Educator Preparation and Licensure Policies and Procedures

Admission and Retention in Professional
Education Programs:

Application for Practicum - Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Licensure Application

Licensure Tests

Substitutions/Waivers for Licensure


All candidates seeking Massachusetts Educator Licensure are advised to check with their individual education departments or the College of Education and Health Sciences offices regarding regulation changes that may have an impact on their licensure program.

 

The College of Education and Health Sciences offers the following state-approved programs leading to Massachusetts licensure through the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and eligibility for licensure in participatory states and territories according to the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. Information on undergraduate and graduate programs leading to licensure is found in appropriate departmental sections.

Administrator of Special Education (all levels)
Early Childhood (PreK-2)
Elementary (1-6)
Reading Specialist (all levels)
School Business Administrator (all levels)
School Counselor (PreK-8 or 5-12)
School Principal/Assistant Principal (PreK-8 or 5-12)
School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor (all levels)
Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent (all levels)
Supervisor/Director (all levels)
Teacher of Biology (8-12)
Teacher of Chemistry (8-12)
Teacher of Dance (all levels)
Teacher of Earth and Space Science (8-12)
Teacher of English (5-12)
Teacher of English as a Second Language ESL (PreK-6 or 5-12)
Teacher of History (5-12)
Teacher of Mathematics (5-8 or 8-12)
Teacher of Music (all levels)
Teacher of Physical Education (PreK-8 or 5-12)
Teacher of Physics (8-12)
Teacher of Spanish (5-12)
Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12)
Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities (all levels)
Teacher of Theatre (all levels)
Teacher of Visual Art (PreK-8 or 5-12)

Admission and Retention in Professional Education Programs

Undergraduate Students

All undergraduate students preparing for a career in education which requires licensure must formally apply, satisfy all selection criteria, and be recommended for admission into professional education programs in the College of Education and Health Sciences. Students may not enroll in education courses beyond the introductory level until they have met all admission criteria and are officially admitted to the program.

Criteria for Admission

The following criteria have been established as minimum requirements for admission to a professional education program:

  • Candidates must be matriculated into an undergraduate arts or sciences degree program.
  • Candidates must provide proof of having attained a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL).
  • Candidates must have a minimum 2.8 overall cumulative grade point average. This minimum GPA must be maintained throughout the professional education program.
  • Candidates must successfully complete a field-based experience working with student in schools or other agencies as part of an introduction to education course.
  • Candidates must complete the CEHS Disposition Survey. Candidates must complete online mandated reporter training.
  • Candidates must complete the online Application for Admission to a Professional Education Program.

Note: Teacher licensure candidates will be asked to authorize a Criminal Offender Record Inquiry (CORI) as a requirement for access to public and private schools and agencies during their prepractica and practica field experience. Also, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires all candidates to sign an affidavit that states they "have not been convicted of nor are currently charged with any crime (misdemeanor or felony)" as part of their application for a Massachusetts educator's license. Additional criminal background checks, including Statewide Applicant Fingerprint Identification Services (SAFIS), are required for field placement in schools and agencies according to Massachusetts laws and regulations. Teacher candidates who are rejected for field placement by public school districts or other educational institutions due to CORI or SAFIS results or professional disposition concerns may be unable to successfully complete the teacher preparation curriculum at BSU.

Admission Deadlines

Students must apply and be admitted to a professional education program before they may enroll in upper-level (beyond the introductory level) professional education courses. Students are responsible for maintaining communication with their academic advisors and for submitting their application to a professional education program electronically. Applications are accepted at any time. To ensure adequate time for processing, however, the application should be made several weeks in advance of the anticipated date of registration for professional education courses.

Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Students

All graduate initial teacher licensure candidates must be admitted to a graduate degree or postbaccalaureate licensure program through Graduate Admissions.

Note: Teacher licensure candidates will be asked to authorize a Criminal Offender Record Inquiry (CORI) as a requirement for access to public and private schools and agencies during their prepractica and practica field experience. Also, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires all candidates to sign an affidavit that states they "have not been convicted of nor are currently charged with any crime (misdemeanor or felony)" as part of their application for a Massachusetts educator's license. Additional criminal background checks, including Statewide Applicant Fingerprint Identification Services (SAFIS), are required for field placement in schools and agencies according to Massachusetts laws and regulations. Teacher candidates who are rejected for field placement by public school districts or other educational institutions due to CORI or SAFIS results or professional disposition concerns may be unable to successfully complete the teacher preparation curriculum at BSU.

