graduate programM.A.T. in Elementary Education (an Urban Accelerated Certificate and Master’s (UACM) Program)

The M.A.T. in Elementary Education (an Urban Accelerated Certificate and Master’s (UACM) program) is an exciting alternative teaching certification and masters degree program that celebrates urban education of elementary school students (PreK-5th). Each year, a cohort of up to 25 master’s degree students are accepted.

This program, which we refer to as UACM, promotes the success of elementary students, taught in urban schools, through the development of competent, equity-oriented, caring, empowered teachers who are change agents inside and outside the classroom. We believe that teaching is a profession, and our team of experienced and dedicated faculty guide our candidates to become experts in the field of teaching and learning.

PHASE I: Teacher Certification (PreK-5th) & ESOL Endorsement

  •  Students complete the Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Pre-K-5th grade) certification and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement.
  • Our cornerstone course, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, lays the foundation for preparing teachers to promote the success of elementary students in urban schools, and is interwoven throughout the program.
  • After meeting all program and state requirements, students are recommended to the state for certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Pre-K-5th grade) with an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement at the end of the first year.

PHASE II: M.A.T. Elementary Education

  • Students continue taking courses while working as full-time, paid teachers in an urban elementary school in metro Atlanta, while completing the M.A.T. degree.

  • Bachelor's degree from accredited college or university
  • GPA ≥ 2.75
  • Desire to become an elementary teacher in urban schools
  • Seeking an alternative teaching certificate
  • Ability to be a full-time student

  • [Phase 1] A minimum of 45 semester hours is required to complete Pre-K-5 certification and ESOL Endorsement
  • [Phase 2] An additional 12 semester hours is required to complete M.A.T. degree

  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Cobb County School District
  • DeKalb County School District
  • Fulton County School District
  • Gwinnett County School District

All initial teacher preparation program candidates must pass a state mandated teacher performance assessment, the edTPA, at the end of their programs in order to become certified in Georgia. The teacher performance assessment is designed to measure a candidate’s ability to help all students learn. Teacher candidates are required to demonstrate knowledge and skills in planning, teaching, assessing and analyzing student learning. Please see as follows the number of teacher candidates who passed the edTPA out of the total number of candidates who successfully submitted the edTPA in the program, subject-specific area.

Elementary Education: PreK – 5th Grades

Program Contacts

UACM Program


Nancy Jo Schafer, Ph.D.

Course description and classes

Program of Study 

Visit our graduate admissions page for:

  •     application deadlines
  •     application requirements
  •     how to apply
Graduate Admissions 

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