Receiving a Massachusetts teacher license requires a prospective educator to complete an approved educator preparation program. These programs are designed to prepare students to operate in a classroom setting as well as pass the Massachusetts teacher certification exams required for licensure. Most of these programs are traditional bachelor’s degree programs, though some are designed for those who are transferring to education professions from other forms of work experience. Regardless of the manner in which an education professional reaches licensure, however, all of these programs end in a Massachusetts teaching license, provided the student can pass the exams and fingerprinting requirements.
Most public teaching schools in Massachusetts are part of the Massachusetts state university system, though the University of Massachusetts also has an education degree program. These programs tend to have strong accreditation and provide direct paths to educator licensure, whereas some at private institutions may not. Massachusetts teacher education programs at these schools often provide opportunities to teach in a classroom setting while still studying for one’s degree. A sampling of teaching schools in Massachusetts includes the following:
For students interested in both academic research on education and a teaching career, the University of Massachusetts provides strong academic resources. The College of Education has five interdisciplinary research centers and hundreds of graduate students, ensuring that those interested in expanding academic study of education are capable of accessing a wide variety of knowledge sources. The school also has both secondary and elementary education programs, ensuring that students can find an appropriate path regardless of which age group they are interested in teaching. For those interested in graduate degrees, the school is also one of the top 50 graduate education schools according to U.S. News & World Report.
With more than 150 years of history as an educator preparation school, Salem State University provides a solid path to Massachusetts teacher certification for prospective educators. The school has had specialized education accreditation since the creation of this form of accreditation in the 1950s, and retains this standard of excellence in education. Most programs at the school lead directly to initial licensure in Massachusetts, though some of these programs are designed to accelerate the path to professional licensure instead. The school has built up student teaching relationships with more than 50 school systems in the area.
Bridgewater State University provides solid resources for students interested in becoming teachers in a variety of fields, including special education, reading, and instructional technology. These programs lead to educator licensure and have student teaching opportunities built in. Those interested in school counseling positions, or having a counseling background to help with classroom communication, can also take advantage of the school’s counselor education department. The school is, however, selective, with only 65% of applicants accepted.
Like the other universities mentioned, Fitchburg State University provides high quality teacher education for students interested in becoming licensed Massachusetts teachers. Like Bridgewater State University, it is fairly selective, with only about 65% of students gaining acceptance. The school has programs in early childhood education as well as elementary, secondary, and special education, as well as graduate programs in the education department, making it a good choice regardless of the level at which a student intends to teach.