Retention and Exit Requirements

Students must remain in full compliance with all regulations, requirements, policies and procedures of the College of Education and Health Sciences, the College of Graduate Studies, the university and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Admission/Retention Appeal Process

A student who wishes to request reconsideration of a professional education program admission/retention decision may submit a written letter of appeal to the dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences.

Professional stage licensure, specialist programs, school counseling and school administration programs

All graduate students seeking licensure must formally apply, satisfy all selection criteria and be recommended for admission into professional education programs in the College of Education and Health Sciences and the College of Graduate Studies.

Application for Practicum – Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Admission Criteria

The following criteria must be met for admission to the practicum (student teaching):

  • Candidates must be matriculated into an undergraduate degree or graduate licensure program
  • Candidates must be admitted to a professional education program.
  • Candidates must have a minimum 2.8 overall cumulative grade point average.
  • Candidates must submit evidence of having passed all applicable Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL).
  • Candidates must have successfully completed all prerequisite courses and field experiences.
  • Candidates must obtain approval from their education department to participate in a practicum.

Admission Deadline

The deadline for completing and submitting the online practicum application is in the month of February for a fall practicum and in the month of September for a spring practicum.

All practica are completed within the university's service area at centers and sites established by the College of Education and Health Sciences. Students are supervised by appropriately qualified faculty.

Criminal Offender Record Inquires (CORI) are conducted by placement sites. An unsatisfactory CORI or SAFIS report is a reason for refusal of placement by the Bridgewater State University Office of Field Placement and cooperating school districts and agencies. Additional criminal background checks, including Statewide Applicant Fingerprint Identification Services (SAFIS), are required for field placement in schools and agencies according to Massachusetts laws and regulations. Teacher candidates who are rejected for field placement by public school districts or other educational institutions due to CORI or SAFIS results or professional disposition concerns may be unable to successfully complete the teacher preparation curriculum at BSU.

Complaints filed by schools or agencies relative to a student teacher will be reviewed by a committee from the College of Education and Health Sciences. In instances where the student teacher has not met the procedures, policies, standards and/or expectations of the university as set forth in this catalog, the Practicum Handbook and/or other university documents, the student may be removed from the field placement and the program.

The College of Education and Health Studies is under no obligation to make a second placement for a student who has been removed from their practicum placement for cause.

Licensure Application

Bridgewater State University participates in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's online Educator Licensure and Recruitment system (ELAR). Candidates can access ELAR via the following Web address: www.doe.mass.edu/licensure.

BSU program completers seeking licensure through the batch submission process must submit a BSU Endorsement of Educator Licensure and Transcript Release form to the Office of Professional Education.

All candidates seeking Massachusetts Educator Licensure are required at the time of application to sign an affidavit indicating that they have not been convicted of and are not under charges for any crime (misdemeanor or felony) and have not been identified by any child protection agency as a perpetrator of child abuse.

Licensure Tests

Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has contracted with the Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson to offer the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL) program. Students may contact Pearson to obtain information regarding upcoming test administrations and registration at www.MTEL.nesinc.com. Registering for and achieving passing scores on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL) are the students' responsibility and are required for educational licensure in the state of Massachusetts. In order to complete educator preparation programs in a timely manner, candidates should plan to pass all required MTELs® early in the program.

Students must provide evidence of having attained a passing score (as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) on the Communication and Literacy portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL), as part of the professional education admission criteria of the College of Education and Health Sciences.

Students must provide evidence of having attained a passing score (as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) on the appropriate subject tests of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL) prior to being placed for student teaching.

Elementary and Early Childhood Education students have additional MTEL® requirements for entry into the professional block of courses and should consult with the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education regarding additional tests and deadlines. 

Substitutions/Waivers for Licensure

Undergraduate and graduate students with prior courses and/or experiences that are equivalent to or exceed those required in a state approved licensure preparation program may request a substitution by way of their academic advisor through their department. Students should contact their advisor for a copy of this institutional process. Grades of "D" and "F" cannot be used. This procedure is for licensure programs only; consult the major department for the process to amend the degree audit.

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