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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 4.00:
Vocational Technical Education

Section:
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4.12: Professional Vocational Technical Educator License Renewal and Professional Development

(1) All Full Approvals issued under previous regulations shall be deemed comparable to professional licenses on September 1, 2003 and must be renewed five years from the licensee's next birthday.

(2) The Professional Vocational Technical Educator license is valid for five years and is renewable for additional five-year terms.

(3) The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(4) Application Process. All applicants for license renewal shall submit the following to the Department:
(a) completed application.

(b) required fee

(c) evidence of sound moral character.

(d) (for teachers) - evidence of the possession of Massachusetts and/or national professional government or industry issued licenses or certifications required by the government or industry to work in the technical program area and by the Department to teach in the vocational technical program area as set forth in "Guidelines for Vocational Technical Education Programs and Educator Licensure."

(e) statement, signed under penalties of perjury, that the candidate has successfully completed the requisite number of PDPs under a professional development plan.

(f) Applicants who are employed by Massachusetts public schools shall submit a supervisor's endorsement of the completed professional development plan, unless the educator receives an approval of a modification or waiver of this requirement by 603 CMR 4.12(7).

(5) Documentation and Record Keeping
(a) Each vocational technical educator shall maintain the following materials to verify completion of license renewal requirements:
  1. an individual professional development plan, to be achieved over the five year period, that includes the educator's goals for strengthening content area knowledge and professional skills resulting in improvements in teaching.
  2. reasonable documentation that validates the completion of each activity and the number of points accrued.
  3. record log of completed license renewal activities, that at a minimum includes the topic and type of professional activities completed, the dates of such activities and the number of points completed.

(b) Each vocational technical educator shall maintain the documentation, record log, professional development plan and application for five years from the date of license renewal. This documentation is subject to audit by the Department and review by the vocational technical educator's supervisor.

(6) Reconsideration
(a) An applicant for license renewal may request that the Commissioner reconsider the Department's decision not to renew such applicant's license. An applicant may also appeal a supervisor's decision not to approve or endorse a professional development plan to the Commissioner after seeking any review available at the local school district pursuant to 603 CMR 4.12(8)(e). The applicant shall submit a written request for reconsideration to the Commissioner within 30 days of the date that the applicant received notice that his or her application for license renewal has been denied or that the individual professional development plan was rejected at the highest available level of local review. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(7) Hardship Waiver or Modification
(a) Upon a showing of extreme hardship, the Commissioner may waive or modify the requirement of completion of the requisite number of PDPs as set forth in 603 CMR 4.12. A showing of extreme hardship may include serious illness or other catastrophic circumstances that are beyond the control of the educator. No modification or waiver will be granted without satisfactory evidence that the educator has made a good faith effort to obtain the required number of PDPs but that extreme hardship has prevented the educator from doing so.

(b) The Commissioner, in his or her discretion, may impose reasonable conditions upon any modification or waiver granted.

(c) The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(8) Professional Development Points (PDPs):

(a) For the renewal of a Professional Vocational Technical Teacher license, professional development points (150 points) must be earned in a minimum of four areas: subject matter knowledge and skills, pedagogy, academic and vocational technical curriculum integration and safety and health for the educator's primary license. The primary license is the license so designated by an educator who has more than one license. The primary license is usually the license under which the educator is employed. If the educator is employed in a position that requires more than one license, the educator may designate which of the licenses is the primary license. Professional development must include an additional 30 PDPs in the subject matter and skills of any additional educator license to be renewed.

(b) For the renewal of a Professional Vocational Technical Administrator or Professional Vocational Technical Cooperative Education Coordinator license, professional development points (150 points) must be earned for the primary license. Professional development must include an additional 30 PDPs in the area of any additional educator license to be renewed.

(c) Professional development points may be earned by vocational technical educators in the following ways:
  1. Registered providers may award PDPs to license holders who complete a professional development activity and demonstrate proficiency in the relevant area through an appropriate end-of-course assessment.

  2. PDPs may be awarded by, or under the auspices of, the Department, school districts, or educational collaboratives upon an educator's completion of a professional development activity.

  3. Educators may accrue up to 75 PDPs through an educator-designed professional development such as new employment activities (work experience) as outlined in the "Guidelines for Vocational Technical Programs and Educator Licensure." One clock hour of new employment experience will equal one PDP.

  4. Achieving an additional occupational technical license or certificate approved by the Commissioner in a licensed occupation will earn a vocational technical teacher a maximum of 50 PDPs in the technical subject matter and skills of the educator's license as outlined in the "Guidelines for Vocational Technical Education Programs and Educator Licensure."

  5. Achieving a passing score on a validated performance assessment approved by the Commissioner will earn a vocational technical teacher a maximum of 50 PDPs in the subject matter and skills of the license as set forth in "Guidelines for Vocational Technical Education Programs and Educator Licensure."


