Secondary Teaching: Grades 7 - 12

Master of Arts in Teaching

This degree program is accredited by CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation) under NCATE Standards (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education).


A Delaware State-approved program for Secondary Teaching.

The College of Education at Wilmington University reserves the right to change requirements to comply with any licensure/certification mandates by the Professional Standards Board and/or the Delaware State Department of Education and/or via State of Delaware legislation.

Content and Performance Assessment Requirements

State-approved degree programs contribute to eligibility for licensure/certification as an educator in Delaware public schools. As such, all candidates must meet the content and performance assessment requirements described in DE Administrative Code, Title 14, Regulation 290, in order to be eligible for program completion and degree conferral. The regulation states, in part:

Content Assessment (This subparagraph shall take effect January 1,2015).

“Where a content readiness exam is applicable and available in area, subject, or category of specialization sought, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score on an examination as established by the Professional Standards Board, in consultation with the Department and with concurrence of the State Board.”

The content assessment requirement can be satisfied by taking and passing (using minimum score requirements approved by the Delaware Professional Standards Board) the subject-area appropriate Praxis II assessment for teaching at the secondary school level. A complete listing of those assessments and minimum score requirements can be accessed at the following ETS website:

Performance Assessment (This subparagraph shall take effect July 1, 2016.)

“Where a performance assessment is applicable and available in an area appropriate to the Program in which a Candidate is enrolled, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score as a requirement to Exit the Program. The performance assessment may not be scored by any employees of the Educator Preparation Program or Unit, and shall be scored by Certified Reviewers.”

The assessment selected by Wilmington University to satisfy this requirement is the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT). This assessment is administered and scored by ETS. Delaware minimum score requirements have not yet been set by the Delaware Professional Standards Board.

Candidates must check with their program advisors or program chairs to obtain current and accurate information related to the assessments and minimum scores that are required. Candidates must pass all exit assessments in order to be eligible for program completion and degree conferral.

Program Changes

The Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching degree program contributes to eligibility for initial licensure and certification as a Delaware educator and is approved by the Delaware Department of Education. Any changes that are mandated by the Delaware Department of Education or the Delaware General Assembly will be implemented in accordance with state regulations. Students will be notified of any changes that may affect program or degree completion/conferral requirements.

Program Purpose

The Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching degree program prepares teachers to meet the academic and social needs of students in grades 7-12. The program is based on the premises that teachers must be sensitive to varying social demands and expectations; must be able to diagnose and address the individual learning and developmental needs of students, including emotional, physical, social, and cognitive needs; must be able to use technology in all aspects of their profession; must make important decisions about how and what to teach in the face of an overwhelming knowledge explosion; and must reach out more effectively to parents and the community.

Program Competencies

Master of Arts degree programs in the College of Education are designed to prepare educators who demonstrate the following competencies:

Learner Development

The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Learning Differences

The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Learning Environments

The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self- motivation.

Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Application of Content

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.


The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.

Planning for Instruction

The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Leadership and Collaboration

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Outcomes Assessment

The assessment of content knowledge, pedagogy, learning theory, and performance competencies is accomplished through satisfactory attainment of specific course objectives; satisfactory performance on tests of general and content-related knowledge, as well as performance assessments, successful completion of assignments linked to program competencies and graduation competencies; fieldwork evaluations from advisors and school-based mentors; and evaluations and post-graduation surveys.

Program Design

The Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching degree program is designed for individuals with bachelor's and/or master’s degrees in major content areas taught in the middle level and high schools in our region. The curriculum provides individuals with the professional preparation necessary for licensure and certification as “Highly-Qualified” teachers in the content area(s) of their previous degrees.

To be eligible for the program, a teacher candidate must hold a degree in a secondary content area from a regionally-accredited college or university. At entry, previous transcripts of teacher candidates will be carefully reviewed to determine if they have completed the content area coursework that satisfies national standards. Any omissions in such content area coursework must be completed before Student Teaching/Teaching Internship.

Candidates must submit passing scores and sub-test scores (using Delaware minimum score requirements) on ETS Praxis Series Core Academic Skills for Educators (ETS #5712, 5722, and 5732), or other approved tests of general knowledge that satisfy Delaware Department of Education regulations for each of these exams prior to registering for any course. Also, prior to Student Teaching/Internship, the teacher candidate must pass the appropriate PRAXIS II 9-12 high school - secondary - level content area test(s). Additional content area coursework may be necessary for teacher candidates who have not met content requirements and have not been initially successful in completing the PRAXIS II test(s).

The MAT program is an attractive route into middle level and high school teaching for individuals coming into the field from other professions. In a relatively short period of time, the program will prepare teacher candidates to teach students at the middle and high school level using the teacher candidate’s previously acquired content major. When they complete the program, successful teacher candidates will enter or move forward in the teaching profession (and will be compensated) at the master’s degree level. Through the program, teacher candidates will be prepared to face the challenges of teaching in a middle or high school classroom and will be better able to help students meet the rigorous achievement standards now expected in secondary schools.

Three kinds of teacher candidates will be accommodated through the MAT program. The first will include individuals who are currently employed in middle level and high school teaching positions in the content area(s) of their previous majors and who need licensure and certification. The second will be individuals currently in the Elementary Studies program who desire to obtain secondary credentials. Finally, the third group of teacher candidates will be individuals not employed as middle or high school teachers who are seeking licensure and certification for eventual employment in the teaching profession.

Dual Certification

Teacher Candidates should consider completion of coursework in other certification areas as an enhancement to their initial certificates. For example, completion of specific pedagogical coursework in Special Education, passing the appropriate Praxis II assessment, and completing Student Teaching/Internship placement in an inclusion setting would contribute to eligibility for dual certification.

Contact a Program Advisor or Program Chair/Assistant Chair for specific details.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2015 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.