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COE welcomes first cohort of M.A.T. early childhood education students

First cohort of the new M.A.T. early childhood education degree program.


On June 9-11, the newly created Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in early childhood (P-5) education welcomed its first cohort of students during a weekend retreat.

Hosted on Georgia Southern University’s campus, the retreat allowed students and faculty an opportunity to meet each other and work face-to-face before beginning the completely online coursework.

“This is something we decided to do for this M.A.T. program because it would allow students who will be communicating at a distance over the next two years to bond with us and each other,” said Associate Professor Katie Brkich, Ph.D. “The retreat also allowed us to begin introducing the students to some of the major ideas behind culturally relevant pedagogy that are very personal and not easily done online until one becomes comfortable with the people with whom one is working digitally.”

Program Director and Associate Professor Julie Garlen, Ed.D. along with Brkich and  Assistant Professor Chelda Smith, Ph.D. spent the weekend bonding and learning with their new students.

Coursework for the new M.A.T. in early childhood education degree program began this summer and has a specific focus on culturally relevant pedagogy. This cohort of students from across the state will complete a two-year, fully-online program and will graduate with a master’s degree and teaching certificate, as well as a wealth of knowledge on how to be agents of change and social justice advocates in their classrooms and schools.

Students included in the first cohort include: Judith Blount, Heather Bonner, Morgan Brown, Shenequa Brown, Kirstin Cook, Katherine Daniel, Sarah Gray, Jordan Griffin, Arnold Haynes, Melissa Kennedy, Katie Linder, Ashlyn Newman, Rebecca Swain and Alysha White.


*Due to the current consolidation of Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University, this program will be revised for future students. For more information about the consolidation visit


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