Jun 20, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education, M.Ed., (Pre-K-2) Initial Licensure

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   Graduate Program Chair

   Lyndsey Benharris, PhD

Graduate Curriculum Committee

Nermin Bayazit, PhD
Lyndsey Benharris, PhD
Anne Howard, PhD
Laurie Link, EdD
Margaret O’Hearn-Curran, PhD
Phillip Saisa, EdD

Robert Shapiro, PhD, BCBA-D
Annette Sullivan, EdD

Program Objectives

The Early Childhood Initial Licensure Program is designed for those individuals who have completed an appropriate baccalaureate degree without an initial license who wish to acquire the competencies and requirements for the initial license in early childhood education in Massachusetts.

Program Description

The Early Childhood Initial Licensure Program is aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Professional Standards for Teachers (PST).  Subject-matter knowledge standards (SMK) and pre-practicum guidelines. 

The Initial Licensure Program aims to enable candidates to:

  • Acquire the competencies and habits of mind of effective teaching
  • Reflect on historical, philosophical, and theoretical perspectives related to current educational issues and practice
  • Examine empirical research and engage in the scientific reasoning process
  • Acquire and apply advanced knowledge of child development theory and research in the design and implementation of education curricula, practices, and environments.
  • Acquire knowledge of how children develop as thinkers and learners
  • Acquire and apply advanced knowledge of emerging, research-based educational principles in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the educational environment and instructional program
  • Become more aware of societal demands on the curriculum as they relate to meeting the diverse needs of students
  • Investigate effective educational partnership models, which focus on family strengths, circumstances, and cultural experiences
  • Demonstrate effective strategies and techniques for working with diverse populations of students in integrated learning environments
  • Examine the shared values, ethics, purposes, and commitments, which bond the educational community
  • Acquire a professional orientation of collegiality and support, whereby contributions can be made to the improvement of education through the construction of knowledge and applications

Admissions Standards and Criteria

To apply, a candidate must submit documents as outlined in the Graduate Admission section as well as:
⦁    Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
⦁    Minimum of a 2.8 Grade Point Average
⦁    Personal Statement
Students must complete an essay of no more than one page in response to one of the following questions/statement’s:
1.    Tell about a positive situation in which you helped a person and made a significant difference in that person’s life.
2.    What are the most important factors in establishing a long-term working relationship with students, friends, etc.?
3.    Tell about a significant event that involved you in a teaching or helping role.

  • Describe the situation as it occurred at the time.
  • What did you do in that particular situation?
  • How did you feel about the situation at the time you were experiencing it?
  • How do you feel about the situation now?
  • What would you change, if anything?

Program Requirements

The M.Ed. program for initial licensure requires 39 semester hours, acquired in a suggested sequence. The course sequence has been designed to ensure a developmental approach to acquiring the necessary competencies of effective teachers. The program advisor will assist each candidate with the planned sequence and recommend courses for each semester.
Candidates in the M.Ed. program for the initial license of teachers of early childhood education must complete or demonstrate:

  • Passing scores on the Communications and Literacy Skills portion of MTEL (required for matriculation)
  • Passing scores on Foundations of Reading MTEL and the Early Childhood MTEL
  • 135 hours of field experience (These field experiences will be conducted in diverse settings)
  • 300 hours of practicum

Admission to the practicum is dependent upon a passing score on all of the required MTELs listed above. Passage of Gateway One and Gateway Two assessments, completion of all field experiences, with positive disposition assessments, and a Stage 2 review.

Total for Degree: 39 Credits

Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Course

Prior to completion of the program of study, initial licensure candidates are required to take the Fitchburg State University ESE-approved SEI course, if needed, in order to be endorsed for licensure.  Please note that SEI endorsement occurs following the completion of the program, not before. Please note that the DESE requires that the SEI course include at least 30 contact hours face-to-face to meet their requirements.

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