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Why Earn Your Master of Arts in Teaching Online?

March 27, 2024

Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping young minds. They guide instruction and shepherd learning, but that’s just one part of their impact: they also facilitate socialization, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. It is hard to overestimate the value of an effective teacher.

Whether new to teaching or a seasoned educator, earning your Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) can help you strengthen your skills and expand your impact in the classroom. The program can elevate you to become the best teacher possible..

Returning to school as an adult can present challenges, but schools do their best to provide convenient options. They offer MAT programs in various formats, including full- or part-time, on-campus, hybrid, and online. Online programs—like the online Master of Arts in Teaching from American University—deliver numerous benefits to busy professionals seeking an advanced degree. This article summarizes the most compelling advantages of online study.

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Why Earn an MAT?

An MAT degree equips educators with the pedagogical knowledge, instructional strategies, and assessment competencies to foster student success. With a focus on practice-based learning and subject-specific content, MAT programs help educators build the skills to support diverse student populations. 

By earning this degree, educators improve their teaching skills as they increase their earning potential. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, teachers with master’s degrees earn approximately 24 percent more than teachers with bachelor’s degrees. Many school districts award bonuses, stipends, or higher salaries to teachers who complete a master’s program. 

Some states and teaching specialties require a master’s degree. In New York, Connecticut, and Maryland, teachers must have a master’s to renew their teaching licenses. Educators in special education, ESL/TESOL, or gifted student programs may also need an MAT degree. 

However, MAT degrees aren’t just for teachers. Earning a master’s in teaching can help professionals pursue careers as tutors, academic specialists, educational consultants, and even educational software developers. 

Why Earn Your MAT Online?

Online programs have gained popularity because of the benefits they offer diverse learners. These advantages include convenience, cost savings, technology integration skills, professional networking, and self-discipline. 


Commuting to school can occupy a significant amount of your day. A 30-minute commute can add hours of idle time to your week. Online programs can save time by eliminating commutes and enabling you to take classes from anywhere. 

Cost Savings

Online programs typically charge the same tuition as on-campus programs; however, you will save on transportation and student housing expenses as an online student. The time saved by not having to commute also frees up time to study or take care of other items on your to-do list.

Technology Integration Skills

Today’s teaching technology includes learning management systems, video conferencing platforms, and digital assessments. Online degree programs provide ample opportunities to familiarize yourself with these new tools before using them in the classroom. 

For example, American University’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program incorporates Mursion avatar technology throughout the curriculum. This immersive technology combines human interaction and artificial intelligence to create low-stakes opportunities to practice challenging teaching scenarios before working with real students. 

Professional Networking

Online programs foster collaboration and camaraderie among students from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations. In American University’s online MAT program, students complete their studies as part of a cohort. By attending classes and working on projects with the same group of peers, you’ll build meaningful connections and learn from each other. You’ll also broaden your professional network through interactions with faculty and other educators during your field placements.


Independent learning plays a critical role in online education. Online learners must develop strong time-management and self-motivation skills. American University assigns student success coaches to online MAT students for support, but you’ll still be managing your schedule. As a student in this program, you’ll build the self-discipline needed to succeed in the program and your teaching career.

Why Earn Your Online MAT From American University?

American University’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program offers a progressive curriculum grounded in equity, community, diversity, and excellence. The cohort model encourages collaboration and peer learning, helping you foster lasting connections with your classmates from around the country. 

Designed for current and aspiring elementary school educators, the program leverages the latest advancements in neurodevelopment and socio-emotional interventions so you’re prepared to support individual student needs. After completing your 600-hour field placement with a teacher in your community, you’ll build the confidence and skills to lead your own classroom. 

In less than two years, you can earn your MAT degree and develop the skills to help ensure all students receive the high-quality education they deserve. Ready to pursue your master’s in teaching? Take the first step by contacting an enrollment advisor to learn more about the admissions process, program tuition, and student experience. If you’ve decided the program is right for you, start your application today.

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