Getting Started

Students who are thinking about pursuing teacher licensure while at Mount Holyoke should contact Ms. Sarah Frenette, the Five College Teacher Licensure Coordinator, for an appointment (preferably by the middle of the sophomore year). During this initial meeting Ms. Frenette will outline program requirements, the state of Massachusetts licensure regulations, and application procedures for acceptance into the licensure programs. Ms. Frenette will also answer your questions and put you in contact with the director of a licensure program corresponding to your area of interest.

Selection of a Major

Students pursuing a license in middle or secondary school subjects, or certification in the arts typically major in that subject area. For example, students pursuing a license in middle school mathematics would major in mathematics; students pursuing a license in secondary school history would major in history. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires knowledge of specific subject matter within each major.  It's important to consult with Ms. Sarah Frenette, the Five College Teacher Licensure Coordinator, early on in your academic career to review subject matter knowledge requirements.

Students who wish to work towards an early childhood or elementary license have a choice of majors. Students can major in Psychology and Education or any liberal arts major which the College offers. For example, students can major in art, history, psychology, environmental studies, women studies, etc. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires knowledge of specific subject matter within the early childhood or elementary levels.

Check with Ms. Sarah Frenette, the Five College Teacher Licensure Coordinator, for the self assessment form appropriate for your chosen level.

Required Courses

Candidates for all Mount Holyoke’s teacher education programs must complete a sequence of courses in the Psychology and Education Department prior to the spring semester of their senior year. The spring semester of the senior year is devoted almost entirely to the practicum, which is a full-time student teaching assignment in an area school. This sequence of psychology and education courses can also fulfill requirements for an education minor. See the Psychology and Education course requirements necessary for licensure in the following programs:

Applying to the Practicum Semester

Completed applications are due January 7 of the junior year. Application materials are available online. Once all application materials are submitted, candidates will be contacted for an interview with one of the program directors. As part of the application process, candidates must also complete the Communication and Literacy Skills test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to February of their junior year. A Practicum Selection Committee examines these documents along with evaluation and self evaluation forms from the field based experiences.

Students are notified prior to spring advising week of their junior year whether they have been provisionally accepted into the practicum. Full acceptance necessitates a passing score on the subject area tests of the MTEL. This test can be taken as early as the junior year, but no later than November of the senior year. Please check the MTEL Registration Bulletin or the NES Web site for the current test administration dates. NOTE: early childhood and elementary candidates must also take and pass the Foundations of Reading Test no later than November of the senior year before starting the practicum semester.