Secondary Education Certification

Secondary Education Certification Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) - Spanish

About Spanish K-12 Teaching Certification

Help students master Spanish language skills and build cultural understanding.

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the United States – and Spanish language teachers are in demand. As a Spanish teacher with a Master of Arts Teaching degree from California University of Pennsylvania, you can introduce elementary, middle and high school students to this popular world language. 

Cal U’s hybrid (online and in-person) master's degree program allows career changers or recent college graduates with an undergraduate background in Spanish to achieve initial teacher certification. The program combines core pedagogy classes with Spanish teaching courses that provide essential real-world experience, so you can become an effective classroom leader.

Graduates with Level I teaching certification and a master's degree in Spanish education from Cal U are prepared for employment teaching Spanish to children in grades K-12 in Pennsylvania.

Teacher preparation has always been our mission.

  • Cal U has been training top-quality educators since its founding in 1852.
  • Cal U's teaching programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954. We are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • Cal U’s partnerships with local school districts open doors to exceptional observation and student teaching experiences.


Hybrid model: In this hybrid program, Spanish education courses are delivered online, so you can balance career, family and personal obligations. Field experiences and a short-term residency enrich the online education that precedes your student-teaching experience.

Catch up on content: Cal U expects MAT candidates to have completed required content courses in Spanish during their undergraduate education. However, this flexible program enables you to take a limited number of content courses, if needed, before your student-teaching experience begins.

Classroom experience: Program graduates stand out as Spanish teachers – and in the job market – because they complete 20 to 24 hours of fieldwork per semester in assigned Pennsylvania schools before their full-time student teaching experience. Few schools can match this blend of online coursework and applied education.


33 Million 
Number of Spanish speakers in the United States.
Number of credits required to complete the MAT: Spanish program if student enters with all prerequisites fullfiled.
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Degree Benefits

Pennsylvania and surrounding states have a shortage of educators with a master’s degree in teaching foreign languages, and Spanish teachers are in demand. Whether you have a background in education or are switching careers, Cal U’s master’s degree in Spanish language education will lead you from concepts to application, so you’ll be ready to teach children of all ages.

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Graduate Outcomes

What does a Spanish teacher do? Graduates of the MAT program are prepared to teach Spanish language and culture to students in grades K-12 at public or private schools. They thrive as foreign language program coordinators, evaluators and curriculum specialists, too. Graduates also may build careers in alternative teaching situations or corporate training.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

Founded as a teacher's college, Cal U has a 160-year reputation of producing top-quality educators. Our rigorous, discipline-specific courses will deepen your spanish knowledge base while equipping you with the latest theories and practices in education. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.



Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 16
COM 101  Oral Communications 3
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
PSY 100  General Psychology 3
THE 131  Fundamentals of Acting 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
Math Course 3
Second Semester 15
COM 230  Argumentation 3
ENG 102  English Composition II 3
ESP 210  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration 3
English Course 3
Math Course 3
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15
COM 142  Video Production I 3
SEC 210  Introduction to Secondary Education 3
SEC 220  Standards-based Education in Secondary Education 3
THE 150  Introduction to Theatrical Design 3
General Education Course (Health) 3
Fourth Semester 15
EDU 310  Teaching in a Multicultural Society 3
EDU 333  Technology in Teaching and Learning 3
ESP 311  Assessment and Positive Behavior Interventions 3
THE 141  Stagecraft   3
General Education Course (Science) 3
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
ENG 345  English Grammar and Usage  OR  ENG 347 Introduction to Linguistics 3
SEC 310  Instructional Strategies in Secondary Education 3
SEC 350  Content Area Literacy 3
SEC 360  Technology Integration in Secondary Education 3
THE 320  Fundamentals of Directing 3
Sixth Semester 15
COM 490  Communication Theory 3
ENG 308  Research for Writers  OR  ENG 352 Studies in Writing 3
ESP 413  Evidence-based Practices for Secondary Inclusion 3
SEC 400  Classroom Management 3
SEC 420  Assessments and Interventions in Secondary Education 3
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
ENG 425  Shakespeare 3
English Elective 3
EDU 350  Supporting English Language Learners
PSY 206  Adolescent Psychology 3
THE 302  History of Theatre I  OR  THE 304 World Drama  OR  THE 306 Modern Drama 3
Eighth Semester 15
SEC 460  Professional Practices in Secondary Education 3
SEC 461  Student Teaching Practicum 12
Total 121


Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. 

Program Requirements

  • Depending on the area of certification chosen, the department will provide guidance if any foundation undergraduate courses need to be completed before applying for student teaching
  • Clearances:  Students are responsible for updating clearances annually through the Office of Field Experience.  In addition, clearances must be on file before applying for student teaching  - Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email ( or fax (724-938-5712)

For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs


A professor online teaching.

Online Experts

For more than a decade, Cal U has been recognized for the quality of its online master’s degree programs. Our faculty are experts in online teaching strategies and techniques. Several work as national reviewers for the Quality Matters organization, which assesses online courses for quality.

Students write in the library.


Cal U’s Master of Arts Teaching degree prepares you for future success. Completing a master’s degree while earning initial certification helps new teachers meet some of the requirements for Level 2 certification as they continue in their careers.

A student in cap and gown.


Cal U graduate Haley Bashada ’16, ’19 teaches Spanish at California Area High School. In collaboration with Cal U, her Spanish IV students completed a specialized course in Spanish for Professionals: Medical Spanish. “All of them will probably use it at some point in their lives, professionally or personally,” she says.

Spanish Certification Faculty

Dr. Keith Hepner

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Dr. Marcia Hoover
Professor; field coordinator, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Connie Monroe
Professor and chair, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Susan Morris-Rutledge
Associate Professor and ESL Program Coordinator

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Dr. Michael Perrotti
Coordinator of Graduate Secondary Ed Programs and Associate Professor

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Dr. Joseph Zisk
Professor; director, Teaching and Learning Center

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.