Master's Degrees

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

Humanizing & Culturally Affirming Teacher (HCAT) Program (Secondary Education M.Ed.)

The M.Ed. In Secondary Education Humanizing & Culturally Affirming Teacher (HCAT) Program is a two-year, professional, alternative certificate program in which students develop as teachers, meet certification requirements, and earn a master’s degree while teaching full-time in middle or high schools. With a conceptual framework based on equity literacy, the program uses context specific pedagogy to help nurture teachers’ appreciation of the unique schools and students they serve.

Students in the program, called teaching interns, are hired as teachers of record in a Southern Arizona middle school or high school where, as a teacher of record on an Alternative Teaching Certificate, they deepen their teaching practice while being paid as full-time teachers. Throughout the program, teaching interns receive support and guidance from assigned university coaches and mentors as well as a school-based mentor in the schools in which they teach.

Gain hands-on experience in immersive and self-reflective teaching and learning experiences
Learn about critical and humanizing teaching practices from our distinguished faculty, including Curtis Acosta, Ph.D. & Richard Orozco, Ph.D.
Graduate from the program with a Standard Professional Secondary Certificate and a full Structured English Immersion endorsement

Sample Courses

During the two-year program, teaching interns take classes in online and in-person formats and participate in interactive teacher education seminars. The program requires 38 credits of courses in subjects like equity literacy, methods of teaching ELL students (meets state SEI requirements), secondary school internship, and classroom management for the practicing teacher.


The program prepares graduates for professional roles as educators in middle and high school settings.

Contact Us

For inquiries about the program, please contact Program Coordinator Alyssa Lara at 520-621-8384 or Recruitment & Outreach Coordinator Jesus Jaime-Diaz.