Master in Teaching Program

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Master in Teaching at The Evergreen State College

Program Overview | MIT Curriculum Themes
The MIT Curriculum | Program Structure | Understanding Endorsements
Key Definitions | Contacting Evergreen | Campus Location

Overview of the MIT Program

A Graduate Teacher Education Program With a Difference

When The Evergreen State College was chartered by the state of Washington in 1967, the founders were directed to offer an alternative to “traditional education.” The alternative nature of the college, and of the Master in Teaching (MIT) Program, is reflected in an absence of academic departments, the ongoing creation of cross-curricular programs, the use of narrative evaluations instead of letter grades, a reliance on primary materials rather than textbooks, frequent writing assignments, student dialogue and the inclusion of service learning.

The MIT Program is built on the same basic concepts as the Evergreen curriculum while also holding graduate-level, professional studies expectations. In line with the Evergreen philosophy, we are committed to bridging theory and practice.

Planning for the MIT Program began in the mid-1980s in response to state and national calls for reform in teacher preparation. The program is a direct result of a 1987 law passed by the Washington State Legislature requiring the State Board of Education to work cooperatively with the Higher Education Coordinating Board to implement rules “to develop ... the standards ... for a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program that results in the acquisition of a master in teaching degree.”

The legislation called for an innovative teacher preparation program. In response, Evergreen sought to include high intellectual demands, a strong theory base, substantial involvement with schools, sensitivity to multicultural and human relations, a variety of instructional strategies, emphasis on new technology and research and close cooperation with K-12 teachers and administrators.

The MIT program — which graduated its first students in 1992 — meets all state of Washington Administrative Code standards for program quality and beginning teacher competence. Graduates of the MIT program receive the MIT degree and are recommended by the college to the state of Washington for initial teacher certification.

The MIT Conceptual Framework: A Place to Become a Teacher

We believe the program's success lies as much in the learning processes used to investigate content as it does in the content itself. Though we teach particular subjects, our processes are also “content.” Community building, seminars, collaborative learning, group problem solving, extensive field experiences and critical and reflective thinking are not just ideas MIT students read about and are then directed to use when they teach. Rather, these are the processes used daily in the program to help graduate students learn to become skilled, competent professionals who can assume leadership roles in curriculum development, child advocacy, assessment and anti-bias work.

MIT Curriculum Themes: Interdisciplinary Teacher Education

How can public education meet the needs of the diversity of people who live in this democracy? That is the central question explored by the MIT Program. We examine what it means to base teacher education and public education on a multicultural, democratic, developmental perspective and how performance-based assessment can promote these values.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, we weave together three major themes that inform both content and associated processes throughout the MIT curriculum:

Democracy and Schooling: We look at what it means to work and learn in a democracy operating within a state-supported, advanced capitalist economy. We help students to understand the evolution of our current democracy and to critique practices that exclude particular groups from equitable participation in society. Democracy is presented as a multidimensional concept and prospective teachers are guided toward professional action and reflection on the implications of the role of the teacher in enacting democratic school-based decision making that is inclusive of parents, community members, school personnel and students as well as democratic classroom learning environments that are learner-centered and collaborative.

Multucultural and Anti-Bias Perspective: The curriculum reflects Evergreen's strong commitment to diversity because we believe that both teaching and learning must draw from many perspectives and include a multiplicity of ideas. We believe in preserving and articulating differences of ethnicity, race, gender and sexual orientation rather than erasing or marginalizing them. We seek to expose MIT students to the consequences of their cultural encapsulation in an effort to help future teachers acquire a critical consciousness. We believe future teachers must be ready to provide children and youth with culturally responsive and equitable schooling opportunities.

Developmentally Appropriate Teaching and Learning: We understand that no single instructional model or limited set of teaching methods responds to the complex cognitive processes associated with K-12 learning. Our curriculum reflects the varied social, emotional, physiological and cognitive growth processes that shape how children and youth receive, construct, interpret and act on their experiences. We also understand that the competence of students is performance based. A broad-based curriculum that is interdisciplinary, developmentally appropriate, meaningful and guided by a competent and informed teacher, as well as by learner interests, results in active learning.

Teaching With Integrity

MIT students examine what it means to teach with integrity by exploring a set of questions about community and school learning environments, such as:

The MIT Curriculum: The Coordinated Studies Model

The MIT Program applies the Evergreen coordinated studies model, organizing the curriculum around themes or questions. An interdisciplinary team of faculty and a group of approximately 60 full-time students form a community of learners to explore the curricular themes. This allows for a flexible, intensive schedule that creates a climate in which interactive learning can occur. Competition among students is de-emphasized and collaboration encouraged; ranking of students or faculty is absent. Student input is highly valued. Faculty members are facilitators of learning and co-learners with students and colleagues as well as experts. Seminars, small-group discussions in which one faculty member and approximately 15 students analyze readings and review field experiences, are a central component of this coordinated studies model.

