MA DESE Licensure

There are four types of educator licenses:

Temporary: You are a licensed teacher from another state and have taught under that license for at least three years. This license is good for one year and is not renewable. You must take the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) which consists of the Communication and Literacy and subject matter tests.

Preliminary: You have not completed a teacher training program at the undergraduate or graduate level, but passed the MTEL tests. This license is good for five years, and it not renewable. Within the five years, you must complete a teacher preparation program. Some licenses require a competency review such as special education, school guidance counselor, school psychologist and other specialist licenses.

Initial: You have completed teacher preparation program at the undergraduate or graduate level. This license is good for five years, and can be extended for an additional five years. In order to move to the professional license, you must teach under that license for at least three years, complete a mentor/induction program, 50 hours of mentoring beyond the mentor/induction program, and a Master's degree containing 12 credits in your license content area.

Educators who hold an initial license will notice an asterisk under the expiration column. The asterisk indicates your license is valid for five years of employment. The clock begins when you start working under your license. If you do not teach immediately, or take a leave from your position, you have five full years to work under that license.

Professional: This is the level of licensure that all educators aspire to and are required to reach. The professional license is good for five years. Every five years, you must renew your license and certify that you have completed 150 PDPs, 80% of which must be in your content/content pedagogy. If you stop teaching and do not renew your professional license, the status will shift to inactive after five years. You may teach under an inactive license for two years, at which time you must complete the 150 PDP requirement.

Every educator at the professional stage is required to maintain an Individual Professional Development Plan outlining your professional goals and how they connect to the school and district goals. The Plan allows you to record and track your PDP's.

To determine all requirements for any teaching license, visit the DESE Licensure Help Online. For all license level changes (from preliminary to initial and/or initial to professional) or for those seeking an administrator license an employment verification form must be completed.

DESE License Renewal Guidelines for Mass Educators

DESE Licensure Help

DESE Name Change Notification Form

MTEL Information

Administrator Routes to Initial Licensure

Initial License Extension

SEI & ELL Certification

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