Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

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Teach What You Love.

Apply Your Creativity to Inspire PK-12 Students

Meet our Candidates
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Practical, Action-Based Learning

Field Work + Community Engagement

Program Overview
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Start Here.

Go Anywhere.

Life after MAT
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What are you waiting for?

Apply today

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Start here. Go anywhere.

For seven years running, 100% of MAT candidates had a job placement within three months of graduation. Every graduate from our program wanting to teach landed a full-time teaching job.

 

Maine College of Art & Design’s 10-month Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program prepares you, as an artist, to develop into an effective art educator who is fully prepared for life at the front of the classroom. Come learn how to translate your unique qualities and visions into creative teaching practices!

Apply today!

The program is divided into three phases:

  1. One-month Summer Intensive – Theory-based courses are taught in an institute setting with field experiences beginning on the very first day.
  2. 15-week Fall Semester – Take courses on studio art, teaching methods, and curriculum building. As an MAT candidate, you work in alternative settings to learn how to manage different types of classrooms for all students.
  3. 15-week Spring Semester – The program culminates with a student teaching experience that can take place almost anywhere and is enhanced by an Action Research Seminar.

The MAT schedule is designed to let you graduate just in time to apply for the following academic year’s teaching positions when they open.

Explore the MAT viewbook here

Artistic Excellence

View all stories
  • Spotlight on MAT candidate Dan Toomre ’22: A Pre-College success story

    MAT candidate Dan Toomre '22
    Read Story
  • Interview with Prof. Cory Bucknam from our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program

    MAT adjunct instructor Cory Bucknam
    Read Story
  • MAT candidates in the field with community partners

    MAT candidates in the field with the Boys & Girls Club, a new community partner
    Read Story
  • Jackie Christie ’21, MAT ’22 follows her passion to become an art educator

    Jackie Christie '21, MAT ’22
    Read Story
  • MAT summer institute supports programs at LearningWorks

    MAT summer institute
    Read Story
  • For the Love of Life & Art

    Amanda Albanese MAT ’18
    Read Story
  • Full Circle

    Mattea Weinberg BFA ’17 MAT ’18
    Read Story
  • Everything is New

    Samara Yandell MAT ’18
    Read Story

Program

Summer

  • MAT 801 Fundamentals of Teaching, Learning, Creativity and Cognition (6 credits)
  • MAT 800 The Artist as Educator Experience: Art Studio Component (3 credits) This course continues into the fall.

Fall

  • MAT 806 Exceptionality in the Art Classroom (3 credits) *
  • MAT 809 Diversity & Equity in Alternative Settings (3 credits)
  • MAT 810 PK-8 Curriculum Design, Development, and Assessment (3 credits)
  • MAT 812 High School Curriculum Design, Development, and Assessment (3 credits)

Spring

  • MAT 832 PK-8 Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • MAT 833 High School Student Teaching (6 credits)
  • MAT 836 Professional Practices Seminar (3 credits)

 

Spotlight on MAT candidate Dan Toomre ’22: A Pre-College success story image

Spotlight on MAT candidate Dan Toomre ’22: A Pre-College success story

MAT candidate Dan Toomre '22

At Maine College of Art & Design, we are proud to offer an array of programs designed to nourish emerging artists’ creativity and prepare them for professional success. One such offering is our Pre-College program. Designed for high school artists, Pre-College provides a unique opportunity to experience the rigors of an art education with support from our faculty and access to our studio spaces. The goal of Pre-College is to give students the tools they need to continue their arts education–a challenge that Dan Toomre, BFA ’22 was happy to embrace.

 

“Once I knew I wanted to attend Maine College of Art & Design for my BFA, I figured I'd try out the Pre-College program before committing to four years across the country” explains Dan. “I loved the idea of a program that let me try a couple different mediums instead of committing to just one.”

Dan’s path has been a unique one, filled with challenges and triumphs, and endless opportunities for learning and reinvention. Not only did Dan continue after Pre-College to earn a BFA in Textile & Fashion Design, but he also went on to enroll in our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, which touts a 100 percent job placement rate upon graduation. 

“I always knew I wanted to teach art–I love working with kids–but I didn't know what I wanted to be as an artist,” says Dan. “I was certain I'd be a painting major, but then I switched to Textiles & Fashion Design. I took lots of classes, hoping to build my skills in any medium I might want or need to teach. That was super helpful when I started the Master of Arts in Teaching program–you really need to be a jack of all trades.”