The Evergreen Center for Educational Improvement

The mission of the Evergreen Center for Educational Improvement is to work “with school communities across Washington state to reach their objectives for improving K-12 education programs.” The Center focuses on improving student learning by working primarily with in-service teachers on curriculum development utilizing conceptually based integrated studies and the state's Essential Academic Learning Requirements as well as on classroom-based assessment of learning.

One way in which the MIT Program attends to education reform in Washington state is by consulting with the director of the Center when designing that aspect of the MIT curriculum which infuses the state's Essential Academic Learning Requirements (K-12). Serving as a resource faculty member for the MIT Program, the Center director also offers an additional theory-to-practice connection by sharing Center experiences and expertise in moving in-service teachers from the stated purposes and goals of education reform in Washington to the actual work and results of restructuring at the school district level.

MIT Program Structure

The MIT Program at Evergreen is a full-time, six-quarter, two-year professional teacher preparation program leading to initial teacher certification in Washington state and the MIT degree. The faculty team for each MIT cycle provides students with a covenant of mutual responsibilities and program requirements. Graduate-level expectations and criteria for successful completion of the MIT Program are explained in detail in the program covenant, distributed to all incoming students in the MIT program's Student Guidebook to College and Program Policies and Procedures.

The program connects theory to practice by including two full quarters of student teaching and substantial field experience. During the first year of the program, approximately one-fourth of program time is spent in the field observing and working with students. The remaining time is devoted to on-campus seminars, workshops and lectures. During the second year, students spend nearly 70 percent of their time directly involved in K-12 schools. Students are expected to carry no other academic credit during the six program quarters and to avoid outside employment during the two quarters of full-time, daily student teaching.

The program will meet primarily on weekdays during mornings and afternoons. A tentative schedule for the first year calls for students to:

In the second year, students will:

A note regarding transportation: MIT students are expected to assume responsibility for finding transportation to and from field sites and other program-related activities.

MIT Program Outline

The following is an outline of the structure for the six quarters:

First Year

Fall Quarter
  • Building a learning community
  • Seminars, lectures, workshops
  • Guided observations in schools
  • Begin master's project
Winter Quarter
  • Seminars, lectures, workshops
  • Guided participation in schools
  • Candidacy review for second year
  • Continue master's project
Spring Quarter
  • Seminars, lectures, workshops
  • Curriculum development and guided teaching in schools
  • Continue master's project

Between the first and second year: Summer Quarter

Fall Quarter
  • Begins in late August
  • Full-time student teaching
  • Student teaching debriefing
  • Continue master's project
Winter Quarter
  • Intensive reflection
  • Seminars, lectures, workshops
  • Completion of master's project
Spring Quarter
  • Full-time student teaching
  • Student teaching debriefing
  • Job placement file completed

Undersanding Major and Minor Endorsements

An endorsement identifies the subject matter and grade level at which an individual may teach in Washington schools. Before beginning the MIT Program, students must have their subject-matter endorsement course work completed or nearly completed (within 12 quarter hours).

Evergreen's endorsement requirements meet, and in most cases exceed, state minimums in these subject areas. Subject-area endorsements for teaching within a departmentalized system are granted by Washington state for grades four through 12. According to the Washington Administrative Code, “Kindergarten through grade eight endorsement shall be granted in the subject area of elementary education which shall include all subject areas taught in such grades.”

The MIT program will review and approve up to two subject-matter endorsements for admission. Only those subject-matter endorsements approved during the admissions process qualify for consideration by the MIT Program for the initial teaching certificate.

On the application for admission to the MIT Program, prospective students indicate their grade-level preference for future teaching: either K-8, elementary/middle, or 4-12, middle/secondary (see Key Definitions below). Students who are undecided about grade level at the time of admission, and who also meet admission requirements for teaching at the secondary level must make a final decision on their grade-level choice before the end of fall quarter in the first year.

Teaching Certification Reciprocity With Other States

The state of Washington holds reciprocity agreements with a number of other states. This means the Washington teaching certification is recognized by nearly all other states.

MIT applicants interested in teaching in departmentalized classrooms grades four through 12 must have a major endorsement and are encouraged to add a minor endorsement as well.

