Apply for the Aspire 4+1 program

Deadline for Fall admission (recommended): July 1

Education Aspire 4+1: Your Path to the MAT

Centenary’s Education Aspire 4+1 program allows exceptional undergraduates in non-Education majors to begin the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program while still working on their undergraduate degree and finish the MAT within one year of graduation while working full-time as a teacher with a salary and benefits. With careful planning and guidance from the Education faculty, Education Aspire gives you a jump on graduate coursework and a smooth transition to a rewarding career in education.


  • Students can complete their MAT within one year of undergraduate graduation if following the recommended schedule
  • Eligible to work full-time post-(undergraduate) graduation as a teacher of record, earning a salary & benefits
  • Student loan payments are deferred while enrolled in the MAT program as long as students take two classes per term
  • Tuition for MAT courses taken during fall-spring terms while an undergraduate is covered by undergraduate tuition - usually a savings of at least $3,600!
  • Once the MAT is completed, most school districts will implement an immediate pay bump



The program is a rigorous and demanding graduate-level program requiring high levels of planning and maturity; it is not for every student, but it might just be for you!

  • Interested students should alert their primary academic advisor and the Education Department ( during their sophomore year
  • Candidates should complete at least 104 hours of a non-education Centenary degree to begin the program (and should apply in the semester before this milestone is achieved, usually spring of junior year). This typically means that students are earning undergraduate credits “ahead of schedule”
  • Candidates need to maintain at least 2.75 GPA on Centenary coursework
  • Candidates need to pass Praxis I (Core Academic Skills for Educators) prior to application
    • Alternative to Praxis I, Centenary GPA of 3.25 and composite ACT of 25

Apply for the Aspire 4+1 program


Aspire Timeline

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Undergraduate Degree Completion

More information can be found on the For Academic Advisors page, but in order to be best positioned to participate in Education Aspire 4+1, students should keep in mind the following issues:

  • Candidates usually must have room in undergraduate schedule to take at least 12 hours (two three-credit MAT courses in both fall and spring) after the 104-hour limit has been achieved; these hours cannot count towards undergraduate graduation requirements
  • Candidates typically must be enrolled in 12 undergraduate hours in the fall semester (August + fall terms) of their senior year for financial aid purposes
  • Candidates usually must complete 12 hours (four three-credit MAT courses) prior to undergraduate graduation to ensure completion of MAT degree within one year of graduation
  • Candidates must enroll in and successfully complete on-campus summer MAT courses

Dedicated Educators

Aspire also gives students an early introduction to the unifying concept on which Centenary College of Louisiana bases teacher preparation: the Dedicated Educator framework. The four pillars of content knowledge, pedagogy, inquiry, and community and social justice support this framework.

The main objective of the Department of Education is to prepare Dedicated Educators. A Dedicated Educator is one who commits to the personal and professional development and success of learners, colleagues, and self. Dedicated Educators exhibit the knowledge, skills, and dispositions embedded within the framework to effectively promote this development and success.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy The institution does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or on any other basis proscribed by federal, state, or local law.