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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 47.00
Licensure of Adult Basic Education Teachers and Preparation Program Approval

Section:
47.02:
47.03:
47.04:
47.05:
47.06:
47.07:
47.08:
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47.10:
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47.01: Purpose and Authority

(1) Purpose. 603 CMR 47.00 is intended to accomplish the following objectives:

(a) provide a voluntary license for teachers of adult basic education;

(b) establish a minimum educational standard for licensed adult basic education teachers;

(c) define a foundation of subject matter knowledge requirements and professional standards for licensed teachers of adult basic education;

(d) prepare licensed adult basic educators to help all learners achieve their goals;

(e) provide a flexible system of licensure to encourage participation by prospective and experienced adult basic education teachers;

(f) establish a system of licensure that recognizes the skills and abilities of experienced adult basic education teachers;

(g) provide multiple routes to licensure; and,

(h) provide multiple ways to demonstrate proficiency in the standards.

(2) Authority. 603 CMR 47.00 is promulgated by the Board of Education pursuant to M.G.L. c. 69 § 1H.

47.02: Definitions

As used in 603 CMR 47.00, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

Adult Basic Education (ABE): Includes the many forms of instruction provided to academically underprepared and limited English proficient adults, including adult literacy, secondary education, and English for speakers of other languages.

Adult Basic Education Field Supervisor: A teacher or other educator holding a Professional license in ABE, or who meets one of the sets of criteria as outlined in guidelines set forth by the Department, under whose immediate supervision the candidate for licensure practices during a practicum.

Adult Basic Education Panel Review: A process for reviewing and recommending for licensure teachers of adult basic education who have not participated in and graduated from an approved ABE teacher preparation program, as set forth in 603 CMR 47.04. The Panel consists of experienced ABE practitioners recommended by their peers, and others who are trained and convened by the Department to evaluate their performance.

Adult Basic Education Subject Matter Test: The test of adult basic education subject matter knowledge included in the MTEL.

Adult Basic Education Teacher: Any person employed in or volunteering in an ABE context (e.g., community adult learning centers, corrections, family literacy, homeless shelters, workplace education).

Aggregate Pass Rate: The number of educator preparation program completers who passed all the Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure they took in a category of tests divided by the number of completers who took one or more of the tests in that category, expressed as a percent.

Bachelor's Degree: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

Board: The Massachusetts Board of Education.

Commissioner: The Massachusetts Commissioner of Education or his or her designee.

Communication and Literacy Skills Test: The test of communication and literacy skills included in the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure.

Department: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Educator Preparation Program Supervisor: The supervisor from the ABE teacher preparation program, who meets one of the sets of criteria as outlined in guidelines set forth by the Department, under whose immediate supervision the candidate for licensure practices during the practicum. English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): English language acquisition in oral fluency, reading, writing, and numeracy for speakers of other languages.

Field-Based Experience: Experiences such as observations of a variety of ABE classrooms, pre-practicum or practicum, that are integral components of any approved program for the professional preparation of educators.

Individual Professional Development Plan: A five?year plan completed by licensed ABE teachers that outlines the professional development activities to be undertaken for the renewal of the teacher's license.

License: Any credential issued to an educator under 603 CMR 7.00 and 603 CMR 47.00.

Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL): Examinations required of applicants as designated by the route to the Adult Basic Education Teacher's License. The examination covers: communication and literacy skills, and subject matter knowledge.

Master's Degree: A master's degree from an accredited college or university.

Performance Assessment: Assessment of educator performance as a component of an approved preparation program for licensure, or as part of the Adult Basic Education Panel Review for Licensure.

Performance Criteria: The measures by which teachers may demonstrate proficiency in the Professional Standards set forth in 603 CMR 47.08. The performance criteria are outlined in guidelines provided by the Department.

Performance Portfolio: Assembled materials, exhibits, and documentation from a candidate's practice that evidences proficiency in the Professional Standards for ABE teachers.

Practicum: A supervised field?based experience in the role of an ABE teacher, as set forth in 603 CMR 47.05(3)(a)2.

Practicum Equivalent: A period of supervised teaching in an ABE program. The duration of any equivalent to a practicum should be no fewer hours than provided for the practicum in 603 CMR 47.05.

Pre?Practicum: Early field?based experiences in a variety of ABE settings, integrated into courses or seminars that address the Professional Standards for Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08. See 603 CMR 47.05(3)(a)1 for pre-practicum hours and requirements.

Professional License: A teacher's license issued to a person who has met the eligibility requirements for the license, passed a performance assessment, and met other requirements established by the Board set forth in 603 CMR 47.05. The Professional license is valid for five years and renewable for additional five-year terms as set forth in 603 CMR 47.10.

Professional Standards: The Professional Standards for ABE teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08.

Program Approval: State authorization of an educator preparation program or its sponsoring organization to endorse and recommend program completers for ABE teacher licensure. Also, the process through which a program or sponsoring organization may receive state approval.

Program Completer: An individual who has completed all the requirements of a state-approved preparation program (i.e., instruction/course work and practicum), regardless of whether that person has taken and passed state tests or assessments for licensure or has been recommended for licensure by the program or its sponsoring organization.

