The Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Level Education program provides students with the graduate level knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful teachers in grades 5-8.  Students choose at minimum one disciplinary area to earn their endorsement from social studies, math, science, or literacy (language arts). Subject area endorsements require 21 hours of approved content courses in the discipline. MAT/MLED Candidates complete 200 hours of clinical experience in grades 5-8 and full time student teaching in their endorsement area for 16 weeks. Candidates who complete the MLED program qualify for the Illinois Middle Grade Professional Educator License to teach in their endorsement area.

Program Outcomes:

  • Have the knowledge and skills to create dynamic, creative, critical, and developmentally responsive middle grade classrooms for the 21st century.
  • Possess the skills and knowledge to design interdisciplinary curriculum based on inquiry, projects, authentic literacy, and standards.
  • Work collaboratively with a middle grades team, parents, and the school and local community.
  • Have a wide repertoire of teaching strategies for diverse middle grade students.
  • Cultivate a safe and caring classroom community for all students.
  • Teach culturally diverse and global knowledge.
  • Integrate principles of social justice and active citizenship for democracy.
  • Understand the theory and practice of teaching critical thinking and critical literacy.
  • Integrate technology in their classroom
  • Understand and integrate required standards into their classroom curriculum.
  • Understand a variety of assessment strategies.
  • Have graduate level knowledge and skills required to pursue a terminal degree.


Admission Requirements
Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research.  Students entering the graduate program are not expected to have any prior preparation or knowledge in the field.  In addition, applicants must provide:

  • 2 letters of professional recommendation
  • MAT program application and writing sample
  • GPA in undergraduate work of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
  • Passage of the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)/ Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP).  ACT plus writing or SAT scores may be eligible to be used in lieu of these tests. Students who choose to use the ACT plus Writing or SAT score for admission to the Goodwin College of Education must request that ACT or SAT send an official score report to themselves for college approval and send an official score report to Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). More information Goodwin College Admission Website.  If scores are not reflected in the student’s ELIS account, NEIU will not be able to complete the entitlement process.
  • ​21 credits in the endorsement content area (If a student does not have 21 credits in their endorsement area, a Conditional Admission may be given by the program)

Courses in the MAT/MLED program are grouped in themes.  This allows students to study ideas in-depth, focus on curricular areas each semester and make powerful connections between courses.  Students have three clinical teaching experiences that are spread across the program totaling 200 hours.  Each clinical is connected to the courses and theme in the respective semester.  In the final semester, students complete full-time Student Teaching for 16 weeks in the middle grade classroom in their endorsement area.

The MAT/MLED program requires 45 hours for graduates with a Literacy endorsement and 48 hours for graduates with an endorsement in Math, Science, or Social Studies.  The 3 hour difference is because teachers in the "content areas" (Math, Science, and Social Studies) must also possess pedagogical content knowledge to teach literacy across the curriculum.  This means that MAT/MLED students will take all literacy methods courses and then Math, Science and Social Studies candidates will also take the content area methods course, which adds 3 hours to the program.

After students have completed the MLED program sequence, they can choose to earn an ESL or Bilingual endorsement by taking the required courses. Bilingual Endorsement also requires passing the Test of Language Proficiency as required by the State of Illinois Board of Education. 

State Teacher Tests and Endorsements

According to Illinois State law, MAT students are required to pass:  Content- Area Test and the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).  See your MAT Middle Level Education program advisor for more information regarding edTPA.  More information is available at:  http://www.il.nesinc.com and http://www.isbe.net/licensure/requirements/toc.htm

MAT in ELED requirements:

Required courses:
ELED-506Research Methodologies For Classroom Teachers3
EDFN-442Media Technology For Educators3
ELED-435Children's And Young Adult Literature3
LTCY-513Literacy Instruction For Middle Level3
ELED-504Teaching Writing: Purpose, Voice, Craft3
MLED-428AClinical Experience: Literacy In The Middle Grades1
SPED-404Survey Of The Field Of Special Education3
BLBC-440Methods For Teaching English Learners In Diverse Classrooms3
MLED-428BClinical Experience English Learners1
EDFN-421Middle School Advisory & Counseling3
EDFN-405Development Of Educational Thought3
ELED-525New Literacies For The 21st Century3
MLED-450Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design In Middle School3
or EDFN-450 Philosophy Of Inquiry- And Problem-Based Learning In Middle Grades
LTCY-502Literacy Instruction In Content Areas In Secondary Grades3
MLED-428CClinical Experience Endorsement Areas In The Middle Grades1
MLED-429Internship In The Middle Grades6
Total Hours45

For candidates with an endorsement in Math,Science, or Social Studies, either MLED 403 or MLED 415 or MLED 416 must be taken.

State Teacher Tests and Endorsements Requirements

According to Illinois State law, MAT students are required to pass:  Content- Area Test and the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).  See your MAT Middle Level Education program advisor for more information regarding these State requirements.  More information is available at:  http://www.il.nesinc.com and http://www.isbe.net/licensure/requirements/toc.htm

Retention Requirements

  • Maintain a GPA OF 3.0 in MLED program sequence
  • Two satisfactory professional disposition assessments
  • No more than two (2) C's in coursework and a B or better in all clinical experiences
  • Passing score on the Illinois Content Area Test in the endorsement area prior to Student Teaching

Exit Requirements for Degree Completion

  • Successful completion of all program courses
  • Completion of 21 hours of content courses in the endorsement area
  • Satisfactory completion of student teaching with a grade of B or better
  • Completion of edTPA
  • Satisfactory presentation of Teacher as a Learner project in ELED 429 Student Teaching in Middle Grades

Exit Requirements for Program Completion/Entitlement

  • Successful completion of all exit requirements for degree completion and evidence of a passing score on edTPA.

This sample curricular map is provided to guide you in the planning of your progression for this major.  This guide should not replace regular consultations with your program advisor. For specific recommendations of courses not identified, please consult your program advisor.

First Year
Term 1Hours
BLBC-439Cultural Diversity In Our Schools3
EDFN-443Integrating Media Technology Into Elementary Classroom3
ELED-501Curriculum And Instruction1
 Term Hours7
Term 2
LTCY-513Literacy Instruction For Middle Level3
SPED-404Survey Of The Field Of Special Education3
EDFN-421Middle School Advisory Counseling3
 Term Hours9
Term 3
ELED-525New Literacies For The 21st Century3
EDFN-405Development Of Educational Thought3
 Term Hours6
Second Year
Term 1
ELED-435Children's And Young Adult Literature3
MLED-428AClinical Experience: Literacy In The Middle Grades1
ELED-504Teaching Writing: Purpose, Voice, Craft3
BLBC-440Methods For Teaching English Learners In Diverse Classrooms3
 Term Hours10
Term 2
MLED-450Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design In Middle School3
LTCY-502Literacy Instruction In Content Areas In Secondary Grades3
MLED-428CClinical Experience Endorsement Areas In The Middle Grades1
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CONTENT AREA COURSES3
MLED-403 Teaching Mathematics in Middle Grades 
MLED-415 Teaching Science as Inquiry in Middle Grades 
MLED-416 Social Studies as Inquiry in Middle Grades 
 Term Hours10
Third Year
Term 1
MLED-429Internship In The Middle Grades6
 Term Hours6
 Total Hours: 48