Teacher Licensure for Undergraduates
The primary goal of professional preparation programs for education is to prepare educators who see the welfare of their constituents as their personal responsibility, and are driven to engage in critical inquiry about all facets of their educational work and its contexts. These programs are aligned with local, state, and national standards for school professionals, and legal and ethical requirements for “best” professional practice.
To receive initial licensure, students must
- complete an undergraduate major in one of the liberal arts or sciences;
- complete the Teacher Education Program;
- pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure appropriate to the certification sought.
The Teacher Education Program, located in the College of Education and Human Development, offers a sequence of courses and field work for undergraduates that leads to teacher licensure in a number of areas. Download Application for the Program for Initial Licensure for Undergraduate Students or click here to apply to the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires that all candidates for teacher licensure must have completed a major in one of the liberal arts or sciences. CLA & CSM students interested in Early Childhood or Elementary education can select any of the majors offered by the College; those interested in Middle and Secondary education must major in the subject area in which they plan to seek licensure.
Students complete both
- a major in the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Science and Mathematics, and
- from 30 to 36 credits in the Teacher Education Program. The number of required courses will vary according to level-elementary, middle, or secondary.
Students are eligible to apply to the Teacher Education Program when they are nearing completion of the first half of their BA or BS degree requirements. Typically, students apply the spring before their junior year. Another way to gauge when you should apply is that our four-semester undergraduate program only admits students to begin in the fall after which they have earned 40 or more credits. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Mathematics must have a minimum GPA of 3.00.
Students who wish to enter the program should apply during the preceding spring semester, no later than April 15th. Applicants will be asked to submit a personal statement, your UMASS/Boston transcript, one to two letters of recommendation and your scores from the Communications and Literacy and subject area portions of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Application forms are available on-line as well as at the Teacher Education Advising Office (W/2-119), and at the University Advising Center (Campus Center, first floor). Applications will be accepted after the deadline date as long as space is available. For further information, contact the program office (617) 287-7625.
Areas in which Teacher Education is offered:
- Early Childhood Education: PreK through 2
- Elementary Education: Grades 1 through 6
- Middle School Education: Grades 5 through 8
- Secondary Education: Grades 9 through 12
- In – Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, English, French (5-12)
- History, Italian (5-12), Mathematics, Music (N-9) (5-12)
- Political Science, Physics, Spanish (5-12)
For Students Interested in Early Childhood teaching:
Please follow the link for early childhood undergraduate program of study outline or early childhood graduate program outline.
For students interested in Elementary School Teaching:
Please follow the link for elementary program outline.
For Students Interested in Middle School Teaching:
Please follow the link for middle school program outline.
For students interested in Secondary School Teaching:
Please follow the link for secondary school program outline.
- Passing scores on all appropriate MTEL tests are required before you can go out to your Practicum/Student Teaching (see below).
- Passing scores on both subtests (Reading & Writing) of the Communications & Literacy section of the MTEL by the end of your first year in the program.
- Early Childhood must pass Communications & Literacy, General Curriculum, and Foundations of Reading.
- Elementary educators must pass Communications & Literacy, General Curriculum, and Foundations of Reading.
- Middle School educators must pass Communications & Literacy and the appropriate subject area test.
- Secondary educators must pass Communications & Literacy and the appropriate subject area test.
- Registration for the MTEL can be done online at www.mtel.nesinc.com or through the Educator Services section of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website at www.doe.mass.edu. Booklets are also available in the Office of Student Services in W-2-119. Online you’ll find sample tests for Communication & literacy & Foundation of Reading, test objective outlines and other info. We also offer workshops for Communications & Literacy and Foundation of Reading approximately 2 weeks before the test date. Check in with the Teacher Education Advising Office to find out details and sign up to attend.
- Test results are only available 5 weeks after the test date and subject tests are only offered in the afternoons, so make sure you plan ahead in relation to your Practicum/Student Teaching semester.
PrePracticum Field Experiences
Early on-site experiences in observing, assisting, and teaching in the schools allow students to test their interest in teaching, to begin to apply theory to practice, and to develop powers of reflection and problem-solving. The two 1-credit pre-practica are offered in conjunction with specific courses to facilitate the making of connections between theory and classroom realities.
A series of 3-credit courses which requires students to inquire into the nature of learning and teaching for different ages and ability levels, in different subject areas. Students are called on to reflect critically on their own learning, and to become familiar with research findings on the development of concepts and skills in children and on the effectiveness of different modes of instruction. They design curricula and explore a variety of ways to assess student learning, and to use assessment as a means of improving instruction.
- The culminating event/ achievement/ experience-get ready!
- Make sure to apply the semester before you plan to go into Practicum/Student Teaching – Oct. 1st for Spring and March 1st for Fall.
- Applications are available in the Teacher Education Advising Office in W 2-119.
- Put a lot into your pre-practicum experience to work on career building and perhaps to set up a good Practicum site. Work with your professors and cooperating teachers in the schools to learn and practice as much as possible.
- The Licensure office can help you with detailed questions. You can contact them at 617-287-7625 or stop by the W-2-119.
- Make sure to meet with your advisor at least once a semester.
- If you ever have questions about how to get in touch with your faculty advisor or if you ever want to set up an appointment with the Director or if you just want to get a quick answer to a question, the Office of Student Services is a key resource. (W-2-119, 617-287-7625)