Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Requirements and Licensure

Specialist Teacher Requirements

Specialist teachers are licensed professionals in the Commonwealth. The Department issues the following specialist teacher licenses: Academically Advanced, Reading Specialist, and Speech Language and Hearing Disorders. In order to receive a formal evaluation to determine your specific requirements, you must apply for a license.

3 types of license:

  • Initial
  • Professional
  • Temporary

Initial: An Initial license is valid for 5 years of employment (with the option of extending it for 5 additional years) and requires possession of a bachelor's degree, passing the appropriate Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure ( MTELs), and the completion of a traditional post-baccalaureate (master's) approved program or , in some cases, an approved alternative program. Each specialist teacher license also has additional requirements specific to their field which may include possession of a prerequisite license.

Professional: The requirements for obtaining a Professional license can vary depending on the field of teacher specialist license that you hold, however, employment of at least 3 years under your Initial license and completed an induction program is a consistent requirement. You can apply for a Professional license to learn the specific requirements that you must complete. A Professional license is valid for 5 calendar years.

Temporary: If you are an experienced teacher from another state, you may be eligible for a Temporary license (valid for 1 calendar year). Teachers with at least three years of experience under a license equivalent to the Initial license may qualify for a Temporary license, which allows you to teach while completing any additional requirements for an Initial license.

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Last Updated: March 12, 2015

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