Dan credits our Pre-College program for providing a path to enrollment in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Maine College of Art & Design. “It was Pre-College that set me on this path to success,” says Dan. “I got to test out living far away from everyone I knew while focusing full time on art at a college level. I got to explore Portland, and I was able to push myself with the support of a structured environment.” 

As for what advice Dan would give prospective Pre-College students, he says, “Branch out. Each class I have taken has helped inform my practice. Getting outside of my bubble and meeting other professors, guest lecturers, and students gave me opportunities I simply would not have had if I hadn't branched out.”

Learn more about Pre-College

Interview with Prof. Cory Bucknam from our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program image

Interview with Prof. Cory Bucknam from our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program

MAT adjunct instructor Cory Bucknam

Prof. Cory Bucknam from our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is an artist who has also served as a full-time teacher at Brunswick Junior High School for 18 years (and counting!). In 2017, she was granted the Monhegan Island Artist Residency for K-12 art educators. In 2018 was recognized for "Outstanding Service to the Profession" by the Maine Art Education Association.  

In addition to these impressive teaching roles and accolades, Cory is also taking on the prestigious position of President for the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) this year.

As she prepares for her expanding role and responsibilities, we caught up with Cory to ask her about her experience at our College, hopes, and goals for developing future art teachers. Here is a brief Q&A excerpt from that encounter.

MAT candidates joined Prof. Cory Bucknam at Brunswick Junior High School for fieldwork with the students there in the Fall 2022 trimester. | Photo: Annabelle Collette ’22

What do you consider the biggest impact an art teacher can have?

Art teachers have the power to not only foster creativity in children, but also to bring families together and foster creativity and connection beyond the walls of the classroom. The magnitude of the impact an art teacher can have is immense, and can affect the culture and community of an entire town.

As you take on your new position as President of MAEA, what do you hope to focus on and accomplish?

I have two main goals I'd like to work on as President of the MAEA. One is to develop greater support for new and emerging art educators throughout the state… My second goal is to focus on Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at an organizational level. What can we do as a state-wide organization to support ED&I inquiry and learning for our members? What resources can we offer them? How can we incorporate ED&I practices into both abstract things like our vision and mission as well as into concrete things like state conferences and professional development opportunities for our members? We're just beginning this journey, and I'm excited to collaborate with MAEA members on this important work.

What surprises you most about being an art teacher? 

I honestly had no idea how much I would enjoy working with middle schoolers. They are the BEST! As exhausting as it is to teach at this (or any other) grade level, their energy and enthusiasm are infectious and make me love my job more and more every year. The work is hard, but immensely rewarding in a way that few other careers are. I can't imagine any other job that would make me WANT to do this much work, and get so much enjoyment out of doing it.

What advice would you give to an artist thinking about whether or not to pursue a teaching career?

Teaching art is about so much more than simply the projects you do in the classroom. It is about developing relationships with students and supporting them both in and out of the classroom in ways that may have nothing to do with art. It takes dedication, openness, organization, patience, and passion, but it will reward you with the deep satisfaction that you become an important part of childrens' lives and make a positive and significant difference.

What to you is most special about the MAT program at Maine College of Art & Design?

I'm impressed at both the breadth and depth of experiences the MAT candidates gain through this program. The exposure to art education in a wide range of settings, from art museums, to public and private schools, to after-school extracurriculars, to community programs gives the candidates experiences not found in many other art education programs.

About the MAT program

MAT candidates in the field with community partners image

MAT candidates in the field with community partners

MAT candidates in the field with the Boys & Girls Club, a new community partner

Each Tuesday, and sometimes on Wednesdays, candidates from our 10-month Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program are in the field with our community partners to work with school-aged children.

The aim of our fall fieldwork course—Alternative Settings in Art Education—is for MAT candidates to:

  • Develop original lessons that engage learners by exploring materials skills/technique and making connections to the art world.
  • Create safe and inspiring learning environments.
  • Practice, reflect, and refine instruction through peer and professor feedback.
Starting this term, we are thrilled to include the local Boys & Girls Club as one of our MAT community partners. We can’t wait to continue working with the wonderful team there!
Learn more about the MAT program
Jackie Christie ’21, MAT ’22 follows her passion to become an art educator image

Jackie Christie ’21, MAT ’22 follows her passion to become an art educator

Jackie Christie '21, MAT ’22

What I loved about the MEAC&D MAT program was its speed. Teaching is one of my passions, and I was very eager to get started.

