester before student teaching.
There is no required internship for Phase II of the M.A.T.
All students are assigned an advisor upon formal admission to the program. Students should consult with their advisors at least once each semester.
Upon successful completion of the Phase 1/Graduate Certificate, students are recommended for the North Carolina initial Standard Professional I teaching license. For this initial license, students are required to complete an electronic licensure portfolio that is created during coursework and student teaching. Upon successful completion of Phase 2, students are recommended for the North Carolina advanced Standard Professional II teaching license. For the advanced license, students are required to complete an advanced electronic licensure portfolio during coursework.
All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by North Carolina State Board of Education.