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Educator Effectiveness

Educator Preparation 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

Our Guidelines for Program Approval explain the standards and procedures required for Sponsoring Organizations to attain approval to prepare educators in the Commonwealth. Sponsoring Organizations must demonstrate their capabilities in alignment with the Evaluation Tool Criteria List .

To support Sponsoring Organizations' understanding of the Guidelines, we offer a Review Evaluation Tool and accompanying Review Toolkit.

We publish our overview analysis of each review cycle in our annual Formal Review Culminating Report.

Guidelines for Program Approval Rollout Plan

  • Late January/early February 2023: Guidelines will be released for Public Comment. These Guidelines will contain all high-level updates, including revised program approval criteria and an overview of the revised formal review process.
  • February – March 2023: DESE will host in-person and virtual Roundtables for Educator Preparation personnel, families, and students to encourage and facilitate robust public comment on the Guidelines.
  • April 2023 – May 2023: DESE will host domain-specific Information Sessions for Educator Preparation personnel from all Sponsoring Organizations to present and clarify the expectations of each criterion and provide a high-level overview of evidence collection.
  • Late Summer/Early Fall 2023: DESE will host a Bootcamp for Cohort A Sponsoring Organizations. Cohort A will receive more detailed information about the review process, key dates and timelines, and types of evidence that will be collected for each criterion.

Last Updated: December 19, 2022

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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.