Provisional License: A teacher license issued to a person who holds a bachelor's or a master's degree and has passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and met other eligibility requirements established by the Board in 603 CMR 47.05(2)(a). The Provisional license is valid for five years from the date of issue.

Routes to Licensure: The four routes through which prospective and experienced ABE teachers may pursue an Adult Basic Education Teacher's License, as set forth in 603 CMR 47.06.

Single Assessment Pass Rate: The number of educator preparation program completers who passed a MTEL test divided by the number of all completers who took that test, expressed as a percent.

Sponsoring Organization: College, university, school district, professional association, or other organization that provides, or seeks to provide, an approved ABE teacher preparation program.

Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements: Topics that form the content of a discipline or field as set forth in 603 CMR 47.07. These topics do not necessarily coincide with academic courses or imply a specific number of credit hours.

Summary Pass Rate: The number of a sponsoring organization's teacher preparation program completers who passed all the MTEL tests they took divided by the number of the sponsoring organization's completers who took one or more tests, expressed as a percent.

Teacher Preparation Program: An ABE teacher preparation program approved by the Commissioner to prepare individuals for the Adult Basic Education Teacher's License.

47.03: Adult Basic Education Teacher Preparation Program Approval

(1) Program Approval

(a) Candidates may qualify for licensure through successful completion of an approved preparation program leading to the Adult Basic Education Teacher's License, provided that they meet all other requirements.

(b) Sponsoring organizations with an approved ABE teacher preparation program have the authority to review prior course work and work experience of their candidates and waive otherwise required coursework when designing programs of study for them. Granting such waivers is the official responsibility of the sponsoring organization. Records of candidates for whom coursework has been waived must be available during onsite review.

(c) A sponsoring organization that has received approval of its ABE teacher preparation program is authorized to do the following:
  1. Endorse a candidate who has completed an approved program.
  2. Recommend a candidate for licensure, provided that such candidate has both completed an approved program and passed all MTEL tests required for the Massachusetts license.


(d) A sponsoring organization seeking approval of its ABE teacher preparation program shall invite the Department to review it. The sponsoring organization shall provide written evidence that it satisfies the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) and (3) for the program for which approval is sought. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall review the written information for the proposed program and verify it through an onsite review at the sponsoring organization. The Department shall use the same standards in reviewing all programs and sponsoring organizations for approval.

(e) Program approval will be for a period of five years, unless the program ceases to meet the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) and (3).

(2) Required Program Components
Approved programs leading to the Professional license for ABE teachers shall provide the following components:

(a) Preparation that satisfies the requirements for a bachelor's or master's degree program.

(b) Preparation that addresses the following:
  1. Subject matter knowledge requirements for the license, including six hours of coursework covering each of the following subject areas: English or literature (beyond freshman English), history, social science, science, and mathematics (college algebra or above); and three credit hours in mathematics methods, instructional technology, and language structure and acquisition.
  2. Knowledge of student learning standards in the Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Curriculum Frameworks.
  3. Professional Standards for Adult Basic Education Teachers (603 CMR 47.08) using guidelines developed by the Department, including the use of the Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Curriculum Frameworks in instruction.
  4. Application of knowledge in practice.


(c) Pre?practicum, including a field-survey component.

(d) Practicum or practicum equivalent.

(e) Assessment of candidate performance during the practicum, using guidelines developed by the Department.

(f) Appropriate services for advising candidates.

(g) Official transcripts of all candidates enrolled in each program.

(h) An annual report to the Department that includes the following information:
  1. Substantial changes in program components previously approved.
  2. Responses to any recommendations for improvement and citations of weakness stated in previous program approval reports.
  3. Standards for admission, student teaching, and exit from each program.
  4. Number of candidates admitted to each program.
  5. Number of candidates admitted to the practicum for each program.
  6. Number and total list of program completers for each program.
  7. Number and total list of program completers taking Massachusetts educator licensure tests and explanation for any difference between 603 CMR 47.03(2)(h)6 and 7.
  8. Number and total list of program completers who sought and obtained a teaching position in Massachusetts within the first year after program completion.
  9. Single assessment and aggregate pass rates of program completers of all programs leading to Professional educator licensure on licensing tests or assessments required by the Board.
  10. The sponsoring organization's summary pass rate for program completers of all programs leading to Professional licensure as a teacher on licensing tests or assessments required by the Board.


(3) Required Minimum Pass Rate
(a) All sponsoring organizations with an approved program shall demonstrate an 80% pass rate of program completers who take state licensing tests and assessments required for Professional licensure in the field of preparation.
  1. For sponsoring organizations, this shall be the summary pass rate.
  2. For the approved program, this shall be the single assessment pass rate for the subject matter test or the aggregate pass rate for the Communication and Literacy Skills Test.


(b) The sponsoring organization and its approved program shall report pass rates only when there are ten or more in a cohort of completers who take a test.

(c) The sponsoring organization shall publish, in official organizational publications, the initial and cumulative pass rates for each cohort of program completers who take required state licensure tests:
  1. Communication and Literacy Skills Test (aggregate pass rate).
  2. ABE Subject Matter Knowledge Test (single assessment pass rate).