Jackie Christie '21, MAT ’22 follows her passion to become an art educator

After Jackie Christie '21, MAT ’22 got her BFA from MECA&D in photography she immediately continued her education through our MAT program.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be an art teacher,” said Christie. “What I loved about the MEAC&D MAT program was its speed [...] Teaching is one of my passions, and I was very eager to get started.”

Christie emphasizes trauma-informed and sensitive practices in her classroom. Her philosophy as an educator is to facilitate safe spaces where students feel comfortable being vulnerable and expressing themselves through the means of art.

“I aim for my students to feel proud of their work, with new creative ideas swimming in their heads. Through fostering deep thought and critical thinking within my students, I hope they take home with them that art can be an expressive tool that they can take with them everywhere they go. I hope they leave my classroom knowing that they are capable, strong, intelligent individuals.”

We are proud to share that Christie was recently hired by her alma mater, Massabesic High School, in Waterboro, Maine. There, she will work alongside the art teachers who inspired her journey to become an educator.

See inside Jackie Christie’s classroom
MAT summer institute supports programs at LearningWorks image

MAT summer institute supports programs at LearningWorks

MAT summer institute

MAT summer institute supports programs at LearningWorks

Students in our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) summer institute have had two beautiful weeks supporting the LearningWorks summer program at East End Elementary School.

Starting with the building blocks of our MAT program, our summer institute plays an important role in setting the stage for the teaching and learning principles that will deepen for our graduate students over the fall and spring semesters. Participants in the program quickly move from theory to practice. Starting on the second day of the program, the MAT students begin fieldwork with community partners like the one with LearningWorks, which provides academic enrichment opportunities through project-based, hands-on, and engaging curriculum for local kids (grades 2-5) in need.

This program is designed to support our community while giving teacher candidates real-life opportunities to apply their artistic sensibilities. Dynamic lessons the candidates design seek to foster critical and creative thinking while being flexible enough for them to tailor activities to individual interests and learning needs.

Learn more about the MAT program
For the Love of Life & Art image

For the Love of Life & Art

Amanda Albanese MAT ’18

Collaborate with your cohort, try to stay calm under the pressure, and remember we are all here for the love of life and art.

Meet Amanda Albanese. MAT ’18 graduate originally from Rhode Island. Amanda had a job offer from a private school in California locked in weeks before the MAT graduation day in May. We chatted with Amanda at the start of her position as the new photography teacher & photo department head:

Where do you live?
San Juan Capistrano, CA

What are you doing for work now?
Photography and Studio Art Teacher, Freshman Advisor, and Assistant Cross Country Coach at St. Margaret's Episcopal School, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Are there any current projects, students or lessons you are very excited about?
Yes: Advanced Photography students created cover art for the recent production of Animal Farm by our theatre team. Students brainstormed ideas, worked with production teams and organized and edited in Lightroom and Photoshop post-production. We submitted cover art proposals and student artwork will be included on the production bill play, sweatshirts, and promotional posters. We are now starting a unit on Transformation and will be looking at artists such as Cindy Sherman, Alexa Meade, Jeff Gordon and others who blur the line between fiction and reality in their artwork.

Introduction to Photography and Physics departments will team up to work on a light unit project concerning the full spectrum of light (ultraviolet to infrared)

Preschool/High School Intergenerational project- AP and Advanced Photography students will work with educational teams and hopefully AP Psychology to merge pedagogical documentation and photography in this year-long documentation project in the Preschool. Student artwork will be included in the Preschool's Reggio inspired end of year show " Works of Wonder".

Our art department is going to Adobe MAX in October and I am really excited about that. There are so many new advancements that merge art and technology that to have the opportunity to visit and explore emerging ideas and products at the convention is really exciting.

I just printed my first C-print...ever! WHAT! color film printing is a true gift at such a poignant time as we continue to transition to new technologies. I feel lucky to now have the opportunity to print with the last color darkroom in LA.

In what capacity has the MAT program prepared you most for this work?
Collaboration, technology, and interdisciplinary skills.

Has your life changed after graduation?
Majorly. MECA&D opened new doors for me that have changed the entire course of my future. Since MECA&D I drove across the country, settled into a totally new environment in southern CA, and began shooting in film again.

In what ways has it stayed the same?
I still blend work and life pretty much daily.

Do you keep in touch with anyone from MAT?
Yes a few, I just reached out to a cohort member today (other than this interview). I write letters to my mentor teacher and we text each other as well. It's hard to balance making new connections with moving on.

