Academics

Definitions Relating to Licensure

Glossary of Terms

[The following definitions are provided by the Massachusetts DOE, excepting 2 bracketed inserts.

7.02:     Definitions

As used in 603 CMR 7.00, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

Apprenticeship: A paid or unpaid field-based experience of at least one semester in the role and at the level of the license sought, in a classroom with a supervising classroom teacher who holds a Professional license.

Approved Program: A program approved by the Commissioner to prepare individuals for educator licensure.

Bachelor's Degree: For an undergraduate student seeking a first teaching license, a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited college or university resulting from the completion of an undergraduate program in which the student has satisfactorily met the requirements for a major in one or more academic subjects in the arts or sciences or for a major appropriate to the instructional field of the license sought.  For a post-baccalaureate student, a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree resulting from the completion of an undergraduate program in which the student has satisfactorily met its requirements.

Board: The Massachusetts Board of Education.

Communication and Literacy Skills Test: The test of communication and literacy skills included in the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure.

Competency Review: The process for determining whether the subject matter knowledge requirements for a license have been met in a field for which there is no subject matter knowledge test, using Department guidelines.

Core Academic Subjects: English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.

Department: The Massachusetts Department of Education.

Educator: Any person employed by a school or school district in a position requiring a license.

Field: The subject, population, or professional role specified in the title of a license issued by the Department.

Field-Based Experience: Experiences such as observation of a variety of classrooms, pre-practicum, practicum/practicum equivalent, internship, apprenticeship, or administrative internship that are integral components of any program for the preparation of educators.

Inclusive General Education Classroom Experience: A practicum that takes place in a classroom that serves both students with and without disabilities.  The students with disabilities must be receiving some of their Individualized Education Program services in the classroom setting.  The teacher candidate must address the individual and group needs of all of the students (with and without disabilities) who are assigned to the classroom and receive supervision from both a special educator and a general educator during the practicum.

Induction Program: A planned program of professional support for new teachers and administrators provided by the school district, including orientation, opportunities for classroom observation and conferencing, and peer group meetings. An induction program should be an integral part of a school district's professional development plan.

Initial License: An educator license issued to a person who has completed a bachelor's degree, passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure, completed an educator preparation program approved by the Commissioner, and met other eligibility requirements established by the Board.  The Initial license is valid for five years of employment and may be renewed at the discretion of the Commissioner for an additional five years. This license is equivalent to a provisional educator certificate with advanced standing as defined in M. G. L. c. 71, § 38G.

InternshipA paid or unpaid, supervised, and mentored field-based experience, outside of an approved program, in the role and at the level of the license sought.  Interns must be evaluated through a Performance Assessment for Initial License, using Department guidelines.

Level: The range of grades within which a given license is valid.

License: Any credential issued to an educator under 603 CMR 7.00.  The terms "license" and "licensure" as used in 603 CMR 7.00 are equivalent to the terms "certificate" and "certification" as used in M. G. L. c. 71, § 38G.

Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL): Examinations required of all candidates for Preliminary or Initial license.  The MTEL examines communication and literacy skills, and subject matter knowledge appropriate to the license sought. 

Mentor: An educator who has at least three full years of experience under an Initial or Professional license and who has been trained to assist a beginning educator in the same professional role with his or her professional responsibilities and general school/district procedures.  In addition, a mentor may assist an experienced educator who is new to a school, subject area, or grade level.  A mentor may also assist an educator who is participating in a performance assessment or a district-based program for licensure.

NASDTEC Interstate Contract: The contract sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) concerning reciprocal licensing of educational personnel among participating jurisdictions.

Panel Review: The process used by the Department for reviewing and recommending candidates for Initial licensure who have substantial experience and formal education relevant to the license sought but have not met the specific license requirements.

Performance Assessment for Initial License: Assessment of educator performance for Initial licensure using Department guidelines.

Performance Assessment Program: A Department-sponsored Performance Assessment Program for the Professional license that includes a series of seminars and a performance assessment.

Performance Review Program for Initial Licensure (PRPIL): A performance review that satisfies the requirements for a practicum/practicum equivalent based on eligibility requirements, portfolio review, supervision and mentoring during an internship, and the completion of a Performance Assessment for Initial License.

Practicum/Practicum Equivalent: A field-based experience within an approved program in the role and at the level of the license sought, during which a candidate’s performance is supervised jointly by the sponsoring organization and the supervising practitioner and evaluated in a Performance Assessment for Initial License.  See 603 CMR 7.04 (4) for practicum hours.  The duration of any equivalent to a practicum shall be no fewer hours than provided for the practicum in 603 CMR 7.04 (4).  An equivalent to a practicum may include an apprenticeship, the initial five-month period of service as teacher or administrator of record under a Preliminary license, or others approved by the Department. 

Preliminary License: A license issued to a person who holds a bachelor's degree and has passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and met other eligibility requirements established by the Board in 603 CMR 7.04 (2) and 7.09 (1).  The Preliminary license is valid for five years of employment.  This license is equivalent to a provisional educator certificate as defined in M. G. L. c. 71 § 38G. 

Pre-practicum: Early field-based experiences in a variety of educational settings, integrated into courses or seminars that address either the Professional Standards for Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 7.08 or the Professional Standards for Administrators as set forth in 603 CMR 7.10.  For candidates serving an apprenticeship or employed as educator of record, these experiences may occur simultaneously with the practicum or practicum equivalent.

Professional License: An educator's license issued to a person who has met the requirements for an Initial license in that field and met requirements established by the Board set forth in 603 CMR 7.04 (c), 7.09, or 7.11.   The Professional license is valid for five years and renewable for additional five-year terms as set forth in 603 CMR 44.00.  This license is equivalent to a standard educator certificate as defined in M. G. L. c. 71, § 38G.

Program Approval: State authorization of an educator preparation program or its sponsoring organization to endorse and recommend program completers for educator licensure.  Also, the process through which a program or sponsoring organization may receive state approval.

Program Completer: An individual who has completed all the requirements of a state-approved preparation program (i.e., instruction/course work and practicum), regardless of whether that person has taken and passed state tests or assessments for licensure or has been endorsed or recommended for licensure by the program or its sponsoring organization.

Program Supervisor: The supervisor from the sponsoring organization, under whose immediate supervision the candidate for licensure practices during a practicum.

[Provisional License: See “Preliminary License”]

Sponsoring Organization: College, university, school district, professional association, or other organization that provides, or seeks to provide, approved preparation programs.

Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements: Topics from the content of a discipline or field.  These topics do not necessarily coincide with academic courses or imply a specific number of credit hours.

Supervising Practitioner: The educator who has at least three full years of experience under an appropriate Initial or Professional license, under whose immediate supervision the candidate for licensure practices during a practicum.  For the educator of record, a comparably qualified educator will function as the supervising practitioner during the practicum equivalent.

Teacher: Any person employed in a school or school district under a license listed in 603 CMR 7.04 (3) (a).

[Teacher of Record: Any candidate who is also serving as Teacher, and for whom UMB arranges to conduct Practicum within the context of the place of employment.]

Temporary License: An educator license issued to a person who holds a valid license or certificate of a type comparable to at least an Initial license in Massachusetts from another state or jurisdiction, and who has been employed under such license for a minimum of three years and has met the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 7.04 (2) (d).  It is valid for one year and is nonrenewable.  Service under a Temporary license shall be counted as service in acquiring professional teacher status, contingent upon the educator passing the applicable licensure tests.