MA in Teaching for Social Justice

K-12 teacher licensure from a social-historical perspective

The MA in Teaching for Social Justice (MATS) is a one-year program for students who want to become licensed K-12 teachers. The MATS degree is a collaboration between Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies (granting the MAT degree to graduates) and Spark Teacher Education Institute (recommending graduates for teacher certification to the State of Vermont). The program focuses on understanding and integrating social justice content, and a pedagogy that meets the needs of all learners. A full year school placement prepares our students practically and academically for the dynamic relationships of today’s K-12 environment.

The MATS program partners with multiple schools and school districts in the region including: Windham Southeast Supervisory Union; Windham Northeast Supervisory Union; Windham Central Supervisory Union; Hinsdale School District; Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School; The Compass School.

Marlboro Awards

If you have taught for one year or more in an elementary, high school, or adult education setting—or if you've given a year of national service—you could be eligible for an attractive award to help pay for your MA in Teaching for Social Justice. Fill out our preliminary inquiry form to learn more about this opportunity.

Inspired Teaching

In the MATS program you will learn new paradigms for a democratized, cooperative classroom through both your immersion in school and your weekly graduate courses. Beyond pedagogical excellence, you will inspire your students to learn new knowledge and skills from diverse perspectives. Rigor, compassion, and a global view fuse to generate critical thinking.


Janaki Natarajan

Program Director, MAT-SJ

Janaki holds an Ed.D. in Sociology of Education from Harvard University. Her work embraces more than four decades of teaching and research, including extensive work in China, India, and Tanzania.

Read full bio

How do I get more information?

To learn more about the MA in Teaching for Social Justice program, email Kara Hamilton, admissions counselor for MA in Teaching programs, or call (888) 258-5665 x506. The MATS is offered in collaboration with Spark Teacher Education Institute.


Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states.

Impact and Opportunity

This program produces teachers and leaders in education who engage to restructure contemporary systems. It provides experiential and theoretical preparation for transformative work in all aspects of education. Graduates go on to positions in education throughout the world equipped for the challenges of teaching and for their role as leaders and innovators.

About the Program

The MATS program provides an intensive one-year, field-based program leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and a recommendation for certification to the State of Vermont at the elementary, middle school or secondary level. The Master's degree is granted by Marlboro College, and the licensure recommendation is provided through the Spark Teacher Education Institute. As an MATS participant, you will spend a full year interning in a classroom, working side-by-side with a skilled mentor teacher, learning to integrate social justice and equity content into the mainstream curriculum. Program features include:

  • Faculty, mentor teachers, and classmates provide three circles of support to MATS students
  • In one year, students earn both a master’s degree and K-12 licensure in endorsement areas within the K-12 spectrum
  • Beyond pedagogy, students examine education policy, literacy development, and strategies for all learners
  • The immersive nature of the curriculum builds relationships that continue throughout your career

One or two days a week you will attend seminars with a diverse cohort of MATS participants led by faculty members who join content area expertise with teaching for social justice. Additional areas of focus within the program are:

  • Current best practices for your endorsement area
  • Language and literacy development
  • Theories of child and adolescent development
  • Strategies for working with exceptional learners
  • Educational law and policy
  • The social-political-economic context of the educational system

Students can earn endorsements in elementary education, and math, english, science and social studies for middle and secondary schools:

How do I apply to the MATS program?

The application process for this program has the following elements:

  1. The application
  2. Fill out this endorsement form
  3. Submit an essay of approximately three typewritten, double-spaced pages to Don Parker, Admissions Assistant. In your essay please describe and reflect on the following:
    • Your experiences with children of pre-kindergarten age through 12th grade. Please provide examples of your experience in developing relationships and working with youth, teachers, administrators, and families.
    • Special abilities, life experiences, and personal qualities you bring to the program and to teaching.
    • Self-Assessment:
      • Areas of strength in your knowledge and skills, and areas for further development.
      • Personal characteristics that will be an asset to you as a learner and a teacher, and those that may impede you.
    • Your experiences working with people who are different from you.
    • Your experiences as an advocate and/ or an agent of change within a system.
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts*
    *These can be sent to:
    Marlboro College Graduate School
    28 Vernon Street
    Brattleboro, VT 05301
  6. Take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) and have the results sent directly to Spark Teacher Education Institute (code R3797) and the Vermont Department of Education.

We maintain a rolling admission, but it is advantageous for candidates to complete applications by May 1 for a fall start or December 1 for a winter start.