Clark’s Master of Arts in Teaching program qualifies students for “Initial” teacher licensure in Massachusetts at the elementary (1-6) level and at the middle and high school levels in biology, chemistry, English, Spanish, general science, history, mathematics, physics, and visual art. Students must also pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure to qualify for this license. The Massachusetts Initial License is honored in most states as a result of an interstate agreement.
Typically, students interested in qualifying for the Initial Licensure are enrolled in or have already completed a liberal arts or sciences degree program.
Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
The state of Massachusetts requires that all students pass the relevant portions of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) in order to qualify for an initial teaching license. Passing the MTEL is an entrance requirement for the MAT program; i.e., students must pass all required parts of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to the beginning of the program in late May, with one exception*. Our MTEL scores are reported here on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
Any student who does not meet the MTEL requirement by the beginning of the program year in May can appeal in writing to the program director for an extension. An extension may be granted provided there is a strong indication that the student will pass the required parts of the test during the next testing cycle; normally that means by the end of the summer of the MAT program year. Passing the test will be a condition for continuing in the program.
*Exception: Elementary students who must take “EDUCATION 360 Literacy Development” during the fall of their MAT year have until the end of the spring semester of the MAT year to pass the “Foundations of Reading” portion of the test. The Foundations of Reading test should be taken while enrolled in the “Literacy Development” course in the fall (it can be re-taken if necessary in the spring). Students will receive their MAT degree in May only if they pass the Foundations of Reading test by the end of the spring semester. They will otherwise receive the degree when they pass the test and at the time that the University next awards degrees (October or May).
Stages of Teacher Licensure
There are currently three stages of teacher licensure (preliminary, initial, and professional) in Massachusetts and they apply to teachers at all levels.
Anyone with a Liberal Arts degree who passes the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) can apply directly to the State Department of Education for a Preliminary License. The state will evaluate your transcript and other materials and decide if you qualify. Preliminary Licensure makes you eligible for a public school teaching position; however, it is necessary to achieve both of the higher stages (Initial and Professional) in order to continue teaching. A Preliminary License is valid for five years.
Initial Licensure can be achieved by completing an education program that meets state standards and passing the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure as well. The Massachusetts Initial License is honored in most states as a result of an interstate agreement. The license is valid for five years.
At Clark, students interested in teaching at the elementary (1-6), middle (5-8) or secondary (8-12) level qualify for this license through the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, an intensive full year (summer + academic year) program. The MAT program is one of Clark’s accelerated B.A./M.A. degree programs.
B.A./M.A. Accelerated degree option
Clark undergraduate students may qualify for the MAT as part of Clark’s accelerated degree (B.A./M.A.) program. In addition to meeting the University requirements for the accelerated degree, undergraduates qualify for the MAT program by taking EDUC 152: Complexities of Urban Schooling before or during their senior year, and by taking two other courses pre-approved by the Education Department in their senior year. Students enter the fifth-year MAT program soon after graduation, taking summer courses, followed by academic year courses taken in conjunction with a yearlong teaching internship in one of the partner schools of the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice. They must also pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure. Students aiming to participate in the accelerated degree program should, before their junior year, meet with Andrea Allen, Program Administrator for the Education Department and Adam Institute, at 1-508-793-7685, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAT General Admission
We welcome applications from aspiring teachers who have completed a bachelor’s degree. Clark undergraduates who do not qualify for the accelerated degree program may apply for admission to the MAT program in their senior year. Interested students should contact Andrea Allen at 1-508-793-7685, or email@example.com.
To achieve the professional license, graduates need three successful years of employment in the role of their initial license, and must complete an approved program of courses appropriate for their teaching field.