Are you practicing art? 
Yes, I have been working on a painting series that began in Portland, ME. that started at Portland Pride, 2018. I was so overwhelmed by the positive connections I found when photographing Pride this summer that I wanted to continue it into a painting series (still at the beginning stages.) I am also developing some film photography. I am a member at a community darkroom in my area and just started printing at a color film lab. Alternative process and pinhole camera revisits are next on my list.

Why did you decide to get your MAT at MECA&D?
Small, coastal, artistic, historic.

Why should a prospective student choose MECA&D’s MAT?
It will prepare you for everything you will need to know or want to know.

What advice do you have for prospective MAT students?
Collaborate with your cohort, try to stay calm under the pressure, and remember we are all here for the love of life and art.

What resources, tools, or organizations have you found helpful throughout your career thus far?

  • Google Drive assets (classroom, sites, and forms especially for education)
  • Adobe Suite and Adobe Blog
  • Online resources: Art of education, the cult of pedagogy, Edutopia, the Getty, ArtsEdge, Art21, Project Zero, JSTOR
  • Research and library resources with periodicals available
  • Hardcopy Artbook monographs
  • Attending art shows and fairs (Sawdust in Laguna Beach was local and interesting)
  • Museum visits
  • A lively artistic practice and taking risks in the studio (helps students too)
  • Getting out of your comfort zone: Going to new places for ideas and experiences
  • Local workshops and open studios: The Irvine Art Center in Irvine, CA and Contact Photo Lab in Los Angeles, CA
  • AP Studio Art College Board workshops. Going to one this weekend in Costa Mesa, CA.

MECA&D’s MAT program is: "intense and authentic". Portland is: "unique".

Learn more about Amanda on her website.

Full Circle image

Full Circle

Mattea Weinberg BFA ’17 MAT ’18

One of the biggest changes occurred when applying for jobs. I took the opportunity to relocate. I was not expecting that it would bring me back to New York, my birth state, to teach in the school I grew up in.

Mattea Weinberg, a MECA&D graduate from the BFA and MAT Programs tells us a bit about her journey and how it feels as a new teacher in New York fresh out of MAT.

What are you doing for work now?
I am currently working at Brown School, a private school in upstate New York. It is actually the school I had attended from Pre-K all the way up to 8th. They now teach high school too! I currently teach 4th grade to high school.

Are there any current projects, students or lessons you are very excited about?
I am excited about all of my upcoming projects! I just finished a Where's Waldo piece that includes everyone from 4th through high school and some teachers. This really allowed me to see strengths within my students and where they might need help! It was a great assessment! I am also really excited for my 5th graders because they are starting a Surrealism unit, my 7th graders are beginning individual maps and my 8th graders are beginning Kehinde Wiley inspired self-portraits. I have really been enjoying bringing contemporary artists into the classroom!

In what capacity has the MAT program prepared you most for this work?
MECA&Ds MAT program really allowed me to experience the workload of a school teacher, managing multiple different grade levels at a time and being able to think of lessons on the spot!

MECA&D’s MAT program is: "the best thing you could do, if you want to pursue your dream of being a teacher. Within weeks you notice that anything is possible and that you can do it!"

Portland is: "my home. After living there for 6 years Portland has dug a hole deep within my heart. And I am excited to return for holidays and for summer vacation."

In what ways has your life changed after graduation?
One of the biggest changes occurred when applying for jobs. I took the opportunity to relocate. I was not expecting that it would bring me back to New York, my birth state, to teach in the school I grew up in.

In what ways has it stayed the same?
A lot of my life is the same, I'm still very passionate about teaching, I draw weekly and I live with my cat. Nothing could be better!

Do you keep in touch with MAT folks?
I do keep in touch with some of my cohort, not as often as when we were in the Masters program together. A lot of us also follow each other on Instagram so we can see what everyone is doing! I also am living in the same town as another cohort member who is teaching at a neighbor school so we often exchange ideas!

Are you practicing art?
I am making art, not as often as daily anymore but I am making art whenever I have free time. Right now I am working on a theme for 9 days. I am also constantly creating in my classroom. I make all my signs before the projects with my students!

Why did you decide to get your MAT at MECA&D?
I decided to pursue the MAT at MECA&D for a couple of reasons. The first one being that I graduated from MECA&D with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Public Engagement. Over every summer I also taught for the Continuing Studies division of MECA&D and I always loved being a TA. At MECA&D, you are constantly learning and improving yourself. So it just felt natural to get a Master of Arts in Teaching at the college I love so much!

