Massachusetts corps members receive a five-year non-renewable Preliminary license prior to their first day of teaching. In order to qualify for the Preliminary license, all corps members are required to:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree
- Pass the Communication and Literacy Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to their first day of teaching
- Pass a subject test MTEL prior to their first day of teaching—the subject test is determined by your content placement and our District & Schools Partnership Team will provide guidance for which test to register for and take
- Pass the Foundations of Reading MTEL if you are a corps member teaching Elementary or Special Education
- Earn their Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement through coursework during our Summer Institute prior to teaching
- Pay a $100 fee to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for your first license application ($25 fee for subsequent license applications, Preliminary or Initial)
During their two years in the corps, all corps members will participate in the Teach For America-Massachusetts alternative certification program to complete licensure coursework through our university partner, Boston University, and earn their Initial license.
Master's Degree Option
Teach For America-Massachusetts partners with Boston University to provide corps members and alumni the opportunity to obtain a Master of Education (EdM) in Curriculum & Teaching. The Master’s degree is open to both current corps members and alumni. Whether you are preparing to be a teacher or pursuing research positions, the program allows students to craft a course of study that allows them to pursue educational issues which interest them the most.
The program is a total of 36 credits of coursework and takes corps members a total of two years to complete.
What types of certification does Massachusetts offer?
- Temporary License
- Preliminary License
- Initial License
- Professional License
Teach For America-Massachusetts is approved to endorse corps members for Initial licenses only.
What is the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement?
English Language Learners (ELLs) are an important focus of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (ESE) Proficiency Gap Task Force. Closing the proficiency gap depends on teachers having the skills and knowledge necessary to instruct ELLs. Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) is an approach to teaching academic content in English to ELLs. Generally, but not always, ELLs are in the same classrooms as native English-speaking students. To better serve these students, all core academic teachers and those administrators who supervise and evaluate core academic teachers are required to obtain an SEI teacher or SEI administrator endorsement.
All Teach For America-Massachusetts must become SEI Endorsed prior to their first day of teaching.
Source: Mass.gov website
I have a bachelor's degree. Can I teach?
If you can be certified, you may be eligible to teach. A bachelor's degree alone does not make you eligible for employment. You must have at least a bachelor's degree and be eligible for certification in some subject coverage.
Will you accept my transcripts without a degree conferral date?
At least a bachelor's degree is required for certification. As a result, we will not accept a transcript without a degree conferral date.
If I attain certification by completing the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams, do I still have to complete any professional development?
Yes, you have to complete licensure coursework through Boston University, attend regional professional development conferences throughout the year, and participate in the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) during your second year.
What is the fee for certification?
A $100 fee is required for your first subject area application (Preliminary or Initial) and $25 for each additional application.
I obtained my teaching license at my college/university or another licensure program. Can I transfer my license?
You’ll need the following in order to be eligible for a license transfer application:
Can I enroll in a certification program through another university or online program?
No. Boston University is our sole state-approved partner for licensure in Massachusetts, and we require all our corps members to enroll at BU for their Initial Licensure. While we realize there are other universities that may offer online licensure coursework, we do not endorse them as a part of our corps program, and no other program can be considered valid as a part of our state-approved Initial Licensure program.
Where can I get information about the certification examinations?
You can visit the MTEL (Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure) website or may call (866) 565-4894 (toll free) or (413) 256-2892. The tests are designed to ensure that Massachusetts educators can communicate adequately with students, parents/guardians, and other educators and that they are knowledgeable in the subject matter of the license sought.
How much do examinations cost?
Total test fees will range between $200 and $400 depending on the number of tests required. The Communications and Literacy Skills test costs $125, while each subject matter test costs $155.
I have never taught before. I am interested in teaching. Do I have to take any examinations to become certified?
Yes. Teach For America-Massachusetts corps members need to take a minimum of two MTELs for certification—the Communication and Literacy MTEL and a subject matter knowledge MTEL.
What examinations are required for a Preliminary license?
All teachers must successfully pass the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL, which tests teachers’ own reading and writing skills. Elementary teachers must also pass the General Curriculum subject-matter MTEL, while secondary teachers must pass the subject-matter MTEL within their assigned content area. Special education teachers have the choice of passing either the General Curriculum subject-matter MTEL or a secondary content area subject-matter test. Additionally, elementary and special education teachers must pass the Foundations of Reading MTEL, which tests reading pedagogy.
How long do I have to complete the examinations?
You must pass your MTELs before you can being teaching. Those who do not pass may be unable to teach in Massachusetts and may need to request a deferral to join the corps.
Is there any help available to prepare for the examinations?
You can access test information, objectives and practice tests by visiting the MTEL (Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure) website. Upon confirmation of Teach For America-Massachusetts’ offer, corps members will be able to access our test preparation site with additional study resources and materials for each test.