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Licensure Categories

Massachusetts State Licensure Categories

Licensure Stages and Requirements: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers four types of teacher licenses: Preliminary, Initial, Professional, and Temporary:

Preliminary License

To be eligible for this license, a candidate shall:

a.

Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

b.

Pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), a two-part examination covering communication and literacy skills, and the subject matter knowledge appropriate to the license sought.

c.

Provide evidence of sound moral character.

Candidates should apply directly to the state through the Massachusetts Department of Education web site (www.doe.mass.edu) for the Preliminary License. Note: A Preliminary License is valid for five years of employment in the schools, but candidates must earn the Initial License before earning the Professional License.

 

 

Initial License

To be eligible for the Initial License a candidate shall:

a.

Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

b.

Pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), a two-part examination covering communication and literacy skills, and the subject matter knowledge appropriate to the license sought.

c.

Complete a professional preparation program approved by the Commissioner of Education. Such program must include:

 

1.

Seminars or courses that address the Professional Standards for Teachers established by the Massachusetts Department of Education.

 

2.

Field-based experiences in varied settings and integrated into courses or seminars that address the Professional Standards for Teachers.

 

3.

Supervised practicum or a practicum equivalent in the instructional field and at the level of the license sought.

d.

Provide evidence of sound moral character

The Initial License is valid for five years of employment and may be renewed at the discretion of the Commissioner of Education for an additional five years. Note: STEP prepares candidates for the Initial License, which is a prerequisite for the Professional License.

 

 

Professional License

To be eligible for this license, the candidate shall:

a.

Hold an Initial License in the same field prior to beginning any of the program options the state offers towards professional licensure.

b.

Complete a one-year induction program with a mentor.

c.

Have at least three full years of employment in the role of the license.

d.

Complete at least 50 hours of a mentored experience beyond the induction year, which may be fulfilled as part of any of the program options the state offers leading to the Professional License.

e.

Complete one of the following:

 

1.

An approved district-based program of at least 50 contact hours of content-based seminars during the second and third year of employment culminating in a performance assessment, an academically advanced written subject matter test, a reflective paper, or other activity approved by the Department of Education.

 

2.

An approved Master’s degree program for the Professional License in the same field as the individual’s Initial License and in an education school.

 

3.

A National Board for Professional Teaching Standards program, or other program approved by the Commissioner of Education that leads to eligibility of master teacher status.

 

4.

For those who have already completed a Master’s degree program or other advanced graduate program, an approved non-degree, 18-credit program in which half the credits are in the academic discipline in the arts or sciences related to the license sought.

The Professional License is valid for five years and is renewable for additional five-year terms as set forth by state guidelines.

Note: The regulations preclude the use of any course work (undergraduate, graduate, or Post-B.A./B.S.) that was used to prepare for the Initial License to be used for the Professional License. Therefore, many students will seek the Initial License with the Master's degree and will use one of the other options for the Professional License.

 

Temporary License

To be eligible for this license, a candidate shall:

a.

Possess a valid educator license or certificate in another state or jurisdiction that is comparable to at least an Initial License in Massachusetts.

b.

Have at least three years of employment under such valid license or certificate.

c.

Not have failed any part of the applicable MTEL tests.

d.

Provide evidence of sound moral character.

The Temporary License is valid for one year and is not renewable.