Step-by-Step Guide to Become a Licensed Teacher

State Requirements

The teaching profession has become increasingly regulated with higher expectations and growing accountability for classroom learning. To teach in a Massachusetts public school system or in most private schools, you must be licensed by the State of Massachusetts and fulfill all of the State mandated licensure requirements. Curry College offers two state-approved M.Ed. specializations. Elementary Education provides licensure preparation for grades one through six, and Special Education provides licensure preparation for working with children with moderate disabilities in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade. Both of Curry's M.Ed. programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and both meet all applicable standards.

How to Get started

Prior to being accepted into Curry's M.Ed. program, you will need to complete a number of preparatory steps. This step-by-step guide will help you navigate the M.Ed. admissions process.

Step 1: Submit your M.Ed. Application

Submit your application to Curry College as soon as you determine your interest in our M.Ed. program. You are not required to submit all of the application materials at the same time. Once you submit your M.Ed. application, our staff will contact you to provide additional information about the remaining steps for completing the admission process. As you prepare your application form, we encourage you to schedule a phone or in-person appointment with our graduate program advisor on the Milton Campus at 617-333-2364 or the Plymouth Campus at 508-747-2424 to address any questions or concerns.

The following application documents are required:

  • Your official undergraduate transcript and any graduate transcript(s) sent to Curry College in a sealed envelope directly from the respective academic institution(s)
  • A copy of your current resume
  • A typed 2-3 page personal statement that describes your interest in becoming a teacher, what strengths you will bring to the M.Ed. program, any challenges you may face while in the program, and relevant life experiences that may have influenced your career choice
  • Two sealed letters of recommendation completed on a Curry M.Ed. Recommendation Form contained in the Application
    - One from an individual who has supervised you in a paid or volunteer work setting
    - One from an individual who can evaluate your potential for graduate education
  • Your MTEL scores
    - A copy of your passing MTEL scores for the Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST)
    - A copy of your score on the General Curriculum Math Subtest

Step 2: Take the MTEL Tests that are required for admission

Prior to becoming licensed to teach in Massachusetts, the State requires all prospective teachers to pass the following MTEL tests. Some of these tests are required for admission into Curry's M.Ed. program and others can be taken while you are enrolled in the M.Ed. program.  However, you must pass all of these MTEL tests prior to entering the last course of the M.Ed. program,which is the Student Teaching Practicum.

A. MTEL Tests required for admission to Curry's M.Ed. Program

  • Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST - 2 parts): A passing score on both parts of the CLST is required for admission into the M.Ed. program.
  • General Curriculum Math Subtest: You must take this test and submit your test results to be admitted into the M.Ed. program. A passing score is not required for admission, however a passing score is required prior to entering the Student Teaching Practicum, which is the last course in the M.Ed. program. Your initial score is used for advising purposes. 

Visit the MTEL website for test dates and registration deadlines. You should also allow four weeks to receive your test results.

B. MTEL Tests that can be taken during the M.Ed. Program

  • General Curriculum Multi-Subject Subtest: This test is not required for admission, but must be passed prior to entering the Student Teaching Practicum.
  • Foundations of Reading Test: This test is not required for admission, but must be passed prior to entering the Student Teaching Practicum.

C. How to Prepare for the MTEL Tests

  • Communication and Literacy Skills Tests
    MTEL preparation books, materials, and sample tests are available at most bookstores, libraries, and online. These types of resources are often sufficient for potential M.Ed. students.
  • General Curriculum Math Subtest
    Many adults will require a math review to pass this challenging test and some will need to take this test more than once to pass. You must submit your test score prior to admission into the M.Ed. program, however you do not need to pass this test to be accepted.  Below are several suggestions to help you prepare for the General Curriculum Math Subtest.
  1. Take a MTEL Sample Test to understand the type of math skills and knowledge required to pass the test.
  2. Participate in one of Curry's Math Review Seminars which are offered several times each year at both the Milton and Plymouth campuses. View the schedule for the Math Review Seminar on the schedules and courses page.
  3. Utilize online math resources such as the Kahn Academy or Chris the Math Guy.
  4. Sign up early for a MTEL math test date to have sufficient time to take this test more than once, if necessary.

For more information about testing, go visit MTEL Testing and Admission.

Step 3: Interview with the Admissions Committee

  • An interview with the M.Ed. faculty is required as part of the admissions process. Contact us to schedule your interview after you have submitted at least these four documents: Application, Resume, Personal Statement, College Transcript(s).

Other Optional Recommendation to Help You Prepare to Become a Teacher

Visit a school: To better understand the challenges of teaching, we recommend you visit a classroom.  Good teaching requires a disposition where you thrive in a busy and often noisy environment, while multi-tasking and maintaining awareness of everything going on around you. And, you need to be able to work effectively within an environment that maintains compliance with state and federal standards.  If you have a friend, relative or neighbor who is a teacher or principal, or if you know people in your school system, we recommend that you arrange to spend time in a classroom at the level of teaching you have interest.


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