Apr 21, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2022-23 
Graduate Catalog 2022-23 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies (TLEM)

Coordinators/Advisors: Dini Metro-Roland (MATLES—Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Foundations), Regena Fails Nelson (Early Elementary Teaching), Andrea Smith (Early Childhood)


Paul Farber (Educational Foundations—Socio-cultural Studies)
Allison Hart-Young (Foundations of Teaching)?
Jill Hermann-Wilmarth (Educational Foundations—Socio-cultural Studies)
Jeffrey Jones (Curriculum and Instruction)
Regena Nelson (Early Elementary Teaching)
Dini Metro-Roland (Educational Foundations—Socio-cultural Studies and Curriculum and Instruction)
Andrea Smith (Early Childhood)

Contact Person:
4121 Sangren Hall
(269) 387-3465

The Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies (MATLES) provides a comprehensive professional development program for current Pre K-12 teachers. In order to address the ever-changing and complex challenges faced by today’s teachers, this degree allows teachers, along with their academic advisors, to customize programs of study to meet individual needs and professional goals.

The Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies is designed to enhance the knowledge and skill of reflective practitioners for a variety of educational settings. It is our belief that teachers ought to be effective practitioners, leaders, change agents, intellectuals, researchers and learners. They should be passionate learners who embrace diversity, actively inquire and reflect upon their own practice, nurture the development of new knowledge and skills, and weave the complexities of modern society into the learning process.  This is accomplished through a process of continuous professional, intellectual, and social growth within an interrelated spiral of academic content preparation, professional knowledge, pedagogical skill, and guided practice.  The Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies is predicated on the assumption that theory, research, policy, and practice must be continuously integrated in ways that provide innovative models leading to the improvement of teaching, learning and reflective practice.

The goal of reflective practice is to help teachers develop the ability to analyze their own teaching, inquire into how teaching can be improved, and develop strategies to improve teaching that build on individual strengths.  Reflective practitioners must also be able to situate their practice within the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of relationships among schooling, society, and the natural environment.  It requires teachers to examine, interpret, and evaluate the teaching-learning process using the best practices described by research and experience as the referent for reflection.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. An overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) in the last two years of undergraduate work. Applicants with a GPA of less than 3.0 may be granted a Conditional Admission. This will be converted to a regular admission if students receive a grade of “B” or better in the first two graduate courses (six credit-hours) taken.
  3. A concise written “statement of purpose” (250 words) indicating the applicant’s reasons for seeking admission to the program and what the applicant hopes to accomplish during the program of study. Congruence of applicant’s written “statement of purpose” with the parameters of this degree program. For the Educational Foundations Concentration, the written statement of purpose should be 1,000 to 1,5000 words; it should indicate the candidate’s career expectations and reasons for seeking admission to this concentration.
  4. Experience in a professional setting.*
  5. A valid Michigan Teaching Certificate** will be required for students seeking to obtain additional endorsements.
  6. Two letters of recommendation from persons able to judge the applicant’s potential to succeed in a graduate program.***

*Waived for individuals in the “Educational Foundations” concentration, and the “Early Elementary Teaching” concentration seeking initial certification.
**Required only for individuals seeking to obtain additional endorsements.
***Required only for the “Educational Foundations” concentration.

A review of transcripts will be required for students in the Early Elementary Teaching concentration to determine if the student has taken 45 credits of required content pre-requisites for elementary education certification.

Upon admission, each student will be assigned an advisor who will assist in the preparation of a program of study.  The program of study should be prepared during the first semester of enrollment.

A maximum of 9 Western Michigan University graduate credits taken before admission may be applied to the Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies with advisor approval.

Program Requirements

(30 - 33 hours) for practicing teachers
(51 hours) for individuals in “Early Elementary Teaching” concentration

Four Master of Arts in Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies Concentration Descriptions

Areas of Concentration include 12-15 Foundation of Practice hours and 18-36 concentration hours.

NOTE: The Early Childhood Education Concentration has 18 required concentration hours and leads to the ZS Endorsement with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The Curriculum and Instruction Concentration has 18 elective concentration hours. The Early Elementary Teaching Concentration has 42 hours and leads to initial certification.

NOTE: The Teacher Leader Concentration has 21 required concentration hours

Programs of Study for each of the four concentrations follow:

1. MATLES: Early Childhood Education Concentration - General and Special Education (ZS endorsement) (30-33 hours) (THCM)

Required Foundation of Practice Courses (12-15 hours)

Select either:

Required Concentration Courses for the ZS Early Childhood Concentration and Endorsement (18 hours)

2. MATLES: Curriculum and Instruction Concentration (30-33 hours) (TCIM)

Required Foundation of Practice Courses (12-15 hours)

Select either:

Elective Concentration Courses (18 hours)

Note: Many other elective concentration course options are available. Meet with your graduate program advisor to become familiar with the wide range of elective options.

3. MATLES: Educational Foundations Concentration (30 hours) (TEFM)

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies Core (9 hours)

Educational Foundations (9 hours)

Select two courses from the following or relevant courses outside the department:

Curriculum Studies (3 hours)

Select one course in curriculum from the following:

Electives (6 hours)

Advisor approved graduate courses, normally from outside the department, which support a particular scholarly interest.

Capstone Research Project or Master’s Thesis (3 or 6 hours)

4. MATLES: Teacher Leader Concentration (33-36 hours) (TTLM)

Required Foundation of Practice Courses (12-15 hours)

Select either: