The Masters of Arts in Education offers opportunities for individuals who already hold a North Carolina teaching license to become more professionally competitive. This 30-36 hour degree can open doors and provide a new level of understanding and expertise in the field. Western Carolina University offers the M.A.Ed. in Comprehensive Education with concentrations in Art, Biology, Elementary Education, English, Middle Grades Education, Special Education, and Social Sciences.
The College of Education and Allied Professions is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE)
Candidates with current National Board Certification in the concentration area have demonstrated advanced competencies and are exempted from the required portfolio. Furthermore, written essays are submitted in lieu of GRE scores in the following concentrations: Art, English, Elementary, Middle Grades, and Special Education.
The Elementary, Middle Grades, and Special Education programs are 30 hour programs offered completely online.
The M.A.Ed. programs equip students with advanced knowledge in the chosen area of concentration while expanding their understanding of child and educational psychology and exploring innovative approaches to building intentional curricula, while candidates simultaneously hone and develop research skills. The programs include both hours in the professional core and hours in the concentration area. All M.A.Ed. programs lead successful candidates to a recommendation for Advanced Competencies licensure (SP2) from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Educators with an M.A.Ed. have more opportunities for lateral movement, teaching advanced courses, and working in collegiate environments. Graduates often pursue administrative positions or use their advanced content knowledge and leadership skills to work as instructional coordinators, trainers or teachers in businesses outside of education.