(d) Organizations with fewer than ten program completers in any cohort shall aggregate the pass/fail status of test?takers over multiple years until the number of completers who take tests reaches ten. At that point, an organization shall be subject to the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(5), except that approval shall not be revoked until the organization has a second total of at least ten new program completers who take required state licensure tests.

(e) Programs with fewer than ten program completers in any cohort are not obligated to report pass rates for such programs. Those with at least ten program completers in any cohort shall be subject to the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(4).

(4) Revoking Approval of Individual Preparation Programs

(a) Any program that fails to demonstrate that it satisfies all of the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) and (3) shall be subject to review and possible revocation of approval.

(b) The Department may initiate a review of such a program and request an improvement plan. The Department shall offer technical assistance where appropriate.

(c) The sponsoring organization shall submit an improvement plan to the Department for programs that are under review. The Department will monitor progress in meeting the goals of the improvement plan. If, after two years under review, a program has not made satisfactory progress, its approval may be revoked. The Commissioner may extend the review for a third year if additional data must be collected, e.g., for small programs.

(d) The Commissioner will make the final determination regarding revocation of state approval of an individual program.

(5) Revoking Approval of Sponsoring Organizations

(a) Any sponsoring organization that fails to meet an 80% pass rate on all required state licensure tests taken by its program completers in any year (summary pass rate), or to demonstrate that it satisfies any other Program Components set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2), shall be subject to revocation of approval of all its programs and shall be referred to the Commissioner for review.

(b) The Commissioner shall initiate a review of all the programs offered by a sponsoring organization that has been referred for review and issue a report. Such report shall identify potential areas for improvement of those programs and offer technical assistance where appropriate.

(c) A sponsoring organization that has been referred for review shall have 60 days to submit an improvement plan to the Department. The Department will monitor progress in meeting the goals of the improvement plan for two years. At the end of two years the Commissioner shall make a determination as to whether the organization has made satisfactory progress.
  1. Sponsoring organizations whose programs have achieved an 80% pass rate on all required state licensure tests taken by program completers (summary pass rate) and satisfy all other Program Components set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) shall be taken off review.
  2. Sponsoring organizations whose programs have not achieved an 80% pass rate on all required state licensure tests taken by program completers (summary pass rate) but have made satisfactory progress shall be monitored for one more year.
  3. Sponsoring organizations whose programs have not achieved an 80% pass rate on all required state licensure tests taken by program completers (summary pass rate) and who have not made satisfactory progress shall be designated as "at risk of becoming low performing" in the state's annual report to the U.S. Department of Education.


(d) If, after three years under review, a sponsoring organization fails to achieve an 80% pass rate on all required state licensure tests taken by program completers (summary pass rate), the Commissioner shall designate the organization as "low performing" and recommend that the Board of Education revoke approval of all of the sponsoring organization's educator preparation programs. The Board will make the final determination.

(6) Restoring Approval of Individual Programs and Sponsoring Organizations

(a) A sponsoring organization must wait two years after revocation before it can apply to the Department to restore approval. The sponsoring organization shall submit written documentation of how it will address the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) and (3).

(b) The Department will review the written documentation to determine whether the organization and its program satisfies all of the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) and (3). Programs that demonstrate that they satisfy the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) will be allowed to recruit students.

(c) Upon demonstration of an 80% pass rate on all required state licensure tests taken by the first cohort of program completers (summary pass rate), the Commissioner will restore approval to the program or sponsoring organization, provided that it continues to satisfy the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.03(2) and (3).

47.04: Adult Basic Education Panel Review for Licensure

(1) Eligibility for Panel Review
Candidates may be eligible for review if they have met the following requirements:

(a) Filed completed application for the ABE Teacher's License and paid the requisite fee;

(b) Achieved a passing score on the requisite MTEL test(s), as set forth within the routes to licensure in 603 CMR 47.06;

(c) Acquired evidence of meeting the subject matter knowledge requirements, as set forth in 603 CMR 47.07;

(d) Acquired evidence of meeting the Professional Standards for the license, as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08; and

(e) Submitted proof of a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, or that such educational requirement has been waived by the Commissioner, pursuant to 603 CMR 47.11(4).

(2) Composition and Training of the Review Panel
The Review Panel shall meet the following standards:

(a) Panelists must meet the eligibility requirements as set forth in guidelines established by the Department.

(b) Panelists who personally know a candidate shall excuse themselves from that review. In instances where there may be a conflict of interest in reviewing a candidate, for whatever reason, panelists shall excuse themselves.

(c) Panelists will receive orientation and training as approved and provided by the Department, including "norming" session(s) for review of proficiency of standards.

(3) Components of the Review
The candidates must complete the following as part of the Review:

(a) Documentation of having met the subject matter requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.07, if required by the route to licensure as set forth in 603 CMR 47.06;

(b) Documentation of having met the Professional Standards as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08;

(c) Submission of letter(s) of reference from employer(s)/supervisor(s) attesting to the applicant's relevant professional experience; and

(d) Interview with the Panel following guidelines developed by the Department, if needed.

