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Educator Effectiveness

Ed Prep Review and Approval

The Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education has the statutory authority to approve programs that prepare candidates for educator licensure in Massachusetts. Program approval is the process through which a program or Sponsoring Organization may receive state approval. Such programs may be offered by public and private higher education institutions, districts, collaboratives and non-profit organizations. Regardless of the type of organization, all Massachusetts providers are required to meet the same rigorous expectations for approval and undergo the same processes associated with reviews.

Programs must prepare their candidates in accordance with the standards for licensure and Program Approval that are specified in the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00).

The resources and guidance below are updated periodically. Interested stakeholders should communicate directly with DESE if interested in becoming a Sponsoring Organization in Massachusetts.

Guidelines for Program Approval

Review Toolkits

Formal Review

Review conducted for existing providers seeking continuing approval.

Formal Review Schedule

Informal Review

Review conducted for providers interested in putting forward new programs and/or entities seeking to become an approved provider (Sponsoring Organization) in the state.

Interim Review

Review conducted for currently approved providers when concerns have been identified during an existing period of approval.

MA High Needs Programs

In recognition of the employment demands of Massachusetts districts, DESE is currently accepting Informal Review submissions for the high-need subject areas listed below. These subject areas include those for which there are currently shortages of qualified educators and approved preparation programs. Please note, this list is distinct from the license areas defined as high needs or shortage areas for federal reporting.

Initial, TeacherInitial, SpecialistInitial, AdministratorEndorsements
  • Biology, 8–12
  • Chemistry, 8–12
  • Digital Literacy and Computer Science, PreK–6, 5–12
  • Earth and Space Science, 8–12
  • General Science, 1–6 and 5–8
  • Mathematics, 1–6, 5–8, 8–12
  • Middle School: Mathematics/Science, 5–8
  • Moderate Disabilities, PK–8 and 5–12
  • Severe Disabilities, PK–8 and 5–12
  • Teacher, Physics, 8–12
  • Technology/Engineering, 5–12
  • World Languages, PreK–6
  • Instructional Technology Specialist
Effective January 2, 2023, new programs within existing Sponsoring Organizations that are aligned to the current Guidelines for the Preparation of Administrative Leaders will be accepted for informal review:
  • Principal/Assistant Principal
  • School Business Administrator
  • Special Education Administrator
  • Supervisor/Director
  • Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent
  • Autism Endorsement
  • Bilingual Education Endorsement
  • Transition Specialist Endorsement
Reviewer Resources

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recruits and selects education professionals to serve in cohorts for the Educator Preparation Formal Review Process. Reviewers are responsible for reviewing, analyzing, and evaluating evidence of educator preparation program effectiveness. Together with DESE, reviewers help to guarantee that educator preparation in Massachusetts results in effective educators ready to support the success of all students.

Last Updated: April 10, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.