Major endorsements available through the Evergreen undergraduate curriculum include:

Music education is also a major endorsement recognized by the state of Washington. To determine an applicant's eligibility for a music endorsement, a qualified Evergreen faculty member will review a transcript from another institution. Minor endorsements that could be added to a major endorsement are listed in the following section describing the K-8 endorsement. For further information, contact the MIT admissions officer or Evergreen's Academic Advising Office (see below).

MIT applicants interested in the K-8 teaching certificate earn the elementary education endorsement within the MIT Program; however, to qualify as an MIT candidate at the time of admission, an individual must fulfill either one major subject-area endorsement (see above) or two minor endorsements.

Minor endorsements available through the Evergreen undergraduate curriculum include:

  • Art
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • French
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • German
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • History
  • Spanish

Other minor endorsements recognized by the state of Washington can be evaluated by a qualified Evergreen faculty on the basis of a transcript from another institution. They include: anthropology; bilingual education; computer science (instructional technology); designated foreign language (contact the MIT Office for particular language eligibility); English as a second language; drama; earth science; geography; journalism; music; philosophy; psychology; sociology; special education; and speech. For further information, contact the MIT admissions officer (see below).

Natural science and elementary math (see worksheets) are concentrations recognized by Evergreen as equivalent to endorsements only for purposes of admission for K-8 teacher candidates, but they do not constitute endorsements on a teaching certificate.

MIT applicants lacking required endorsement course work at the time of admission must complete such courses either in the summer before the first year of the program or in the summer between the first and second year. It is not possible to take endorsement course work during the six quarters of the MIT Program.

To be considered for admission, applicants must be within 12 credits of completing all endorsement requirements in their chosen subject areas by the time the MIT Program cycle begins Completion of all endorsement course work is a prerequisite for student teaching, which begins fall quarter of the second year. For endorsement requirements, review the descriptions of major and minor endorsements.

Key Definitions

Teaching Certificate: A student who successfully completes the MIT Program will be eligible to receive Washington's beginning-level teaching certificate. Washington's teacher certification system is currently under review by the State Board of Education and candidates in the 1999-2001 MIT Program may be affected by any changes that result from this review. Program staff and faculty will keep students informed of any changes.

OSPI: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Washington state)

WAC: Washington Administrative Code

RCW: Revised Code of Washington

Endorsement: The subject area, grade level or specialization, specified on the certificate, that the individual is prepared to teach. See WAC 180-78-010 (2). The MIT Program's endorsement requirements meet and exceed the minimum requirements of the OSPI.

K-8: “Kindergarten through grade eight endorsement shall be granted in the subject area of elementary education which shall include all subject areas taught in such grades.” (WAC 180-79-080).

4-12: Subject-area endorsement for teaching grades 4 through 12 within a departmentalized system.

Concentration: The MIT Program's term for an academic area of study that meets Evergreen's requirements for admission but does not meet OSPI requirements for an endorsement.

Contacting Evergreen

Inquiries about admission should be directed to:

The Evergreen State College
Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 866-6000, ext. 6170
General inquiries concerning the MIT Program should be directed to:
The Evergreen State College
Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 866-6000, ext. 6181

Direct other correspondence to the appropriate office.

Academic Advising ext. 6312
Academic Deans ext. 6870
Admissions ext. 6170
Bookstore ext. 5300
Controller/Busines Office ext. 6450
Directory Assistance 0
Financial Aid ext. 6205
First Peoples' Recruitment ext. 6495
Housing ext. 6132
Leisure Education ext. 6770
Library Circulation ext. 6250
Police Services ext. 6140
Recreation Center Information ext. 6530
Registration & Records ext. 6180
Student Accounts ext. 6447
TDD (360) 866-6834

Campus Location

The Evergreen State College is an hour's drive from the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Olympia is also served by the Greyhound and Trailways bus companies and Amtrak rail service. Evergreen and the state capital are just a short, scenic drive from most Western Washington cities and major points of interest.

How to Get to Evergreen

Whether you are coming from the north or south, you can reach the campus by taking Interstate 5 into Olympia and then turning onto Highway 101 at Exit 104. Follow 101 west for three miles to The Evergreen State College exit and go another two miles on the Evergreen Parkway to the campus entrance (on the left).

Need help finding your way around campus?

Check out Evergreen's interactive online map.


Parking permits are enforced Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. A daily permit costs $1. Discounted long-term permits are available from the Parking Office in Seminar Building 2150. Call (360) 866-6000, ext. 6352 for information.

Free Intercity Bus Access

Beginning with fall quarter, all Evergreen students can ride Olympia's Intercity Transit buses free when they present a validated current student ID.

MIT Program Overview | MIT Admission
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The Evergreen State College | Olympia, WA | (360) 866-6000

Maintained by: Kasia Stuck
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Last updated: 10/09/98