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MAT Students Thriving After VSU

Success is born from hard work, but there is always helping hands along the way to make sure the birth goes well.

Recently, VSU bore witness to such a story of success within their resident masters of art in teaching in music education program, where the first cohort of graduates found themselves with a 100 percent job rate. All of them left VSU’s hallowed halls with teaching positions already set up for them.

While each and every graduate is to be congratulated for their hard work during their time at VSU, this situation begs the question: How did such a success story come to be? What helping hands steered these students into their jobs?

“We’ve had a music education program on this campus for a very long time, but our students in a traditional four-year program did not have the time to get out into the schools. They spend so much time doing ensembles and classes, 20 hours per semester, they end up with too heavy of a schedule that gets in the way,” Head of the Music Department, Douglas Farwell, said. “We redesigned the program with all the departments advising to help make a more streamlined and flexible program.”

The MAT in music education program is a one year, four semester program that is designed to produce graduates with exceptional content knowledge and the ability to digest and provide this information to individuals of P-12 in an understandable and encouraging way that inspires them.

Farwell explained that the market for teachers, at least for music education, is a healthy one reporting that many of the students seen in the success story actually turned down jobs that they saw beneath them and were able to find jobs they were completely comfortable with and felt suited to teaching.

When asked about bumps in the road to this success, Farwell said, “This is a fairly new program, and during the first summer of the program, we had a very busy schedule for the students. Based on the feedback from the students and the program, we redesigned the program this year to spread out the courses throughout the summer and fall.”

The current set of students undergoing this program, known as the second cohort, are seemingly encouraged by this success with one current student, Nicholas McPherson, saying “Despite the program being young, I do feel fairly confident in its ability to help me land a job once I am finished if not before I have totally finished the program.”

Farwell is also very confident that VSU will be seeing a very similar success story from the second cohort which is a mix of instrumental and choral students, saying that the program produces mature music teachers that are highly appreciated by schools looking to fill their staff roster.

All in all, VSU has certainly become a go to for any school looking for a qualified and professional music teacher.

Written by Payton Fletcher, Assistant Campus Life Editor. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay. 

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