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Former Commissioner David Driscoll Releases Deadline Memo for Master's Degree Programs

TO: Educators who hold Provisional or Provisional with Advanced Standing Certificates, or Preliminary or Initial Licenses

CC: Academic Deans, Contact Persons, Superintendents, Principals and Other Interested Parties

FROM: David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education

RE: Accommodation – Master’s Degree Programs for Obtaining Professional License – Important Deadline 10/1/03

View as a PDF File

The most recently amended Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval include five options for obtaining the Professional license. One option is an “approved master’s degree program.” It has come to my attention that a number of educators are currently enrolled in master's degree programs that do not satisfy the criteria for an approved master’s degree program as described in the new regulations. I have determined that educators who meet the criteria listed below may use their current master's degree program for Professional license if they apply by October 1, 2003 and complete their master's program and all other Professional licensure requirements by October 1, 2005.

  • These educators must meet all other requirements for the Professional license under the October 1, 2001 regulations. Those additional requirements are:
    • Possession of an Initial License (or Provisional with Advanced Standing Certificate) by October 1, 2003.
    • Completion of a one-year induction program with a mentor.
    • At least three full years of employment in the role of the license.
  • They must have completed or be currently enrolled in and have completed at least 15 of the graduate credits of a master's degree program by October 1, 2003.
  • These educators must sign an affidavit stating under pains and penalties of perjury that they have completed or are currently enrolled in and completed at least 15 graduate credits of a master’s degree program. The affidavit is available at www.doe.mass.edu/educators and must be submitted with their application for Professional license by October 1, 2003.

The above applies only to educators who are using the approved master’s degree program for the Professional license. It does not apply to educators who are utilizing other available options to advance to a Professional license. Only those educators who meet the criteria listed above and are using the approved master’s degree for the Professional license are required to apply by October 1, 2003.

Options for the Professional License (Teachers)
603 CMR 7.04 (c)


5. Completion of one of the following:
a. A Department-sponsored Performance Assessment Program.
b. An approved district-based program of at least 50 contact hours of content-based seminars beyond the induction year.
c. An approved master’s degree program for the Professional license, in the same field as an individual’s Initial license, in an education school (see regulations for additional requirements).
d. Programs leading to eligibility for master teacher status, such as those sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and others accepted by the Commissioner.
e. A master's degree program or other advanced graduate program in the discipline relevant to the license sought in a graduate or professional school other than education in an accredited college or university.
f. For those who have already completed a master’s degree program or other advanced graduate program, an approved non-degree, 18 credit program (where one credit is equivalent to 15 contact hours) in which at least half the credits are in the academic disciplines related to the license sought and in which any pedagogy courses are advanced beyond those for the Initial license (see regulations for additional requirements).

Accommodation for Masters Requirement for Professional License
This applies to educators who:

  • Hold a Provisional with Advanced Standing or Initial license issued before October 1, 2003, AND
    • Have completed a masters degree program in an education school, OR
    • Are enrolled in a masters degree program in an education school and have completed at least 15 graduate credits in the masters program by October 1, 2003.

In order to take advantage of this accommodation, educators must:

  • Apply for the Professional license by October 1, 2003, AND
  • Submit, with the application, an affidavit (available at www.doe.mass.edu) that they:
    • Have completed a masters degree in an education school, OR
    • Are enrolled in a masters degree program in an education school and have completed at least 15 graduate credits in the masters program before October 1, 2003, AND
  • Complete the masters degree AND the following requirements no later than 10/1/2005.
    • A one year induction program with a mentor.
    • Three full years of employment in the role of the license.
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