(4) Panel Recommendations
After completion of the review, the Panel will make one of the following recommendations:

(a) The candidate be licensed.

(b) The candidate be licensed only after meeting certain condition(s), in which case the Panel will make specific recommendations for meeting the final requirements.

(c) The candidate not be licensed at this time.

47.05: Types of Licenses, Requirements for Licensure, and Requirements for Field-Based Experience

(1) Types of Licenses

(a) Provisional, valid for five calendar years, and is generally not renewable; however, this license may be renewed after the initial five year period at the discretion of the Commissioner for an additional five calendar years, but only if the candidate has worked under the license for less than three calendar years, or the equivalent.

(b) Professional, valid for five years, and renewable for additional five-year terms as set forth in 603 CMR 47.10.

(2) Requirements for Licensure
Applicants may choose to apply initially for a Provisional Adult Basic Education Teacher's License or directly for a Professional Adult Basic Education Teacher's License.
(a) Provisional:
  1. Possession of a bachelor's or a master's degree, in any discipline, from an accredited college or university;
  2. Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test; and
  3. Evidence of sound moral character.


(b) Professional:
  1. Possession of a bachelor's or a master's degree, in any discipline, from an accredited college or university;
  2. Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test, if required by the route to licensure, as set forth in 603 CMR 47.06;
  3. Passing score on the ABE subject matter test, as required by the route to licensure as set forth in 603 CMR 47.06, based on the ABE subject matter knowledge requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.07;
  4. Successful completion of a supervised 75-hour pre-practicum, and/or the field survey portion of the pre-practicum, and a 150-hour practicum, as required by the route to licensure;
  5. One of the following:
    1. Completion of an approved ABE teacher preparation program, as approved by the Department; or
    2. Recommendation for licensure by the ABE Review Panel, using guidelines provided by the Department;
  6. Proficiency in the Professional Standards for ABE Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08, determined through a performance assessment that includes a demonstration of teaching; and
  7. Evidence of sound moral character.


(3) Requirements for Field-Based Experience
Field-based experiences (pre-practicum and practicum, whether pre-service, in-service, or practicum equivalent) are an integral component of any approved program for the professional preparation of teachers. They must be integrated into the courses or seminars that address the Professional Standards for Adult Basic Education Teachers. A practicum must be supervised jointly by the Educator Preparation Program Supervisor in the preparatory program in which the candidate is enrolled and the ABE Field Supervisor in the ABE program in which the field-based experience is being conducted. Or, for candidates who are not affiliated with a preparatory program, the candidate must be supervised jointly by an ABE Field Supervisor, as approved by the Department, and the Director of the ABE program. The ABE Field Supervisor, together with the Educator Preparation Program Supervisor or the ABE Program Director, will evaluate the candidate on the basis of the applicable professional standards (603 CMR 47.06 and 603 CMR 47.08) based on the Department's guidelines. Disagreement between the ABE Field Supervisor and the Educator Preparation Program Supervisor or ABE Program Director will be resolved by the decision of a third person chosen jointly by them. The Supervisors must provide evidence of qualifications (603 CMR 47.11(3)) consistent with guidelines provided by the Department.
(a) Types of Field-Based Preparation:
  1. Pre-Practicum. A 75-hour field-based experience for prospective or novice ABE teachers. The pre-practicum shall include fulfilling field survey requirements, consistent with guidelines provided by the Department.
    Field survey. In order to become familiar with the diversity of ABE populations and contexts in which ABE is conducted, novice ABE teachers, or preK-12 teachers entering the field of ABE, shall conduct a minimum of 15 hours of observation in a variety of ABE settings, observe several levels of ABE classes, and include reflection on practice. Such observations include:
    1. Adult basic education settings. A minimum of three hours of observation in three or more of the following ABE settings, no observation shall be less than one hour:
      1. Community-based organizations (e.g., homeless, family literacy, workplace education, volunteer services, citizenship);
      2. Community colleges (e.g., an ABE or ESOL program within a community college);
      3. Local Education Agency Programs (e.g., school district?based ABE program); or
      4. A correctional facility (e.g., county house of correction, state correctional institution).
    2. Adult basic education classes. Observations of basic literacy, ESOL, pre-GED, and GED classes must be conducted in any of the above settings. An observation of at least one mathematics class shall be conducted in either a basic literacy, pre-GED, or GED classroom.
  2. Practicum. A 150-hour field-based experience in ABE. The practicum may be conducted either pre-service or in-service, or a practicum equivalent may be substituted. The practicum, with the guidance of a supervisor, will consist of candidates' practice in the following areas: understanding the adult learner, diversity and equity, instructional design and teaching approaches, learner assessment and evaluation, facilitating the adult learning environment, and professionalism/continuing education. The practicum may consist of any activity that would normally be undertaken by an ABE teacher in the course of her or his duties (e.g., teaching, classroom preparation, staff meetings); however, no less than 100 hours of the practicum must be direct instruction. The practicum shall include reflection on practice and a demonstration of teaching.


