2020–2021 Walden University Catalog (September 2020) 
    Aug 15, 2022  
2020–2021 Walden University Catalog (September 2020) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Special Education (K–Age 21)

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Walden’s Minnesota state-approved* teacher preparation program with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) option is designed to prepare candidates to become P–12 classroom teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of exemplary educators who work in diverse settings. The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is committed to individuals who seek to become skilled classroom teachers and to providing them developmentally appropriate, student-centered learning experiences that build their students’ knowledge and skills.

* Note to all Pennsylvania residents: Walden University’s teacher preparation programs are approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board as leading to a Minnesota licensure. Walden is not enrolling Pennsylvania residents into the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Special Education, but Pennsylvania residents are eligible to enroll into Walden’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program. The BS in Elementary Education program has not been reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, so candidates are instructed to apply for Pennsylvania certification as out-of-state graduates of a teacher preparation program.

* Prospective Alabama students: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P–12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at www.alsde.edu.

* Note to all Washington residents: Eligibility for initial educator certification in Washington is based on completion of a state-approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Minnesota and is authorized for field placements in Washington by the Professional Educators Standards Board. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application. Go to https://www.pesb.wa.gov/educator-pathways/becoming-a-washington-educator/out-of-state-license-transfers/ for more information. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for teacher advancement.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, teachers are able to:

  1. Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
  2. Understand how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support a child’s intellectual, social, and personal development.
  3. Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.
  4. Plan instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
  5. Understand and use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.
  6. Be a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  7. Use knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  8. Foster relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
  9. Understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
  10. Use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Completion Requirements

  • 46 semester credits
  • Core courses (18 sem. cr.)
  • Specialization courses (24 sem. cr.)
  • Demonstration teaching (4 sem. cr.)
  • Field experience**: a minimum of 105 hours of classroom-based and virtual experiences in conjunction with coursework; 12 weeks of full-time demonstration teaching
  • MAT courses
  • ePortfolio

**Note: In addition to Walden’s general technical requirements, candidates must have access to technology (i.e., scanner or camera) that allows them to electronically submit signed documents verifying their field experience hours.


The teacher preparation program with a Master of Arts in Teaching is offered on a semester system. Each specialization has a planned sequence of courses. An ePortfolio based on the program’s identified outcomes must be submitted and approved during the final course of the program.

Course Sequence

Please see the course sequence chart on each specialization page.

Note on Licensure

Walden University is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board to offer the Master of Arts in Teaching which leads to Minnesota Tier 3 license in special education (K–21). As part of the program and licensing requirements, candidates must pass the required exams for Minnesota licensure adopted by the Minnesota Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board, undergo a Minnesota background check, and complete any other Minnesota Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board requirements beyond completion of Walden’s state-approved teacher preparation program. Candidates are responsible for completing any other Minnesota requirements beyond Walden’s state-approved program, and Minnesota Department of Education  is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses.

Individuals interested in pursuing teacher licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify for a comparable license by virtue of completing the Walden Minnesota-approved teacher preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s teacher licensing regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to their state. Graduates in some states will be eligible for licensure based on completion of a state-approved program, where they can apply directly to their state educator board (“direct apply”). Other states have a separate application and process for someone completing an out-of-state approved preparation program (“license-in-hand pathway”), where in order for a graduate to be eligible for licensure or certification, he/she must first obtain a license in an approved state (Minnesota) prior to applying for licensure in his/her state of residence.

Prospective students must research their state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program to be eligible to apply directly to their state board, (2) if they need to obtain a license from the state where the program has been approved (Minnesota) prior to applying in the state they reside, and (3) any additional requirements the student will need to complete prior to their state granting the license. Students residing in Minnesota are eligible to apply directly to their state board, as Walden’s Master of Arts in Teaching program is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board. Additionally, prospective students are advised if they choose to relocate to carefully review, evaluate and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.

Individuals enrolling internationally must be supervised by a teacher with a valid U.S. state teaching license, in a school that follows a U.S.-based curriculum at the appropriate grade level for the license. Prospective students must check that the program is accepted for teaching credential in the state they intend to apply for licensure.

Walden enrollment specialists can provide general information on state licensure; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all licensure requirements in the state they reside. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement.

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