Art Teacher Initial Licensure Program

Teacher and students

Individuals seeking art teacher licensure are expected to be strong and proficient students. Candidates applying for the licensure track must academically:

  • achieve a grade of B or higher in all art education courses
  • sustain a 3.0 GPA in the art major
  • maintain an overall GPA of 2.75.

Professional Disposition and Attitudes
Prospective art educators should be aware of the type of dispositions and professional attitudes expected in the professional world. At Salem State, we seek to develop educators of excellence, and expect students to be committed to growing in personal responsibility and in the demonstration of professional teaching behaviors and attributes. Characteristics that reflect emerging, successful educators include:

  • good time management and organization
  • the commitment and openness to learning and teaching 
  • the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with others
  • a professional demeanor and appearance

Observation Hours: Students must complete a minimum of 75 hours in a visual arts learning environment. A majority of this time should be spent in public school art classes. Other hours may be competed though afterschool art programs, education courses, summer arts programs, etc.

The MTELs: Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure

Students must take and pass the two following tests before the formal acceptance into the Final Teaching Practicum:

Communication and Literacy Test: Evaluates a candidate’s comprehension and writing skills, and should be taken before or during the introduction to art teaching course (art 300).

Visual Arts Subject Matter Test: Evaluates knowledge of art subject content such as the elements and principles of design, art media and techniques, art history and artistic development. This test is usually taken after most core studio, history and art education coursework is completed before the semester you enter EDU 338 or 345.

Information regarding MTEL test dates and registration deadlines are located on the Salem State School of Education website with link to the office of placement and licensure and MTEL Test Prep Center on Loring Avenue. Registration for either the paper test or computer version is completed online at

Students are responsible for staying informed of test registration deadlines, and score reporting dates, and are strongly encouraged to review and take the online practice tests.

Ways to begin the program:

  • Meet with the art education advisor, Dr Rebecca Plummer Rohloff, MH 236b to review the flow sheet, licensure requirements and your career goals and intentions.
  • Complete 60 credits and at least one EDU course
  • Register for Art 300: introduction to teaching art
  • Submit an art portfolio to the art department for admission into the art major*
  • Complete an official declaration of art major/ concentration form for
    either art education PreK-8 OR 5-12, In the art + design office.
  • Register for and take the MTEL: Communication and Literacy Tests