Alternative Teaching Certification in Massachusetts

Massachusetts' PRPIL program is an alternative path to Initial certification. This pathway is intended to make it easy for people to save time and money while they work towards Initial licensure. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Massachusetts' Alternative Teacher Certification Program

Massachusetts offers people who hold a Provisional license but haven't yet completed all the program requirements for an Initial teaching certificate an alternative path to Initial licensure. To qualify for an Initial license under this program, you must demonstrate you meet certain requirements defined by the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) and the Professional Standards for Teachers. Keep reading to learn more about this alternative pathway to certification.

Education Requirements Bachelor's degree (minimum)*
Exam Requirements MTEL; various other subject matter exams
License Validity Provisional License: 5 years- non-renewable
Initial License: 5 years - renewable one time
Annual Mean Salary (2018, Massachusetts) $39,180 (preschool); $75,510 (kindergarten); $82,600 (elementary); $79,030 (middle school); $80,020 (secondary)*
Job outlook (2016-2026, nationwide) 7% (kindergarten and elementary school); 8% (middle school); 8% (high school)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Overview of the PRPIL program

The Performance Review Program for Initial Licensure (PRPIL) program was created in 2003 to give educators in Massachusetts an alternative way to get a 5-year Initial teaching certificate. This particular program is intended for educators who already hold a Provisional certification but haven't completed their student teaching requirement. As an alternative to the traditional pathway, the PRPIL program allows educators who have completed 120 hours of pedagogy training the chance to demonstrate they possess adequate teaching skills; this is done through class observation and the completion of a portfolio. Throughout the program, the teacher works with an Instructional Consultant, along with a mentor, to complete all classroom observations and other requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the PRPIL program, you must meet certain requirements. The program is open to people who have a valid Provisional license in Massachusetts and have taught for at least 2 years under that license. They must also complete at least 120 hours of training (or equivalent coursework) in teaching pedagogy. Finally, they must currently teach in the same area as their Provisional license, have a mentor with a Massachusetts Initial or Professional certification, and have a recommendation for the program from their current school principal. Visit the Class Measures website for more information.

Components of the PRPIL Program

The PRPIL program requires candidates to successfully complete 4 classroom observations and a portfolio. These components are intended to prove that the candidate meets or exceeds Massachusetts teaching standards.

The classroom observations include both scheduled and unscheduled observations, and provide the candidate's mentor and Instructional Consultant the chance to observe the candidate demonstrating the skills required by CAP; after each observation session, both written and verbal feedback is provided.

The portfolio includes several documents, including a completed CAP form, various assessment, and observation forms, and paperwork verifying the teacher meets selected elements in each of the 4 standards (as covered by the Professional Standards for Teachers). Portfolios may be submitted electronically or in hard copy.

How to Apply for the PRPIL program

If you meet all the eligibility requirements outlined above, you can apply to the PRPIL program online or through a paper application. Regardless of the method you choose, you must include all personal information required in the application, along with your resume, a copy of your Provisional license, and a signed disclosure notice. You must also include a mentor agreement form (signed by your mentor), a copy of your mentor's Initial or Professional teaching certificate, verification of your employment, and proof that you've completed at least 120 pedagogy training hours. Full application instructions, as well as a link to the online application and all required forms, can be found on the Class Measures website.

Applying for the Initial License

Once you've completed the PRPIL program, you can apply for your Initial teaching license. To apply, visit Massachusetts' Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Educator Licensure And Renewal (ELAR) website. Once you've created an account, you will need to complete the license applications, pay the appropriate fee, and upload any supporting documents (such as official transcripts and MTEL test scores).

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