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Teaching Assignments for Educators holding Technology/Engineering, Technology Education, and/or Industrial Arts Licenses

To:Superintendents of Schools, Charter School Leaders, Directors of Approved Special Education Private Schools, and Other Interested Parties
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:April 3, 2013


I am writing to clarify the types of teaching assignments that are appropriate for educators holding any of the following licenses:

  • Technology/Engineering
  • Technology Education
  • Industrial Arts

Although the names and subject matter knowledge requirements of these licenses have changed over time, the Department considers each of these licenses to be equivalent.

As indicated in the "Matching Licenses Guidelines" Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document, possession of an Technology/Engineering license, Technology Education license, or Industrial Arts license is sufficient to meet the licensure requirement to teach technology/engineering. Such licensure establishes the threshold for the knowledge, skills, and abilities (K/S/A) required for a licensed educator role, in this case for technology/engineering in general. Specific curricula requirements may vary across districts, hence, a district may establish additional K/S/A requirements for educators assigned to teach a technology/engineering course. The district may, therefore, review the K/S/A of educators to ensure that they have the appropriate skill set for a particular assignment.

Transition of these licenses:

The Department began offering the Technology Education license on October 1, 1994. Prior to that date, the Department offered the Industrial Arts license. Although the Industrial Arts license was no longer available to licensure candidates after October 1, 1994, the Department has continued to honor the license for educators already in possession of this, or any, "discontinued license."

This means that educators may still be employed under this license as long as they continue to renew it in accordance with the license renewal requirements. During the first renewal/recertification cycle in June of 1999, educators who held an Industrial Arts license were given the option to "swap" their license to Technology Education, an indication of these licenses being equivalent.

Effective October 1, 2001, the Department began offering the Technology/Engineering license and updated the subject matter knowledge to reflect the added competencies in the area of engineering design. In April of 2003, the Department provided clarification about technology/engineering education and indicated that the Technology Education and the Technology/Engineering licenses should be treated as equivalent.

Technology/Engineering as a discipline:

Due to the equivalency of the licenses referenced previously, as well as the Instructional Technology license for computer instruction, and the inclusion of technology/engineering in core academic science standards, the Department recognizes that there can be confusion when defining technology/engineering education as a content area. Technology/engineering does, however, have its own set of state and national standards and should be considered as a discipline similar to life science, earth and space science, and physical science. An educator teaching a core academic course aligned to the state technology/engineering standards should be held to the same expectations for teaching any core academic course. As indicated above, the Department recommends that districts review the knowledge, skills, and abilities of educators to ensure that they have the appropriate skill set for a particular assignment.

Should you have questions or require further information, please contact the Commissioner's Hotline at 781-338-3065.

Last Updated: April 4, 2013
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