Administrator Certification & Licensing

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 Educational Leadership & Policy program, students seeking Principal/Assistant Principal certification must apply directly to the state for licensure. Students must also pass the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leadership (MA-PAL). The Assistant Dean of Field Placement and Outreach, who also serves as the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's Certification Officer, guides students through this process. Please contact the Office of Field Placement & Partnership Outreach with any questions, prac@bc.edu.

At Boston College, administrator education is a rigorous pursuit and program requirements exceed the minimum requirements for licensure set by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Students must successfully complete all of the Boston College program requirements in order to earn endorsement and a recommendation for licensure with the state.

Out-of-State Licensure

Upon successful completion of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development's educator preparation program, students earn endorsement and recommendation for licensure in Massachusetts. If you are seeking licensure in another state, please see “Out-of-State Licensure” (below) for more information.

Massachusetts Licensure

To be eligible for Initial licensure in Massachusetts, students must:

  • complete a state-approved educator preparation program (coursework and field experiences),
  • earn the Boston College endorsement and recommendation for licensure, 
  • pass Communication and Literacy Skills Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and
  • pass the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leadership (MA-PAL).

Effective July 2014, all students enrolled in administrator licensure programs must earn the DESE endorsement for Sheltered English Immersion, (SEI).

What is the SEI Endorsement?

The SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Endorsement is not a license. It is an acknowledgement that the administrator who earns it has successfully demonstrated the knowledge and teaching skills to lead English language learners in SEI classrooms. Educators seeking their first administrator license in Massachusetts must earn the SEI Endorsement.

Upon successful completion of all courses and practicum requirements, graduate students earn SEI Administrator Endorsement.

MTEL

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 or administrator licenses in the state. 

As part of the current license requirements, candidates seeking a first Massachusetts Administrator license must achieve a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test.

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.

MA PAL

The Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders, or PAL, is to evaluate the readiness of school leadership candidates for initial licensure in the Commonwealth. This new system enables principal/assistant principal candidates to demonstrate their leadership knowledge and skills based on actual experiences within their schools as part of a preparation pathway and to meet licensure requirements. This assessment is comprised of four performance-based tasks that measure a candidate's practice as it aligns to the Professional Standards for Administrative Leadership. Unlike standard paper and pencil tests, PAL includes performance assessment tasks that more closely reflect the authentic work of school leaders.

The PAL is a licensure requirement for all principal/assistant principal candidates.

As a reminder, beginning July 1, 2016 candidates will need to meet an overall passing score of 2.75. (DESE, 2020)

If you are seeking licensure in another state, please consult that state's Educator Licensure Agency for licensure requirements.

You may contact the Office of Field Placement & Partnership Outreach, prac@bc.edu for more information about how to determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure or certification in the state in which you plan to practice.