(b) Field-Based Preparation According to Route to Licensure:
Pre-practicum and practicum requirements are as follows, based on the route to ABE teacher licensure:
  1. Route One:
    75-hour pre-practicum (to include a minimum of 15 hours of field survey), 150-hour practicum, and a demonstration of teaching to occur within the practicum or as part of the ABE Panel Review for Licensure.
  2. Route Two:
    Field survey portion of the pre-practicum, 150-hour practicum, and a demonstration of teaching to occur within the practicum or as part of the ABE Panel Review for Licensure.
  3. Route Three:
    Field survey portion of the pre-practicum, a demonstration of teaching to occur within a practicum or as part of the ABE Panel Review for Licensure.
  4. Route Four:
    No pre-practicum or practicum is required; a demonstration of teaching to occur as part of the ABE Panel Review for Licensure.


47.06: Routes to Professional Licensure of Adult Basic Education Teachers

Based on the route to licensure, applicants will need to complete the following:
(1) Route One is for candidates who have less than five years, or the equivalent (2,400 instructional hours), of documented ABE teaching experience and who do not hold a teacher license issued under 603 CMR 7.04(3)(a) or (b). Candidates seeking licensure under Route One shall meet the following requirements:

(a) A bachelor's or a master's degree, in any major, from an accredited college or university.

(b) Successful completion of an approved ABE teacher preparation program, or successful completion of an ABE Panel Review for Licensure.

(c) Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test as set forth in 603 CMR 47.05.

(d) Passing score on the ABE subject matter test for candidates who submit an application on or after the date of the first scheduled ABE subject matter test, based on the ABE subject matter knowledge requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.07.

(e) Supervised 75-hour pre-practicum, which includes a field survey, and 150-hour practicum, or their equivalent, by an approved ABE teacher preparation program provider, or an ABE field supervisor, as approved by the Department.

(f) Proficiency in the Professional Standards for ABE Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08 through a performance assessment that includes a demonstration of teaching.

(g) Evidence of sound moral character.

(2) Route Two is for prospective ABE teachers, or novice ABE teachers, who hold a teacher license (any field, at either the Initial or Professional levels) issued under 603 CMR 7.04(3)(a) or (b), but who have less than one year, or the equivalent, of documented ABE teaching experience. Candidates seeking licensure under Route Two shall meet the following requirements:

(a) A bachelor's or a master's degree, in any major, from an accredited college or university.

(b) Successful completion of an approved ABE teacher preparation program, or successful completion of an ABE Panel Review for Licensure.

(c) Passing score on the ABE subject matter test for candidates who submit an application on or after the date of the first scheduled ABE subject matter test, based on the ABE subject matter knowledge requirements set forth in 603 CMR 47.07.

(d) Supervised field survey portion of the pre-practicum, and 150-hour practicum, or their equivalent, by an approved ABE teacher preparation program provider, or an ABE field supervisor, as approved by the Department.

(e) Proficiency in the Professional Standards for ABE Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08 through a performance assessment that includes a demonstration of teaching.

(f) Passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test for candidates who submit an application on or after October 1, 2006.

(g) Evidence of sound moral character.

(3) Route Three is for candidates with one year, or the equivalent (no fewer than 480 instructional hours), of documented ABE teaching experience and who hold a teacher license (any field, at either the Initial or Professional levels) issued under 603 CMR 7.04(3)(a) and (b). Candidates seeking licensure under Route Three shall meet the following requirements:

(a) A bachelor's or a master's degree, in any major, from an accredited college or university.

(b) Successful completion of an approved ABE teacher preparation program, or successful completion of an ABE Panel Review for Licensure.

(c) Supervised field survey portion of the pre-practicum by an approved ABE teacher preparation program provider, or an ABE field supervisor, as approved by the Department.

(d) Proficiency in the following Professional Standards for ABE Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08(2)(a)1 through 3; (c)1, 3 and 4 through 7; (d) 1 through 5; (e) 1 through 6; and (f)2; through a performance assessment that includes a demonstration of teaching. Candidates using this route to licensure are deemed to have met the remaining Professional Standards for ABE Teachers.

(e) On or after October 1, 2006, a passing score on the MTEL tests will be required for all candidates applying for licensure.

(f) Evidence of sound moral character.

(4) Route Four is for candidates with five or more years (no fewer than 2,400 instructional hours) of documented ABE teaching experience. Candidates seeking licensure under Route Four shall meet each of the following requirements:

(a) A bachelor's or a master's degree, in any major, from an accredited college or university.

(b) Successful completion of an approved ABE teacher preparation program, or successful completion of an ABE Panel Review for Licensure.

(c) Proficiency in the following Professional Standards for ABE Teachers as set forth in 603 CMR 47.08(2)(a)1 and 2; (c)5 through 7; and (d) 1, 2 and 4; through a performance assessment that includes a demonstration of teaching. Candidates using this route to licensure are deemed to have met the remaining Professional Standards for ABE Teachers.

(d) On or after October 1, 2006, a passing score on the MTEL tests will be required for all candidates applying for licensure.

(e) Evidence of sound moral character.

47.07: Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements for Adult Basic Education Teachers

(1) English/Reading and Writing
(a) Literature:
  1. Literature appropriate for a range of adult reading levels.
  2. Genres, literary elements, and literary techniques.
  3. Nature, history, and structure of the English language: lexicon and grammar.


