Chatham University

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) FAQ’s

How long does it take to complete the MAT program?
If a student attends full time, the program can be completed in four terms. Completion of the program for part time students will vary based on the amount of credits taken each semester.

Are classes offered online?
Select courses are offered online. The majority of the courses are offered on the Chatham campus, in the evenings. Some courses may be offered in the afternoon.

When can a student begin the MAT program?
Fall or Spring term.

Where will I do my student teaching and field placements?
Chatham makes arrangements to place its students primarily in public schools throughout Allegheny County. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that all students wishing to obtain a PA teaching certification complete at least half of their student teaching experience in a public school.

Does the university offer placement services?
Chatham's Career Services staff meets with student teachers during the student teacher seminars. They assist students with resume writing, interviewing skills and maintain a professional file for all graduates. The Career Services staff regularly disseminates information about job and career fairs and direct students to traditional and electronic online resources to aid in the job search. The Chatham education program also maintains websites for job candidates to post and disseminate job opportunities.

What are field placements?
In accordance with PDE regulations, all students must complete field placements. Field placements are placements that students must complete in a school setting, mostly during the school day. MAT students can be expected to complete anywhere between 20-40 hours of field placements per semester. Field placements offer the students the opportunity and experience to assess and observe the environment, culture, instructional strategies and other attributes of a school. Field placements also offer the student hands on and real teaching experience.

What is Student Teaching?
During the final semester of enrollment, students are required by both Chatham University and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to complete a semester long student teaching placement. Student teaching is a FULL-TIME assignment and a professional responsibility. Student teachers, like all teaching professional are required to complete research, create and implement unit and lesson plans and prepare for daily instruction. This entails time well beyond the normal school day. Student teachers must have their own transposition for student teaching; placements on bus routes are not guaranteed. Students are not permitted to student teach in the district in which they have graduated from or in a school in which family members are employed.

What is the tuition and program cost at Chatham University?
Program costs vary from year to year. Prospective students should consult the university’s admissions web page and contact Student Services for financial aid information.

Do students need clearances for field placements and student teaching?
Yes. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all individuals who interact with children in Pennsylvania schools to obtain three types of clearances: Act 34(PA Criminal), Act 151(Child Abuse), and FBI Criminal History Report. Form PDE 6004 also must be completed for any person entering a school. These are required for all Chatham field placements including observations and student teaching. In all MAT programs, field placements begin in the first term of enrollment. Therefore, students must submit these three clearances and form PDE 6004 to the Field Placement Coordinator located in Braun 204. Prior to beginning their first semester of courses. Negative information on any of these clearances may be cause for dismissal from the program.

More information regarding these clearances is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/certifications/7199 and click on "Background Checks" in the left-hand menu.