(d) The Department shall develop and maintain a registry of professional development providers to facilitate access to information about professional development programs.

(e) Approval of Professional Development Plans. Vocational Technical educators employed in a Massachusetts public school must obtain approval of their proposed professional development plans from their supervisors by the timelines set out in 603 CMR 4.12(8)(e).
  1. Approval for proposed individual professional development plans shall be from the vocational technical educator's direct supervisor or an appropriate designee. In most instances, this will mean that the plans of teachers and other educators who report to the principal will be approved by the principal, a principal's plan will be approved by the superintendent, and a superintendent's plan will be approved by the chairperson of the school committee.

  2. Approval of a plan shall be based on whether the PDPs in the plan are consistent with the educational needs of the school and/or district and whether the plan is designed to enhance the ability of the educator to improve student learning. A supervisor may consider whether the plan requires an educator to earn PDPs regularly throughout the five year period when evaluating a plan.

  3. Approval of individual professional development plans shall not be unreasonably withheld. In the event that a plan is rejected by a supervisor, teachers and other educators who report to the principal may seek review of the denial from the superintendent, principals may seek review from the school committee chairperson, and superintendents may seek review from the Department. An educator may then seek additional review from the Department, according to the provisions of 603 CMR 4.12(6).

  4. A supervisor shall review each individual professional development plan at least every two years. A supervisor shall review the professional development plan of any educator new to the district or school within three months of the educator's beginning employment in the new position. A supervisor may require an educator to amend the plan or may withdraw approval for a plan that had been previously approved, provided, however, that any PDPs that were earned consistently with an approved plan shall be deemed approved in applying for license renewal. Any PDPs that are earned prior to the approval of a plan may be subject to disapproval, if in the opinion of the educator's supervisor, the PDPs are not consistent with the educational improvement goals of the school and/or district.

  5. Vocational technical educators who are employed in a Massachusetts public school shall include in their license renewal application their supervisor's approval of their completed professional development plans. A supervisor's approval will indicate that the supervisor has reviewed the log of professional development activities maintained by the educator to ensure that the reported activities are consistent with the approved professional development plan. Vocational technical educators who are not employed in Massachusetts public schools at the time that they apply for license renewal shall submit their plans directly to the Department, without a supervisor's endorsement.


(9) Inactive and Invalid Licenses

(a) A license that is not renewed within the five-year validity period is deemed inactive for a period of five years. At the end of that time, the license is invalid, except as provided in 603 CMR 4.12 (9) (b) or (c).

(b) An educator who is not currently employed in a position requiring licensure and who is to be employed in a position for which he or she holds an inactive license, shall have two years from the start of such employment to complete the professional development requirements for the professional license.

(c) An educator who is currently employed in a position requiring licensure for which he or she holds an active license, and who is to be employed in a position for which he or she holds an inactive additional license, shall have two years from the start of such employment to complete the professional development requirements for the inactive license. The educator may renew such additional license upon the completion of 30 PDPs, provided that the educator has renewed his or her primary license.

(d) An educator may not be employed under an inactive license, except as provided in 603 CMR 4.12 (9) (b) or (c), until he or she renews the license, unless the school district receives a waiver from the Department pursuant to 603 CMR 4.03. An educator may not be employed under an invalid license, until he or she renews the license, unless the school district receives a waiver from Department pursuant to 603 CMR 4.03 (5) (c).

(e) If a license that has become inactive or invalid under 603 CMR 4.12 (9) (a), the educator may renew the license after completing the license renewal and professional development requirements contained in 603 CMR 4.12.

(10) Failure to Satisfy Renewal Requirements:

(a) If the Department determines that the educator has failed to demonstrate that the educator has met the requirements to renew the license, the educator's license will be deemed inactive.

(b) Before the Department deems the license inactive, it shall notify the educator in writing that the Department intends to deem the license inactive and of the educators right to request a hearing before the Commissioner in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A and 801 CMR 1.00: Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure. This notice shall operate as a notice of the action and does not operate as an order to show cause.

(c) The educator shall have 21 days from receipt of the notice to make a written request for a hearing. If the Commissioner does not receive a written request for a hearing in accordance with 603 CMR 4.12(1)(a) and (b), the educator's license shall be deemed to be inactive and the educator shall be so notified by return mail.

(d) Hearing.
  1. If the Commissioner receives a request for a hearing from the educator in accordance with 603 CMR 44.11(3), the Commissioner or his designee shall schedule a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 30A and 801 CMR 1.00. At such hearing, the educator shall bear the burden of proof. The hearing shall not be open to the public unless the educator requests a public hearing.

  2. The Commissioner or his designee shall issue a written decision determining whether or not the educator's license shall be deemed inactive. The decision shall comply with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 30A, §11 and 801 CMR 1.00.

  3. The Commissioner shall send a copy of the decision to the educator along with a notice informing the educator of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A, § 14.




Last Updated: March 11, 2015
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