Why should a prospective student choose MECA&D’s MAT?
The MAT professors know what they are doing. They have been in the field and are great leaders.

What advice do you have for prospective MAT students?
Remember yourself, why you are doing this and who you are as an individual.

What resources, tools, or organizations have you found helpful throughout your career thus far?
To be honest the other teachers within my school. One reason why I wanted to teach at a private school was that the teachers form a bond. You are a team and everyone is there to help out.

View Mattea's fantastical illustrations on MECA&D's portfolio page

Follow @mattea.w to see some incredible daily insect drawings on Instagram.

Everything is New image

Everything is New

Samara Yandell MAT ’18

MECA has an amazing reputation, and the 10 month time commitment was perfect for a non traditional student like me. I had to leave my career to go back to school, and taking off more than 10 months would not have been financially possible. MECA’s MAT program is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Portland is my home, but is no longer the only important community in Maine to me.

Samara (Sam) Yandell graduated from MECA&D's MAT program in 2018. She is an artist, educator, activist, mother, and life-long Portland community member. Before MAT, she worked at the non-profit Portland Stage as their Director of Development while pioneering many theatre art workshops for kids. Sam was hired the summer after graduating to teach 3-D art at Biddeford Middle School. We caught up with Sam early in her first school year to see how things were going:

Are there any current projects, students or lessons you are very excited about?
Everything is new and exciting to me right now, but in particular my 6th graders are starting a unit called Powerful Puppets inspired by Ashley Bryan’s amazing puppets. We are discussing the meaning of power and exploring how it can be visually represented in a puppet. I am also working with the other teachers in the district to plan the district wide art show, which is being hosted by the middle school. I have volunteered to plan and create a collaborative installation for the school foyer, so that’s a thrilling and daunting project on the horizon.

In what capacity has the MAT program prepared you most for this work?
I have felt extremely well prepared, especially around lesson planning and standards based assessment. Both the course work and my teaching internships were immersive and challenging, and ultimately left me feeling ready to take over my own classroom.

In what ways has your life changed after graduation?
I am a commuter now, and have to get up earlier than I’d like. It can be hard to find time to fit in some of the things that I enjoy, but I’m hoping that once I get more settled I’ll find more time for the things outside of work that are important to me.

In what ways has it stayed the same?
I still love living in Portland, but working in a new community has really opened my eyes. I have been so Portland-centric for most of my adult life, but it is exciting to have a whole new community to explore and learn about.

Do you keep in touch with your cohort? Your professors and/or mentor teachers?
Not as much as I’d like. The other middle school teachers and I share resources and text occasionally. I think we are all too busy for much social activity, plus many of us moved for great jobs elsewhere.

Are you practicing art?
I am not making as much of my own art as I’d like to, but I did experiment with more printmaking this summer while working at a summer camp on the beach. I made gelatin prints of seaweed, then added layers of silkscreened text over the multilayered monoprints. The effect is like looking down into a tide pool, and captures the positive and negative natural shapes and textures of various Maine seaweeds, contrasted with bold hand cut silkscreened text.

Why did you decide to get your MAT at MECA&D?
MECA&D has an amazing reputation, and the 10 month time commitment was perfect for a non traditional student like me. I had to leave my career to go back to school, and taking off more than 10 months would not have been financially possible. MECA&D’s MAT program is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Portland is my home, but is no longer the only important community in Maine to me.

Why should a prospective student choose MECA&D’s MAT?
The reputation, the job placement rate, the connections, and the incredible creative environment.

What advice do you have for prospective MAT students?
Enjoy every minute of your time at MECA&D, it is an incredible institution full of amazing young artists. Take advantage of the opportunities to learn and explore, don’t forget you are a student as well as a teacher in training!

What resources, tools, or organizations have you found helpful throughout your career thus far?
Art of Ed podcasts on my way to work, I keep going back to my coursework and lesson plans from our time at MECA&D for ideas and troubleshooting. I also follow certain hashtags on social media and have some middle school blogs that I enjoy. The Middle School Art Teachers Facebook page is also a great resource.

You can view Sam's Seaweed prints along with many other Maine art educators' artwork hanging in the current MAEA show; opening reception on October 5th 2018, 4pm-6pm at MECA&D.

Learn more about Samara on her website.