The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education has approved Mayville State University’s request to offer a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. The approval allows MSU to proceed with the degree as early as the fall of 2016, and is Mayville State’s first master’s degree program. The action was taken in response to the needs of the people of North Dakota.

“We greatly appreciate the support from North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott and the State Board of Higher Education in implementing this exciting new degree program,” said Mayville State Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Keith Stenehjem.

Mayville State’s new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree will provide a graduate-level teacher preparation program for non-teaching bachelor’s degree graduates seeking to become licensed teachers in North Dakota. This degree program will directly impact the North Dakota teacher shortage crisis.

The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) is responding to this shortage of teachers by providing alternate licensures to individuals with bachelor’s degrees who will need to complete teacher education courses within a specified timeline to continue licensure in the state. The MAT degree program will provide a rigorous curriculum focused on research-based, high-yield educational practices. The degree will provide professional-level training, increase the teacher’s salary due to lane changes, and increase the number of master’s degree-holding teachers in North Dakota, addressing the teacher shortage areas across the state. Courses in the MAT program will be offered online.

Teacher education has been a major focus of the Mayville State mission throughout the institution’s 126-year history. The school was founded as a normal school in 1889. Mayville State University has prepared many qualified teachers and based on a five-year average, 80 percent of these graduates choose to stay and teach in the state of North Dakota. Mayville State currently teaches graduate courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and provides graduate-level continuing education to professional educators. The MAT is the next logical step to service the citizens of the state of North Dakota.