UWG News Item
Master of Arts in Teaching now offered
October 18, 2005
CARROLLTON, GA - The University of West Georgia is adding its first Master of Arts in Teaching degree to its graduate school programs. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved a new Master of Arts in Teaching with a major in French, German and Spanish at its quarterly meeting this month.
The MAT in foreign languages is one of many the university plans on implementing into its graduate school program. A MAT in mathematics, science and English are in the planning stages. The programs will increase the number of teachers in the state of Georgia and will add to the enrollment in the UWG graduate school.
The MAT in foreign languages is designed to meet the needs of those who have a bachelor’s degree and a background in foreign language, said Dr. Denise Overfield, chair and associate professor of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. Overfield authored the proposal.
“The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature is excited about the program,” said Overfield. “Those who earned a bachelor’s degree in a language may qualify for the program, as would those who have completed at least a bachelor's degree in another discipline and demonstrate a certain level of language proficiency. We look forward to offering it.”
The program is designed for a wide range of students and will increase the number and diversity of language teachers in Georgia, said Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, vice-president of Academic Affairs.
“The newly approved MAT program in language reflects a good deal of thoughtful work by our colleagues in foreign language and the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Hynes. “It adapts to the current need for language teachers in Georgia, as well as anticipates a growing need not only for language teachers but teachers of English as a second language as well.”
Between 2004-2006, about 332 provisional and probationary certificates in French and Spanish and 66 certificates in ESOL will be issued but will need to be renewed. This degree will ensure a clear certification in teaching for candidates who complete the program. The degree requires completion of a 36-hour semester program and a master’s thesis or an expanded research paper. University President Beheruz N. Sethna said it is a progressive step for UWG.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that we, as a nation, have much catching up to do in terms of the international languages we speak,” said Sethna. “This is important to our country in terms of business, politics, international standing, combating terrorism and many other ways. We know that it is easier to learn languages at younger ages. So, this new degree program has the potential of playing an important role in the community and for the public good. For more information call 678-839-6515 or 678-839-6643.