(b) Reading and Writing:
  1. Knowledge of theories, practices, and programs for developing reading skills and reading comprehension for adult learners.
  2. Phonemic awareness and phonics: principles, knowledge, and instructional practices.
  3. Vocabulary development.
  4. Theories on the relationships between beginning writing and reading.
  5. Writing process and formal elements of writing.


(2) English as a Second Language

(a) Theories of language acquisition and development, including first and second language acquisition and development.

(b) Linguistics, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of English, other languages, and language variations.

(c) Language assessment procedures and instruments: selection, administration, and interpretation.

(3) Mathematics

(a) Basic principles and concepts related to mathematics, including algebra.

(b) Number sense and numeration.

(c) Patterns and functions.

(d) Geometry and measurement.

(e) Data analysis.

(4) History and Social Science

(a) Major developments and figures in Massachusetts, United States, and world history.

(b) Principles, ideals, institutions, and processes of American government and the Founding Documents of the United States.

(c) Basic geographical principles and concepts:
  1. Major physical features of the world.
  2. Key concepts of geography and its effects on various peoples.


(5) Science

(a) Basic principles and concepts of physical and life sciences appropriate to the adult secondary curriculum.

(b) Principles and procedures of scientific inquiry.

47.08: Professional Standards for Adult Basic Education Teachers

(1) Application. The Professional Standards for Teachers define the pedagogical and other professional knowledge and skills required of ABE teachers. These Standards are used by ABE teacher preparation providers in preparing their candidates, by the Department in reviewing programs seeking state approval, and by the Department as the basis for evaluating applicants' proficiency. Candidates shall demonstrate that they meet the Standards required by the appropriate route to licensure (603 CMR 47.06) and in so doing shall participate in a performance assessment that includes a demonstration of teaching, either in a field-based experience (603 CMR 47.05) or for the ABE Panel Review for Licensure (603 CMR 47.04).

(2) Professional Standards.
(a) Understanding the Adult Learner
  1. Incorporates theories of and research in adult development in designing effective instruction appropriate to the learning environment (e.g., in the classroom, workplace, homeless shelter).
  2. Incorporates theories of and research in adult learning and in learning disabilities in designing effective instruction appropriate to the learning environment.
  3. Uses knowledge of the factors that influence adult learners' participation and persistence in adult basic education programs to increase learner success.


(b) Diversity and Equity
  1. Interacts equitably and responsibly with all learners.
  2. Provides learners with strategies and tools to collaborate with other learners, co-workers, and community members.
  3. Draws on the range of interests, needs, and approaches of learners in planning instruction.
  4. Promotes learner understanding of American civic culture, its underlying ideals, political principles, institutions, procedures, and processes in the design of curriculum.
  5. Uses, in appropriate contexts, instructional materials conveying a range of contributions of various immigrant and native groups have made to American society.


(c) Instructional Design and Teaching Approaches
  1. Draws on the history, structure, purpose, and critical issues of adult basic education in planning instruction.
  2. Uses needs analyses in the design of instruction.
  3. Designs curriculum relevant to the experiences, interests, and goals of learners, the particular instructional setting, and the Department's adult basic education curriculum frameworks.
  4. Integrates appropriate use of technologies into the adult education teaching and learning process.
  5. Sets forth the learning objectives, instructional methods, and their rationale in the design of instruction and makes them available to colleagues and learners.
  6. Uses a variety of instructional methods, techniques, and tools that facilitate adult learning.
  7. Uses strategies that are effective for learners to develop and use critical thinking and to solve complex problems.


(d) Learner Assessment and Evaluation
  1. Creates and uses formal and informal assessments for the purpose of placing learners at the appropriate instructional level.
  2. Creates and uses formative and summative assessments to evaluate learner progress.
  3. Confers with colleagues, supervisors, and community resources when special assessments are required.
  4. Evaluates the effectiveness of instruction and modifies it based upon results and student feedback.
  5. Uses data collection systems for program improvement.


(e) Facilitating the Adult Learning Environment
  1. Communicates effectively and appropriately with learners.
  2. Creates an environment conducive to adult learning.
  3. Promotes learner involvement in community and societal issues.
  4. Refers adult learners with challenging life issues to the appropriate resources.
  5. Uses resources available to learners to develop employment readiness skills.
  6. Collaborates effectively with learners, colleagues, and relevant members of various educational settings (e.g., family literacy, corrections, or workplace education) and the community at large.
  7. Incorporates the principles of lifelong learning (e.g., modeling self-application methods) to prepare learners for continued education and training outside the classroom.


(f) Professionalism/Continuing Education
  1. Reflects critically on the experiences of self and others, such as learners, colleagues, and supervisors.
  2. Develops goals for an individual professional development plan.


47.09: Standards for Orientation of Adult Basic Education Teachers

(1) In order for ABE teachers newly licensed under Route One or Route Two to be eligible for license renewal in five years as set forth in 603 CMR 47.10, they must complete an ABE orientation that meets the requirements of 603 CMR 47.09(2). In order to meet this requirement, such teachers must be employed by, or be a volunteer in, an ABE program that provides financial and logistical support for their participation in an orientation that meets the standards specified in 603 CMR 47.09(2).

