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Elementary Education Program Requirements

MA in Teaching with Elementary Education Licensure

The North Park University School of Education prepares competent, respectful, and reflective professionals who are dedicated to serving diverse learning communities.

The master of arts in teaching with licensure (MAT) is designed for candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and who wish to earn a master’s degree while completing the requirements for an Illinois teaching license. The elementary education license will allow you to teach grades 1 through 6 in Illinois schools.

Most students will complete the program and obtain licensure within 22 months.

Master’s Degree Requirements

Descriptions for all graduate education courses are available at the bottom of this page.

  • A minimum of 34 semester hours of graduate and licensure coursework
  • 18 semester hours in a specialty concentration area as stated in the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards

Licensure Courses

  • EDUC 5010: Educational Psychology
  • EDUC 5120: Multicultural Education
  • EDUC 5220: Instruction and Assessment
  • EDUC 5310: Curriculum Theory and Instructional Strategies
  • EDUC 5312: Elementary Methods II
  • EDUC 5350: Elementary Methods I
  • EDUC 5430: Survey of Teaching Exceptional Learners
  • EDUC 5500: Practicum A: Assessment of Competencies for the Teaching Profession
  • EDUC 5510: Practicum B: Teacher Aiding
  • EDUC 5520: Practicum C: Mini-Teaching and Seminar
  • EDUC 5830: Student Teaching
  • EDUC 5900: Practicum D: School Beginnings and Seminar

Course Descriptions

Click on the courses names below to read a description of the class.

Please review the full academic catalog for the year you enroll at North Park for official requirements, including prerequisite and corequisite courses. The catalog and your School of Education advisor will assist you in planning your course sequence to complete your MAT degree.

An advanced study of the psychological aspects of human behavior and development applied to the teaching and learning process. Topics include an understanding and function of brain development as it affects behavior and learning, neuropsychological aspects of school-related problems, learning styles, attention span, information processing, short-term and long-term memory, encoding and retrieval mechanisms, categorization, and problem-solving. Candidates will develop a positive classroom discipline model as part of this course.

An examination of the issue of diversity with emphasis on the social, political, and cultural dimensions of school settings. Students will apply findings on this issue to their own classrooms and community contexts. Consideration will be given to the needs of ESL, bilingual, and bicultural students and the ways in which teachers respond to their needs. Legal requirements and funding issues will be addressed. Teacher certification candidates will develop a philosophy of diversity statement as a component of this course.

This course introduces students to research-based instructional strategies along with basic principles and practices of classroom assessment. Special attention will be given to differentiated instruction, maximizing student engagement and learning, formative and summative assessment practices, and the use of data in classroom decision making.

An analysis of both traditional and alternative forms of assessment and evaluation, e.g., portfolio assessment, video performances, and student presentations. Philosophical foundations that form the basis for selected evaluation practices will be considered. Examination of literature on tests and measurements as well as alternative assessment and evaluation procedures will enable students to develop strategies that best meet the needs of their own educational objectives. Attention to grading procedures and other means for reporting student progress will enable teachers to evaluate a variety of strategies for reporting student progress.

This course introduces candidates to the basic principles of unit planning and lesson design with special emphasis on the School of Education lesson plan template. Planning principles are aligned with the Danielson Framework for Teaching, the edTPA, Illinois Learning Standards, and national content area standards. Strategies for supporting the needs of diverse learners are addressed.

As the first literacy course in the Elementary Education program, this course emphasis on balance literacy, methodology, and principles of instruction related to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Candidates will explore instructional strategies to construct differentiated instruction, standard-based literacy lessons, and literacy units. Field experience will be required.

Emphasis on emergent literacy and primary methods in the areas of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science as they are integrated with art, music, health, and physical education in the schools. Materials suitable for these ages and stages of development are reviewed. Assessment of students is discussed.

This course is intended for candidates working towards an elementary certification. Candidates will explore instructional strategies in order to guide their students in acquiring writing and reading skills in content areas. Emphasis is on the functional teaching of writing and reading including designing and preparing materials to use with curriculum materials in all school subjects. Field experience required.

Survey of the psychology of the identification of, and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child, including the learning disabled, with special emphasis on characteristics and methods of instruction for cross-categorical special education students.

As the first clinical experience course in the Teacher Education Program, this course requires teacher candidates to observe and teacher aide in a classroom for up to 50 hours in order to demonstrate an understanding of the classroom environment along with instructional and assessment practices. Teacher Aiding experiences include focused reflection on Danielson's Framework for Teaching and edTPA. Prerequisite: Full admission into the Teacher Education Program.

Mini-teachers meet regularly with School of Education faculty to share and reflect on the experience and prepare for the edTPA. There will be a minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. The student must meet the required grade point average and have a receipt by the School of Education of meeting the Illinois basic skills requirement.

Minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. To be taken in the second year of the program.

Supervised observation and teaching in early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary school. All education teacher candidates are to complete a minimum of 12 week of student teaching. Pre-requisite: Passage of the State Content Area Exam; acceptance into student teaching by the Teacher Education Committee.

As the capstone course in the teacher education program, this course enables students to create personal syntheses of the educational experiences as graduate students and as prospective educators. Students will examine selected philosophies of education in order to develop their own. Candidates will assemble professional portfolios, prepare for teacher licensure, and outline future areas of inquiry for further professional development.