College of Education & Human Services

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Alternative Licensure

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - Alternative Licensure is a two year residency program wherein candidates are hired by a school district on a provisional teaching license, are paid a beginning teacher salary, and take courses over a two year period. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive an Illinois Professional Educator License in one of the following areas:

  • Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 2)
  • Elementary Education (Grades 1-6)
  • History (Grades 9-12) 
  • Middle Grades Language Arts, General Science, Social Science, & Mathematics
  • Music (Grades K-12)
  • Secondary English (Grades 9-12)
  • Secondary Mathematics (Grades 9-12)
  • Secondary Science (Grades 9-12): Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth & Space Science, Environmental Science
  • Special Education (K-Age 22): Learning Behavioral Specialist (LBS1)


  • Document a minimum of 2 years of post-baccalaureate work experience or acquire a waiver from a school/district (pdf).
  • For the early childhood, elementary, middle level, or special education licensure areas - applicants must have a bachelors degree from an accredited university with 32 semester hours combined in language arts, math, science, and social studies coursework. A minimum of 9 semester hours is needed to start the program.
  • For secondary english, music, mathematics, history,or science licensure areas - applicants must have a bachelors degree from an accredited university in the content area of licensure sought; or a bachelors degree with 32 semester hours in the content area sought.

Procedures for Applying to WIU

  1. Contact our Teacher Licensure Officer (Tammy Wilson,; 309/298-2117) who will review your transcripts for eligibility into the program.
  2. Complete application by formally applying to the School of Graduate Studies declaring Master of Arts in Teaching -Alternative Licensure as your area of study. You must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have a minimum cumulative GPA for all undergraduate work of 2.75.
  3. Access the Application for admittance to the Western Illinois School of Graduate Studies.
  4. A transmittal sheet will be reviewed by a MAT program coordinator with acceptance decision communicated to candidate via university email.
  5. Set up necessary email, ECOM username and password, STARS, and Western Online for course access.
  6. Schedule an orientation meeting with MAT program coordinator.
  7. Access important documents and information needed to begin your studies.
  8. Work towards completing MAT Alternative Licensure Student Checklist (pdf). Forward evidence of items completed to the MAT coordinator or advisor through email. Attachments, screenshots, or certificates must clearly show your information.

Procedures for the Provisional License

  1. Complete a background check at the school district where working for residency/anticipated employment. Follow background procedures outlined by school district. 
  2. Document time spent in a school setting. Those without experience in schools take 2 credit hours of EDS 592: Field Experience.
  3. Complete online training modules in lesson planning, assessment, ESL and classroom management OR program coursework with equivalent content.
  4. Pass applicable Content Tests (
  5. Work with the WIU Licensure Officer to receive yourEducator License with Stipulations endorsed for Alternative Educator (ELS - APE).

Once Accepted toWIU and Receiving the ProvisionalLicense

  • Apply for open teaching positions via IASA Illinois Education Job Bank and Unfilled Positions.
  • Begin a two year residency program as a paid teacher of record with the support of a mentor teacher and a WIU supervisor while completing coursework (see Program Degree Requirements).
  • Complete required coursework in the MAT program for the licensure area sought.
  • To qualify for a full Professional Educator License, students must complete a total of 32 semester hours in the area of licensure sought (for secondary programs); or 32 hours combined of language arts, math, science, and social science coursework (for early childhood, elementary, and special education) by the end of the program, and pass the edTPA.

MAT Teaching Residency (EDS 600)

The EDS 600 teaching residency is a 4 semester, 1 credit hour each semester, teaching internship. Once accepted into the MAT program, the MAT Candidate must pass the content test for their licensure program and complete all the requirements in the MAT Licensure Check List (pdf), the MAT Candidate must locate and secure a teaching placement that meets ISBE requirements as outline in WIU’s MOU (pdf). Once enrolled in EDS 600 the MAT Candidate becomes an MAT Resident.

Financial Aid Available

View the MAT Financial Aid.pdf (Google Drive)

Deadlines: Application/Acceptance - to begin taking classes

  • Fall semester: August 7th
  • Spring semester: December 21st
  • Summer semester: May 7th

Deadlines: Submitting Provisional Licensure Material

  • For a fall/August residency start, the deadline is July 1.
  • For a spring/January residency start, the deadline is November 1.

MAT Student Resources

Use this link 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.


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Phone: (309) xxx-xxxx
Office: Building #

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Phone: (309) xxx-xxxx
Office: Building #

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Phone: (309) xxx-xxxx
Office: Building #

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Phone: (309) xxx-xxxx
Office: Building #

Apply Now

MAT Coordinator

MAT coordinator image

Professor Jim LaPrad

Phone: 309-298-1436

Office: Horrabin Hall 115M


WIU Teacher Licensure Officer

Tammy Wilson

Tammy Wilson

Phone: 309-298-2117

Office:Horrabin Hall 40


In The News!

Tiffany Piehl wins "Why Moline"

Tiffany Piehl, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) student and Special Education Teacher in the Moline-Coal Valley School District, receives the "Why Moline" (Why Moline Coal Valley School District is a great place to serve) award. Recipients of the "Why Moline" award are nominated by their peers. Ms. Piehl says "I feel very fortunate to be receiving the education and guidance that I have been given through the MAT program. This MAT program has been such a blessing for me. I have learned so much and grown as an educator."

Tamika Causley is in the news!

Click here for the full article by Peoria 25 NEWS (Mar. 15, 2022). Excerpts from the article read: "A longtime Peoria Public Schools employee is seeing her dream of becoming a teacher come true. After years working in various positions at PPS, Tamika Causley will become a PPS teacher next Fall, after making a strong impact on her coworkers and her bosses over the last eight years. “I need to be a teacher,” Causley said. “This is what I need to do.”

She is currently working on her master’s degree in Special Education from Western Illinois University.