(2) All orientation programs shall meet the following minimum standards:

(a) A 15-hour orientation program, approved by the Department, as outlined in guidelines provided by the Department, for beginning ABE teachers and all other incoming teachers to introduce novice ABE teachers to the field of adult basic education and provide an overview of state and federal ABE regulations and initiatives.

(b) Not less than a three hour orientation, provided by the employing ABE program, that provides an overview of the organization's policies and practices as outlined in guidelines provided by the Department.

47.10: Licensure Renewal and Professional Development for Adult Basic Education Teachers

Each Professional License will be valid for five years and may be renewed every five years thereafter upon the successful completion of an individual professional development plan that meets the subject matter knowledge and teaching skill requirements established by the Board. All licensed ABE teachers in Massachusetts shall have a professional development plan on file with their ABE program, ABE agency director, or district.

47.11: General Provisions

(1) Performance Assessment.
All candidates shall participate in a performance assessment, which includes a demonstration of teaching. The assessment may be conducted either in a field-based experience (603 CMR 47.05) or for the ABE Panel Review for Licensure (603 CMR 47.04). Performance assessment must be designed to ensure that practicing teachers apply learning to practice and meet the applicable professional standards in 603 CMR 47.06 and 47.08. The Department will provide guidelines for performance assessment.
(a) Methods of Demonstrating Teaching
  1. Candidates will choose one of three methods to demonstrate their teaching:
    1. A classroom observation performed by an Educator Preparation Program Supervisor, an ABE Field Supervisor, or someone authorized by the Department as set forth in the guidelines;
    2. A videotape of one or two classroom sessions of no less than 20-minutes in length, to be submitted to an Educator Preparation Program Supervisor, to the ABE Panel Review for Licensure, or someone authorized by the Department as set forth in the guidelines; or,
    3. A demonstration lesson conducted for the ABE Panel Review for Licensure.
  2. Candidates will complete appropriate student releases as set forth in guidelines provided by the Department.


(b) Documentation to Accompany Demonstration of Teaching
The following documentation must accompany the teaching demonstration:
  1. The teacher's prior planning for the demonstration [e.g., lesson plan, relevant theory, relevant background of learner(s)]; and
  2. The teacher's detailed reflections on the experience (including what, if anything, the teacher would do the same or differently in other circumstances).


(2) Additional Licenses for Teachers.
ABE teachers who hold a teacher license issued under 603 CMR 7.04(3)(a) or (b) and are licensed under 603 CMR 47.05 may earn additional licenses as set forth in 603 CMR 7.14.

(3) Educator Preparation Program Supervisors and ABE Field Supervisors.
Educator Preparation Program Supervisors and ABE Field Supervisors must be approved by the ABE program provider, or by the Department. Educator Preparation Supervisors and ABE Field Supervisors must meet standards required by the Department as set forth in the guidelines.

(4) Waiver.
The Commissioner may waive the requirements listed in 603 CMR 47.05(2)(a) and (b), except for the passing score on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for those whose route to licensure so requires, and the demonstration of sound moral character, for applicants who meet the professional standards in 603 CMR 47.08 and the subject matter requirements in 603 CMR 47.07 through both their experience and their formal education.

(5) Reconsideration.
An applicant for licensure may request that the Commissioner reconsider the Department's decision not to issue a license. 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 has been denied. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(6) Revocation, Suspension, Limitation, and Denial of Licenses


a) Grounds for License Action.
  1. 1. The Commissioner may suspend or limit, either indefinitely or for a fixed period of time, or revoke a license if after investigation any of the following is determined:
    1. The license was obtained through fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact;
    2. The holder of the license is unfit to perform the duties for which the license was granted;
    3. The holder of the license has pleaded guilty, received deferred adjudication, or been convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any other crime of such nature that in the opinion of the Commissioner the person so convicted discredits the profession, brings the license into disrepute, or lacks good moral character;
    4. The holder has had one or more licenses or certificates revoked, suspended, surrendered, or otherwise limited as part of an administrative proceeding in another jurisdiction or by another licensing body for reasons that are sufficient for limitation of a Massachusetts license, regardless of whether or not the holder obtained a Massachusetts license through the NASDTEC Interstate Contract.
    5. There exists other good cause to revoke, suspend, or limit the license including, but not limited to, gross misconduct or negligence in the conduct of the license holder's professional duties and obligations, commitment of an offense against any law of the Commonwealth related to the license holder's professional duties and responsibilities, willful action in violation of Board regulations or Department orders, or dismissal for just cause from a position in a school or child care facility.
  2. 2. If any of the above grounds are determined, the Commissioner may put limitations on a license that may include:
    1. Restrictions on the ages of students with whom the certificate or license holder may work;
    2. Additional supervision requirements;
    3. Education, counseling, or psychiatric examination requirements;
    4. Notification to the employer of the circumstances surrounding the Commissioner's decision to put limitations on the license holder.


