CORVALLIS, Ore. - A partnership between Oregon State University and the Beaverton School District will allow future teachers a unique opportunity to instruct K-5 students in the classroom through a new type of hybrid teacher licensure program.
The masters of arts in teaching, or M.A.T. degree, with an option in "clinically based elementary program," is a two-year, full-time master's degree program that begins this fall. It will immediately immerse students in the classroom, where they will co-teach and work side-by-side with experienced Beaverton School District educators.
Frequently referred to as "Teach for Beaverton," the program provides students the opportunity to actively engage with a cohort of peers while learning from faculty in the OSU College of Education. The program blends in-person classes with online course work, delivered by Oregon State Ecampus, a national leader in distance education.
"The program provides a powerful opportunity for future teachers," said Matt Nyman, program coordinator and instructor. "They will benefit from the expertise of OSU College of Education faculty through course work, and the wisdom of practice from expert Beaverton School District teachers during two years of work in classrooms."
Students who graduate from the program could enter the workforce with an advanced set of skills at a time when there is an increased demand for teaching professionals with master's degrees in the Pacific Northwest, educators say.
The program's collaborative learning environment enables students to hold a part-time job in the district during the first year and earn a salary while leading a classroom during the second and final year.
To meet the state and nationwide need for more teachers from underrepresented groups, the in-person portion of the program is based in Beaverton - near Portland, and one of the state's most diverse cities with more than 90 languages spoken in area schools. It is designed for those who bring a rich diversity of cultures to their classrooms.
"We believe every student, regardless of background, deserves a great education every day of every year," said Sue Robertson, chief human resource officer in the Beaverton School District. "And the key to a great education is a great teacher. We can make this a reality by fully supporting and preparing teachers to meet the needs of all students during their very first year of teaching."
The curriculum of the 52-credit program include culturally literate education, teaching for social justice, and science and math topics. Specific course work includes teaching students with special needs, classroom management and K-5 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) integration.
Visit the Ecampus website for more information.