Master of Arts in Teaching/MS Alternate Certification

Important Notice: Due to MDE licensure guidelines and policies, the Belhaven University School of Education will NO LONGER be able to admit candidates seeking Mississippi Alternate Route Teacher Licensure as “Test Pending” to the Master of Arts in Teaching Degree Program and/or those seeking the MDE Special Non-Renewable License from a non-traditional program. All applicants must have qualifying passing scores on the ACT or Core, as well as an approved Praxis II Subject Area test prior to admission to the MAT Alt/Cert program. This also applies to those seeking the MDE Special Non-Renewable License. The School of Education will NO LONGER be admitting candidates “Test Pending.”

Belhaven offers a challenging educational experience for aspiring teachers who desire to enhance their knowledge and skills. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing professional educators who can provide distinctive Christian leadership and service in the classroom, the school, and the community. The goal of graduate teacher education is to prepare competent teachers who demonstrate both academic excellence and professional knowledge while providing distinctive Christian leadership and service to candidates, parents, and communities. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is designed for candidates who have a non-education undergraduate degree.

The State of Mississippi requires unlicensed degree holders who wish to be licensed to enroll in an M.A.T. program after passing PRAXIS CORE and PRAXIS II. A qualified candidate must take EDU 501 (Measurements and Evaluation) and 506 (Classroom Management) to apply for a Mississippi three year provisional Class A license. After completing 1 year of teaching and while enrolled in two semesters of Internship/Mentor courses (EDU 502 and EDU 503), a candidate may apply for a Class A standard (5 year) license. EDU502 and EDU503 are part of a candidate’s first year of teaching and include four (4) Saturday seminar sessions during each of two semesters. If a candidate completes the MAT program, application for a Class AA standard license can be made.


Course Delivery Formats

All courses in the degree program are presented in an online learning delivery format.  However, to assist the online learner, each course offers three optional on ground support seminars. The enrolled candidate may choose to attend or not attend (class attendance and final grades are based solely on weekly submission of online assignments and assignment grades). Support Seminars are held either during a week night evening session or a Saturday morning session. Sessions are held on the first (1st), fourth (4th), and seventh (7th) weeks of each eight (8) week course term. Support Seminars have been designed to encourage, support, and assist candidates in their studies and to provide an opportunity to meet with their professor and colleagues. This is an excellent opportunity for the online learner to experience live person-to-person interaction, have questions answered, and dialogue with the professor regarding course procedures and course content.  It also provides an occasion to network with other professional educators enrolled in the course.

For more information regarding the program format, please call the Adult and Graduate Student Services at: 601-968-8880. For questions for the School of Education, call 601-968-8703.

Curriculum Summary

Phases 1 and 2 as well as passing of Praxis Core and Praxis II Exams enables Mississippi candidates from either the Jackson or DeSoto campuses to become eligible for the Mississippi Alternative Certification initial three year license.

Course # Course Name Credits
Required First Two Courses (MS Alternate Teacher Certification)
EDU 501 Measurement and Evaluation Strategies 3
EDU 506 Classroom Management and Organization 3
(Must be Employed as a Licensed Teacher)
EDU 502 Dimensions of Learning I 3
EDU 503 Dimensions of Learning II 3
Candidates admitted to the Alternative Teaching Certificate program are eligible for FULL ADMISSION as a candidate to the MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING DEGREE PROGRAM upon successful completion of:  EDU 501, EDU 506 and having passed the PRAXIS CORE or ACT test with a composite score of 21 or higher and Praxis II exams.
(Phase 3 can begin before Phase 2)
EDU 602 Psychology of the Exceptional Child 3
EDU 622 Teaching Reading and Math Skills 3
NOTE:  If Praxis Core or ACT and Praxis II exams have not been passed, a candidate CANNOT progress to Phase 4.
EDU 610 Research Methods and Procedures 3
EDU 612 Curriculum Planning and Organization 3
EDU 621 Assessing Student Learning 3
EDU 628 Advanced Teaching Strategies 3
(Prerequisite: a minimum of 21 program hours completed or 18 hours with EDU 503 in progress)
EDU 625 Instructional Leadership Skills in the Classroom
This courses includes writing a Comprehensive Paper

Admission Information

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is for candidates who hold non-educational undergraduate degrees and want to pursue the alternate route license at the graduate level (see steps to alternative teacher certification), or who currently hold an alternate license and desire a master's degree and standard certification. MAT graduates can teach in the elementary setting, grades 4 through 6, or in the secondary setting, grades 7 through 12.
Candidates must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher on one of the following:

      • Cumulative from undergraduate/graduate degree granting institution or
      • Cumulative on last 60 hours of undergraduate work

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