Licensure is granted by the state, not by the University. In addition to satisfactory completion of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's teacher education program, students must apply directly to the state for licensure and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. The Director of Practicum Experiences, who also serves as the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's Certification Officer, guides students through this process.
At Boston College, teacher education is a rigorous pursuit and program requirements exceed the miniumum requirements for licensure set by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students must successfully complete all of the Boston College program requirements in order to earn endorsement and a recommendation for licensure with the state.
To be eligible for Initial licensure in Massachusetts, students must:
Effective January 2014, all students enrolled in teacher education licensure programs will earn the ESE endorsement for Sheltered English Immersion (SEI).
The SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Endorsement is not a license. It is an acknowledgement that the teacher who earns it has successfully demonstrated the knowledge and teaching skills to teach English language learners in SEI classrooms. Every licensed in-service core academic teacher in public schools in Massachusetts (including charter schools and education collaboratives) with one or more ELLs in his or her classroom must participate in an ESE state-approved RETELL teacher course to earn the SEI Teacher Endorsement by July 2016.
Graduate students, with no prior teaching licenses, enter the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's teacher education program seeking initial licensure. Graduate students who are already licensed may seek an additional license at the initial level in a new field such as Special Education or Reading. Such students are required to complete a clinical experience in the new field. A pre-practicum may also be required. Upon successful completion of all courses and practicum requirements, graduate students earn endorsement for initial licensure in the appropriate field.
Upon successful completion of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's teacher preparation program, students earn endorsement and recommendation for licensure in Massachusetts. Boston College shares reciprocity with most states across the country. Students are advised to consult directly with the Certification Officer for information about licensure requirements in other states. Students may be required to take specific state exams/assessments and/or the Praxis.
In 1998, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education implemented the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for all educators seeking Pre-K to 12 academic licenses in the state. The MTEL is comprised of a skills test focused on communication and literacy as well a set of subject matter specific tests.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education outlines how the MTEL is connected to licensure in the state:
"As part of the current license requirements, candidates seeking a first Massachusetts Academic (PreK–12) license must achieve a passing score on both subtests of the Communication and Literacy Skills test AND any relevant Academic (PreK–12) subject matter test(s). The MTEL are the only tests that satisfy the communication and literacy skills and subject matter test requirements for a Massachusetts PreK–12 license."
"You may apply for an educator license at any time, before or after taking the MTEL. However, candidates seeking their first Massachusetts license must achieve a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test before their license application can be reviewed" (MTEL, 2013).
To help students better understand the licensure process in Massachusetts, the Practicum Office developed a chart that outlines the Four Steps to Licensure and an overview of the required subject specific MTEL tests.
Students are encouraged to learn about the MTEL in advance and to get a "jump start" on the licensure process by visiting the official testing website. The official website contains the following essential information:
An endorsed transcript is used to certify to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education that you have completed an Approved Program. You can apply online for a transcript through Agora by clicking “Transcript Request” and filling out the attached form.
Once you receive your transcript, you need to send it to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Boston College does not send it for you. Graduate Students must send undergraduate transcripts as well to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.
It is not possible to say exactly how long it will take. The answer depends on several factors, such as the date on which your application is received, the type of license for which you are applying, the volumes of applications being processed at the time, and whether the application was filled out correctly and completely. However, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education is committed to completing the application process for each applicant as quickly as possible.
Candidates who take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure and receive Massachusetts certification may be eligible for reciprocal certification in other states within the Interstate Certification Compact (ICC). Candidates who apply to states not in the ICC will have to undergo transcript review and take the state's test, if applicable. Course requirements vary from state to state and states may impose additional requirements for licensure. It is recommended that candidates meet with the Certification Officer to discuss out-of-state certification.
In order to meet the Licensure requirements, you must pass the appropriate Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. A Communications and Literacy Skills test is needed for all types of licenses (teachers, specialist teachers, support personnel and administrators). In addition, a subject matter test is required for all teaching and specialist teaching subject areas.
After August 30, 2003, all candidates for license in Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Moderate Specialist Needs programs must take and pass the Foundations of Reading test. Click here to learn more about which subject matter test to complete.
Massachusetts offers three types of educator licenses. Based upon your training you can be employed by a school under a Preliminary, Initial, Temporary, or Professional License. Learn more about the types of licenses in Massachusetts.
All Boston College programs lead to Initial Licensure unless otherwise stated.
You need to attend to the following:
No. Your license is activated only when you teach in a public school.
No, your initial license is valid for 5 teaching (on the clock) years. In this case, you would still have 2 years left on your license.
Students who intend to teach in other states are strongly advised, but are not required, to take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure in the event that a state requires a candidate to be Licensed, in addition to having completed an Approved Program. Although the Boston College Practicum Office has attempted to ensure that the information contained on the website is accurate and complete at the time of posting, the contents are subject to change at any time.