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Co-Director Highlights the Museum’s New Master’s Degree Program

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MAT Program Co-Director Ro Kinzler sheds light on the Museum's new degree offering. © AMNH/D. Finnin


The Museum’s new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is the first urban teacher residency program offered by a museum and a unique 15-month teaching fellowship for people who want to share their passion for science with middle and high school students in New York State. On Saturday, January 7, the Museum will host an Open House for the program from noon to 2 pm or 2 to 4 pm, giving prospective applicants the chance to meet faculty and staff, find out more about how the MAT program is structured, and take behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum campus before the final application deadline on January 31. MAT Program Co-Director Ro Kinzler, who is also the director of the Museum’s National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLT), recently answered a few questions about this unique opportunity.

Why has the MAT program been created now?

New York State recently issued the opportunity for “non-traditional” institutions to offer master in education programs designed to prepare teachers in high-need areas for the first time—so the Museum has stepped up to meet this opportunity.

What type of applicant is the program seeking?

The program is seeking individuals with undergraduate or higher degrees in Earth and related sciences. We’re looking for recent graduates as well as folks already into their careers who are motivated to switch gears and become Earth science teachers for grades 7 through 12.

What advantages does the program offer?

Candidates will receive free tuition, plus a stipend toward their living expenses and health benefits. They’ll learn to leverage the Museum’s rich resources, such as the halls and digital interactives, to support middle and high school student learning, all while developing a digital portfolio that will be an important part of their job search. The job search begins toward the end of the program, when candidates will have the benefit of faculty support for mentoring and coaching. And once they graduate, they will receive ongoing professional support for a minimum of two years.

How will residencies and direct contact with teachers at partner schools shape the experience of the degree candidates?

For 10 of the 15 months of the program, candidates will be in public middle and high schools four days per week. This school residency component is a key element of the program, as it will provide the candidates with the opportunity to work closely with mentor teachers at the school to observe, learn, connect their school-based learning with their academic coursework, and apply that new knowledge in the context of actual classrooms.

Register for the Open House today by e-mailing mat@amnh.org. You can also join the MAT mailing list to receive updates.

Applications for the program are now available online. Final applications are due on January 31.

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