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MAT Program Structure

Urban Teacher Academy MAT programs consist of a year of pre-service preparation followed by a year of supervised teaching. This innovative model allows highly qualified aspiring teachers to begin making a difference in the classroom quickly, without forcing them to learn on the job.

Year One: The Pre-Service Year

About a third of the courses you will take are ‘core courses’ that explore major issues in teaching that apply to all grade levels and subject areas.

Another third are ‘content pedagogy’ courses that delve into how to teach the specific subjects in the curriculum you’ll be expected to implement as a teacher. In each of these, you’ll learn the skills that will help you reach diverse students such as special needs learners or dual-language learners.

The final third are ‘field experiences,’ which take place in DC traditional and charter public schools. You’ll spend time getting to know the schools of the city, observing some of the city’s best teachers in action, and working with students as a teacher intern. 

You can learn more about the specific courses and field experiences on the pages describing each concentration.

Year Two: The Induction Year

After successful completion of the pre-service requirements, UDC sponsors teacher candidates for an alternative-route license, making participants eligible for hire in DC traditional and charter public schools. Participants are heavily supported in finding a placement as a teacher of record – that is, as a full employee of a school, with full teaching responsibilities and the associated pay.

During this first year of teaching, Urban Teacher Academy participants remained enrolled part-time as UDC students. This allows UDC to provide classroom mentoring and a cohort-wide supervision class one evening a week.

Research shows that over half of new urban teachers leave the profession within 5 years – and a major reason is that they don’t feel supported in the early years of their career. The Urban Teacher Academy  induction year is designed to ensure that the teachers we prepare feel supported and successful in their classrooms, so they can continue to make a positive impact on students year after year.