b) Investigatory Subpoenas.
  1. At any stage of the investigation, the Department may request that the Commissioner or his designee issue a subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of a witness, including the license holder, and the production of any evidence, including files, records, correspondence, or documents, relating to any matter in question in the investigation. The request shall be made in writing.
  2. The subpoena shall require a witness to appear at the Department at a specified date and time and shall specify any evidence to be produced. The licensee shall not be entitled to be present, but the Department shall provide the licensee with a copy of any recorded testimony prior to any hearing under 603 CMR 47.11(6)(e).
  3. Failure of a license holder to comply with a duly issued investigatory subpoena shall be grounds for revocation, suspension, limitation, or denial of a license.


c) Procedure. No license may be revoked, suspended, or limited until:
  1. The Department has determined that there is probable cause to find that the holder's license may be revoked, suspended, or limited for one or more of the grounds set forth in 603 CMR 47.11(6)(a); and
  2. The Department sends written notice to the license holder of its determination of probable cause and of the holder's 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. Notice shall be sent by certified mail and regular mail to the holder's last known address. The holder shall have 21 days from receipt of the notice to make a written request for a hearing. If no written request for a hearing is received by the Commissioner in accordance with the above, the holder's license shall be deemed to be revoked, suspended, or limited and the holder shall be so notified by certified mail.


d) Surrender. A license holder may surrender a license by submitting documentation to the Commissioner in an approved manner. If a license holder surrenders a license after the Department has found probable cause to revoke, suspend, or limit the license, the surrender will be treated as a revocation.


e) Hearing.
  1. If the Commissioner receives a request for a hearing from the license holder in accordance with 603 CMR 47.11 (6) (c), the Commissioner or his designee shall schedule a hearing no later than 60 days after receipt of the request. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A and 801 CMR 1.00: Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure. The hearing shall not be open to the public unless the license holder requests a public hearing.
  2. Within 30 days of the date the hearing concludes, the Commissioner or his designee shall render a written decision determining whether or not the holder's license shall be revoked, suspended, or limited. The decision shall comply with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 30A, § 11 and 801 CMR 1.00: Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure.
  3. The Commissioner shall send a copy of the decision to the license holder along with a notice informing him or her of the right of appeal in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A, § 14.


f) Notice of License Action. The Department shall send notice of the revocation, suspension, limitation, or surrender of a license to all Massachusetts superintendents of schools and to the certification or licensure officers of every state.


g) Reinstatement.
  1. A person whose license has been revoked in accordance with 603 CMR 47.11(6) may again be licensed in Massachusetts only upon a 2/3 vote by the Board.
  2. The Department may reinstate a suspended license upon determination by the Commissioner that the condition causing the suspension has been corrected.
  3. License limitations or conditions shall remain in effect as determined by the Commissioner.


h) Administrators' Obligation to Report. Any administrator who has dismissed, declined to renew the employment of, or obtained the resignation of any educator for any of the reasons cited in 603 CMR 47.11 (6) (a) shall report in writing such resignation or dismissal and the reason therefor to the Commissioner within 30 days. This obligation to report also applies when an administrator acquires relevant information after an educator's dismissal, resignation, or non-renewal. Failure to make such reports shall be grounds on which the Commissioner may revoke the administrator's license.


i) License Holder's Obligation to Report. Any license holder who has been convicted of a crime in a court of law shall notify the Commissioner of such conviction in writing within ten days of such conviction. The term "convicted of a crime" shall include any guilty verdict, admission to or finding of sufficient facts, and any plea of guilty or nolo contendere, whether or not a sentence has been imposed. Any license holder who is the subject of an enforcement action by the Massachusetts Ethics Commission shall notify the Commissioner of such action in writing within ten days of such action. Any license holder who has surrendered an educator license or any professional license or certificate or who has had such a license or certificate revoked, suspended, or limited in any jurisdiction or by any agency shall notify the Commissioner of such action in writing within ten days of such action. Failure to do so shall be grounds on which the Commissioner may revoke the holder's license.


j) Records. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the Department to disclose, under the Massachusetts public records law M.G.L. c. 66, § 10 and M.G.L. c. 4, § 7 Clause Twenty-sixth, any information, documents, or evidence sought by or provided to the Commissioner pursuant to his responsibilities under 603 CMR 47.11(6) until final disposition of the matter.


k) License Denial. The Commissioner may deny an applicant's application for a license for the reasons set forth above and for reasons enumerated in 603 CMR 47.00. If the Commissioner denies an application for a license, an applicant may request reconsideration by the Commissioner under 603 CMR 47.11 (5). All of the above rules pertaining to investigatory subpoenas apply to license applicants. Failure of an applicant to comply with a duly issued investigatory subpoena shall be grounds for denial of a license.
(7) General Provisions for Employment.
M.G. L. c. 69, § 1H states that "nothing herein shall be construed to require certification of teachers of adult education." Therefore, the licensure of ABE teachers may not be required by the Department, but may be required by individual employers or other agencies that sponsor ABE programs.

Regulatory Authority:
603 CMR 47.00: M.G.L. c.69, § 1H.



Last Updated: November 24, 2004
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