We recently sat down for a conversation with Dr. Mitali Chaudhery, the Director of Online Education at Marygrove College. We wanted to learn more about her background, find out what brought her to Marygrove, and gain some general insight into the distinguishing features of Marygrove’s online Masters of Arts in Teaching program.
Dr. Chaudhery, could you tell us a bit about your background?
Prior to coming to Marygrove, I served at Baker College as Associate Dean for the General Education Online division. I also worked at Schoolcraft College as an online curriculum developer, faculty trainer, and instructor in the traditional, hybrid, and online environments. I have experience with primary and secondary education as well, but I have also worked in information technology in the heath and financial industries.
What drew you to your current position at Marygrove College?
Marygrove gave me the opportunity to bring some of my prior experience to the college and use it to help develop new programs in the online environment, which was exciting to me.
Why should teachers consider pursuing a Masters of Art in Teaching online degree?
An MAT degree empowers teachers. It also gives them the tools and expertise necessary in the field today by enhancing their knowledge in areas like curriculum and instruction, educational technology, reading, and effective teaching. The program enriches the teacher with more in-depth content and research knowledge that is then applied to the classroom in meaningful ways. This preparation enables the teacher to offer more integral skills and expertise in a variety of ways that increases their contribution and value, which is critical to the job market and education field today.
Could you talk a bit about some of the exciting changes that are in development for the MAT program?
We are going to be offering a Secondary Math endorsement as well as a Special Education specialty track to the MAT program.
There are many online MAT programs out there. What distinguishes Marygrove’s MAT program from all of the others?
Our tuition is competitive, but much cheaper than most colleges. In addition to this, our classes are small to medium-sized, which enables instructors to provide more individualized attention. Another distinguishing feature of our program is that teachers can earn their degree in two years, even if they only take one course per 7-week session at a time. This enables students to manage family, work, and their education at the same time. I should also mention that students have up to six years to finish the program.
Many MAT graduates make teaching a life-long career—but what have other MAT graduates done? Does an MAT degree ever lead to a career outside of teaching?
Yes it can. This degree can empower students to increase their job market value in the field of education. It also enables students to apply their current work experience with the increased expertise of this degree to areas of curriculum and instruction, education technology, instructional design, special education, teacher training, and more. By gaining this graduate degree, they can also venture into the administration area to become directors, program coordinators, or leaders in other education-based environments in and outside of the school.
What should prospective students know about the instructors they will work with in the MAT program?
Our instructors all have master’s or Ph.D. degrees in the field that they are teaching. Most instructors also have a teaching certification and current educational work experience to share with students.
Marygrove’s mission is guided by “the three C’s”—competence, commitment, compassion. How does this tradition and mission come into play in the MAT program?
Through the rigor and expectations of the MAT program, students will learn that they are being prepared to be competent; that commitment to their education means a commitment to empowering themselves; that our commitment to providing them with an excellent program enables them to increase their job prospects and job security; and that compassion is not only a necessary attribute to better themselves and contribute to their society at large, but also an integral part of their experience here at Marygrove. Marygrove upholds this compassion for all students who wish to learn, who wish to improve themselves, who wish to grow, and who desire to develop the integrity and respect that comes with a graduate degree.