Early Childhood (PreK-2)
Birth to 8 Concentration (Nonlicensure), Early Childhood Education, B.S.E.
Elementary Education (1-6)
Middle School Education (5-8)
Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8) & Elementary Teacher Licensure
Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (5-12)
Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities (All Levels)
Chemistry Secondary Education with Initial Teacher Licensure, B.S.
The professional education programs at Fitchburg State University are under the broad coordination of an Education Unit that includes the following licensures and degree areas:
• Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Preparation Programs
• Graduate School Guidance Counselor Program
• Graduate Educational Leadership and Management Programs.
Numerous partnerships with schools, educational organizations and the private sector are a hallmark of the university’s commitment to supporting the preparation of school professionals. For more detailed information about educational partnerships, contact the office of the Dean of Education at (978) 665-3717 or www.fitchburgstate.edu.edunit.
Stages of the Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Program
Students interested in graduating with an endorsement for Massachusetts educator’s license must complete a comprehensive program, working closely with their advisor to ensure all requirements for licensure have been met. There are three “stages” in the process toward licensure. At each stage, student progress is reviewed to determine their readiness and qualifications. Students must meet all requirements at each stage in order to move forward in their program.
Stage 1—Formal Admission to the Teacher Preparation Program
All students interested in becoming teachers must be formally admitted to the program of their choice, usually by the end of sophomore year. At Fitchburg State University, we prepare future teachers in the context of a liberal arts and sciences education. Students begin their career at Fitchburg State University indicating their interest in becoming a teacher and selecting majors that will provide the appropriate foundation for meeting the rigorous standards required for success. The first 45-60 credits of the undergraduate program are devoted to acquiring a broad understanding of subject matter across the liberal arts and sciences, and demonstrating a command of rigorous content in the language arts, mathematics, sciences, and social sciences.
Students interested in teaching in all fields and levels (Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, Secondary, and Special Education) are admitted to a teacher preparation program only after they have completed the following
• 45-60 credits of specified content and subject area courses
• A minimum overall GPA of 2.5
• Successful completion of the designated “core courses” for their program
• Successful completion of pre-practicum experience(s) designated for their program
• A passing score on the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy test
• Successful completion of at least two Candidate Dispositions Assessments (one from a faculty member and one from a supervising practitioner in a pre-practicum course)
• Completion of the university’s math and reading readiness requirements
• Recognition of a list of requirements to be completed prior to student teaching, including a criminal background check
• Recommendation for admittance to the teacher preparation program by the teacher candidate’s advisor with approval from the dean of education. (Students denied formal admission to a teacher preparation program can appeal to the appropriate department chair and the Dean of Education.)
Additional course work required for graduation from individual programs (Early Childhood, Elementary, Special Education and Middle Level 5-8) and certificates
Initial teacher licensure requires knowledge of the Federal Constitution and that of the Commonwealth. Candidates may fulfill it by successfully completing one of the following courses:
Stage 2—Admission to the Practicum
Students seeking to enroll in student teaching must successfully complete the following:
• A minimum overall GPA of 2.75 overall and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major
• Successful completion of at least two Candidate Dispositions Assessments (one from a faculty member and one from a supervising practitioner in pre-practicum course) in addition to those completed in Stage I
• A passing score on the appropriate content tests of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure
• Positive evaluations from all pre-practicum experiences and completion of the required field experiences with positive evaluations by course instructors and supervising practitioners
• Positive recommendation by the faculty of the department or program
Application to the Practicum
In October and February of each year, the Fitchburg State University placement coordinator conducts meetings to explain the practicum application process for teacher candidates who plan on student teaching the following
semester. Candidates are provided with a list of field placement schools which have mentors approved by the dean of education as supervising practitioners. Supervising practitioners must minimally hold an initial Massachusetts educator’s license in the area that the candidate is seeking, have the recommendations of their principal, have professional status or equivalent in the school/district, and a rating of proficient or higher on the Educator Evaluation System. Practicum/Student Teaching placements are assigned by the Placement Coordinator in collaboration with Academic Department Chairs, Coordinators, and partnerships schools. Placements are made with many considerations including, but not limited to, program requirements and preferences, location of pre-practica, grouping of students within placement sites, and availability of university faculty and Fitchburg State trained on-site supervisors. While student preferences are considered, other factors sometimes must take precedence. Supervising practitioners are selected in collaboration with the administration of the partnership schools. Candidate placements are submitted to the appropriate program for approval. Letters are then sent to the approved schools confirming the teacher candidate’s assignment. The teacher candidate then contacts the supervising practitioner for an interview. If the supervising practitioner approves the candidate’s placement, the candidate is notified by the Educator Licensure and Placement Office. If the supervising practitioner objects to the assignment, the placement coordinator assists the candidate in making a second selection. During the practicum experience the candidate is expected to follow the schedule of the school, not the Fitchburg State University schedule.
Stage 3—Recommendation for Licensure
Students who have successfully completed the following requirements will be recommended for licensure by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
• Successful final review of Candidate Dispositions Assessments (at least two that have been completed in the practicum, one by the university supervisor and one by a supervising practitioner)
• Successful completion of the practicum and recommendation for licensure by the university supervisor and the supervising practitioner
• Completion and review of licensure packet
• Final review of the evidence binder
• Completion of exit survey by candidate
• Endorsement for licensure by the Dean of Education
To apply for licensure, the candidate follows the procedure outlined on the Fitchburg State University Web site, www.fitchburgstate.edu/edunit which includes:
• Submission of a Preservice Performance Assessment form for each practicum experience and other required documents
• Print out of a completed online application form with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
• Request for an official transcript from the Registrar’s office, which will verify completion of The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education approved program