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LR’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) provides students the opportunity to earn both a graduate degree and North Carolina teaching certification (which is honored in most states). The program is designed for students who have earned a non-education undergraduate degree and wish to pursue secondary teacher or certain K-12 teacher licensure areas. Students can earn a master's degree and gain the skills, training, and certification they need to be highly-qualified English, math, social studies, science physical education, or music teachers.

The program is designed with the working adult in mind, furnishing the opportunity to enter the exciting teaching profession without having to give up one’s current job in the interim. It is fully online, and students may begin any semester (summer, fall, or spring term). As a non-cohort program, students can complete the curriculum at their own pace—full-time or part-time. Although delivered online, full-time faculty mentors are located on both LR’s Hickory and Asheville campuses, providing students greater face-to-face access when needed. Any practicum experiences, including student teaching requirements, can be completed close to home at the students’ greater convenience.

The online environment allows students to see, hear, and interact with their professors and colleagues in a dynamic, real-time instructional setting that is very close to what they would have in a face-to-face class. This is not one of those programs where students are completing "modules." This program is comprised of live, interactive classes. Students work in groups and pairs as well as share their work as they would do in a regular classroom. Classes are small so that students can build important relationships with their professors and get the kind of personalized education that Lenoir-Rhyne University encourages.

Professors in the Master of Arts in Teaching program have many years of experience as teachers and administrators, which results in instruction that is targeted and based on the needs of today's classroom. With the hands-on, practical, and best practice tools that students will learn to utilize in the program, they will be equipped to make the most of their opportunities to inspire and instruct students. MAT graduates very often have a distinctive advantage in hiring for teachers because they have produced graduate work specifically in the craft of teaching and very likely have additional content preparation in their chosen areas of undergraduate study.



LR offers secondary certification programs in the core subjects and K-12 certification in health & physical education, music, and Spanish. Candidates may pursue teacher licensure in one of the following secondary disciplines: Comprehensive Science, English, Mathematics, or Comprehensive Social Studies.

Students in the Master of Arts in Teaching 34-hour program pursue coursework that emphasizes applying theory to best practice. Classes include foundations of education, curriculum and pedagogy, diverse learners, assessment, instructional technology, and multicultural education. From the very beginning of the program, students are in the classroom observing and working with teachers and administrators. The program culminates with a semester of full-time student teaching that can be completed in the fall or spring as well as a capstone seminar in which students begin the transition to their own classrooms.

Within the Master of Arts in Teaching program, students will have the option to pursue an online teaching graduate certification track through LR’s innovative and unique program in Online Teaching and Instructional Design. Students who complete this track within the MAT program will learn and apply effective methods for designing and individualizing online content as well as developing interactive online learning experiences for diverse populations of learners. This track allows students to work toward initial licensure in secondary education and a graduate certificate in online teaching and instructional design. For students pursuing this track, nine credit-hours for the online teaching and instructional design track are embedded within the MAT program sequence. In essence, MAT students are able to complete their degree requirements and this innovative certificate only having to complete nine, rather than normal 18 additional hours. (Students pursuing the online teaching track within the MAT program do not obtain the MAT degree until all program requirements and the 18 credit hours required for the graduate certificate in online teaching and instructional design are completed. However, students obtain initial teaching licensure as soon as licensure requirements are met within the MAT program, and students are able to opt-out of this track if they were to decide not to continue with the remaining credit hours necessary for the certificate in online teaching and instructional design.)

In addition to successfully completing the MAT program of study, candidates must achieve passing scores on the appropriate Praxis II test(s) for their licensure area in order to be eligible for the NC Standard Professional I teaching license.

MAT Major Requirements



Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)
Lenoir-Rhyne University is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Lenoir-Rhyne University is working toward accreditation of its educator preparation programs under the AAQEP standards with an anticipated Quality Assurance Review in Fall 2020.

Program Contact

Dr. Hank Weddington

Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Associate Professor of Education
Hickory Campus