College of Education & Human Services

MAT Student Resource Page

Use the links below for access to student resources for degree plans, financial aid information, a program checklist, frequently asked questions, course information, transcript evaluation instructions, as well cost analysis. This information will assist in better understanding the steps and requirements that lead to successful MAT degree completion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MAT Alternative Licensure program?

The Master of Arts in Teaching Alternative Licensure program is designed to allow individuals who do not already have a career in teaching to transition into a teaching role. In order to achieve this, we assist students in obtaining a temporary teaching license. This license persists for a flat three (3) years, during which time it would be expected that students complete their Master's program and all of their licensing requirements. Teaching and coursework are to be completed simultaneously. Upon completion of the program/requirements, the School of Education will turn the temporary license into a full teaching license. The temporary license allows students to work and be paid like a typical teacher.

How do I obtain the temporary license?
  1. The requirements for obtaining the temporary license include four big "chunks"; The first of which involves completing an Illinois licensure test for the student's desired teaching specialization. This test can be registered for here. This step is where applicants tend to spend most of their time and energy, with most individuals spending one or two months studying and preparing. The School of Education provides study guides as available, or they can be purchased for private use here.
  2. The second requirement involves completing a series of online training modules. There are six of these relatively brief modules, and they include topics such as school safety training and building relationships within the classroom. Completion of these modules will result in a virtual certificate, which you will then submit to us.
  3. The third requirement is that students must have 32 total credit hours in the specialization they wish to teach. Which courses can be applied of course varies with the specialization, for example a prospective math teacher must have 32 math credits, while an elementary education teacher can have credits across the sciences, social sciences, language arts, etc. The number of applicable credits will be determined via a transcript review. Any deficits must be completed in addition to the regular Master's courses.
  4. The fourth requirement is that of having some form of documented previous school work experience. This typically takes the form of previous subbing or paraprofessional work. This work simply needs to be documented by your employer and communicated to us. If a student lacks previous school work experience, they will be expected to take an additional course (EDS 592) which will substitute this requirement.
Is the ILTS exam difficult?

Many students choose to take one or two months in order to study for their exam. Although some students require multiple attempts, many are able to pass it on their first try. If you don’t pass it immediately, don’t worry! Click here for an ILTS resource webpage to get you started.

Can I begin taking classes before I obtain my temporary license and begin working as a teacher?

Yes, some students choose to take a number of classes before obtaining their temporary license in order to lessen the load or ensure that they will have employment.

How much does the program cost?

Total costs for the program are approximately $20,000. This fluctuates slightly depending on your specialization and how many credit hours you take. There are a number of financial aid programs available. Click here for MAT SPED cost analysis.

Where does the temporary license allow me to teach?

With the license you can work at any Illinois institution in which at least 50% of the teachers possess a state license, and at least one administrator possesses a state principal license.

Can the program be completed online?

The entire program is designed to be completed without the need to come to campus. Although a few of the courses are technically designated as in-person, they can still be completed remotely. For these reasons, it cannot be considered entirely online because of the 4 credit hours of student teaching and a couple of “face to face” Zoom courses. Again, the MAT Alternative Licensure program can be completed without coming to campus.

Do I have an assigned mentor?

The School of Education will assign you a mentor who will monitor your work and academic progress.

MAT Alternative Licensure  ( Student Checklist)  Provisional License for Alternative Educators

Directions: Download the checklist document from the Important Documents & Information section below. Use the links on the table below to locate the links for the different evidence areas.  

Jobs: IASA Illinois Education Job Bank  



State Test(s)

Provide score(s) & Date Taken; Test Registration:

Lesson Planning Modules:

Professional Practices Unit, Instructional Design and Planning Topic:
Elements of a Lesson Opening Module; Elements of a Lesson Closure Module; Giving Clear Directions Module.

Sanford Inspire Modules

Attach Module Certificate 

Professional Practices Unit, Assessment Topic:
Authentic Assessment Module; Formative Assessment Module; How to Grade Effectively Module; Delivering Effective Feedback Module .

Sanford Inspire Modules

Attach Module Certificate 

Family Focus Unit, Embracing Our Community Topic:
Affirming Difference and Valuing Background Knowledge; Linking Identity and Achievement Through Cultural Competence

Sanford Inspire Modules

Attach Module Certificate 

Learning Environment Unit, Student Interactions Topic: 
Building Relationships Module; Physical Classroom Environment Module

Sanford Inspire Modules

Attach Module Certificate 

32 Credit Hours in field

Attach Email from Tammy Wilson And Course(s) Taken to meet 32 hours If deficient upon transcript evaluation

EDS 592 Or School Work Experience

Provide Grade & Semester Taken Or provide letter from employer indicating length of time working in a school/district and nature of that work; and, write a reflective paper on your school work experience, assignment guidelines are below

Set up an ELIS Account for licensure application


School Safety Training

The Safety Training is on Western Online.  Here are the steps to it.Complete the State-mandated Safety Training through Western Online:

  1. Log on to  Western Online .
  2. On the homepage, click on the  Communication  dropdown in the purple navigation bar.
  3. Choose  Self Registration.
  4. Click on the  Teacher Education Program Safety Training  link.
  5. Click the  Register  button and follow the prompts:
    • Submit
    • Finish
    • Done
  6. You will be sent back to the Western Online homepage.  Select the Teacher Education Program Safety Training Workshop  and follow the prompts to complete the training.

Mandated Reporter Training

Provide documentation of completed training; or, complete the training here: Student Teaching - Western Illinois University

And, signed Mandated Reporter form:

CANTS 22 Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status

Important Documents & Information

Degree Plan Template Instructions

Click on any of the MAT area of concentration links below to download a degree plan template. Use the course of study found on the degree plan when determining your program of study along with the projections. This will assure you are on the correct course sequence towards earning your MAT degree. 

Be sure to submit typed documents with the proper number of credit hours, course titles & names, as well as correct catalog year. 

  1. Include your name, WIU ID, current mailing address, major and option/emphasis, oldest graduate course semester and year, as well as the catalogue year of your oldest course. For example: If you began in the summer of 2019, you will use the catalogue year of the previous year (2018-2019).
  2. If you do not see a course you have taken in the template, use the  Graduate Course Projections 2017-2027 Google Spreadsheet to locate the correct course listing, title and description. 
  3. Once you have completed your Degree Plan, date it & email it to your the MAT program coordinator, James LaPrad. A fter it is recieved, it will be routed for signatures, afterwhich it will be forwarded to the graduate school. 

MAT Degree Plan Templates

Financial Aid Information

Extra Course Information

Graduate Course Projections 

Instructions: Use the enrollment projection schedule below to identify when a course is set to run for a given semester and year. Each "X" represents when a particular course is set to run for a semester. Match the semester/year with the name of the course to identify the next time it will be offered. Discuss with your advisor the schedule at the onset of your program to assure courses on the degree plan are included. 

Licensure Checklist

Transcript Analysis

Waiver for the 2 year Post Bac Work Experience