The teacher education program at Sweet Briar College provides prospective teachers with a strong foundation in an academic discipline and a thorough grounding in differentiated curriculum and instruction to prepare for teaching in today’s diverse classrooms. The Education Program has received grant awards and citations for its professional development programs in mentoring and clinical faculty training, which are also grounded in differentiation. By linking the goals of clinical faculty and mentor training with teacher preparation, the Education Program provides research based, best practice instruction to pre-service and in-service teachers in meeting the diverse needs of all students.
Beginning in Fall 2003, Sweet Briar initiated a five-year program for teacher licensure. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) allows Sweet Briar students more flexibility within their undergraduate degree programs. Students are free to pursue academic majors while completing their licensure requirements, including student teaching, during the fifth year of study. The five-year licensure program allows Sweet Briar students the opportunity to study abroad, if they choose, and provides more flexibility in meeting degree requirements and choosing electives. Completion of the MAT program offers graduates the benefits of a higher salary potential in most school districts throughout the country.
The Education Program offers three options for students seeking licensure through the MAT program: Elementary Education (PreK-6), Secondary Education (6-12), and PreK-12 licensure in studio art, dance, music (vocal-choral), theatre arts, as well as the languages of Spanish, French, and Latin.
Prospective elementary teachers must major in Liberal Studies and complete the required professional studies listed below for the PreK-6 licensure. Prospective secondary teachers must major in one of the following academic disciplines: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, English, or history and social studies; and complete the required professional studies listed below for secondary licensure. Candidates for the PreK-12 licensure should consult the chair of the Education Program to obtain licensure requirements for their academic major.
Throughout the undergraduate professional studies program, clinical experiences are required in each course. These experiences are an integral part of the teacher education program and require observation, practice, and reflection in varying degrees of complexity in public school classrooms. Students interested in applying for the MAT program should consult with their major advisors and the faculty of the Education Program to ensure that all undergraduate degree requirements are met.
Admission Requirements for the Teacher Education Program:
- Completed application to the teacher education program
- Completion of at least two courses in professional education with a 3.0 average or above
- Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
- Submission of passing Praxis I scores or equivalent SAT scores
- Recommendation from the major program
- Effective communication skills, both oral and written (evidenced by successful completion of ENGL 104 or equivalent and satisfactory performance on Praxis I)
- General disposition essential for successful teaching
Prior to acceptance in an internship experience at the end of the junior year, students will be assessed on their performance in professional studies courses as well as their success in field experiences.
Criteria for acceptance to the internship include:
- Minimum overall GPA of 3.00 in professional studies courses
- Ability to use effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interactions in the classroom
- Demonstration of professional and ethical behavior as well as personal integrity in all interactions
- Potential to manage a classroom to provide a safe and positive learning environment for students and staff
- Potential to establish rapport with students
- Potential to create a supportive learning environment for all students that encourages social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
Master of Arts in Teaching
The MAT is designed for those men and women with a bachelors degree who do not hold a teaching license in Virginia or any other state. It is a full-time program that prepares candidates for licensure in one year.
Sweet Briar undergraduates must apply to the MAT program by February 1 of their senior year. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 15 of their senior year.
The requirements for admission to the MAT program for Sweet Briar students include:
- Submission of an application to the MAT degree program, including passing scores on Praxis I and II no later than February 1 of the application year
- Three recommendations from individuals outside the Education Program who are familiar with applicant’s academic ability
- Submission of passing scores on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, and for elementary candidates, the Virginia Reading Assessment
- Completion of a baccalaureate degree with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher
- Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher in professional studies courses
- Submission of official transcript from each college or university attended
- A $40 non-refundable application fee
Applicants to the MAT program who did not earn their baccalaureate degree from Sweet Briar should consult the Graduate Catalog for admission requirements.