Academics

Practicum

Initial licensure for undergraduate and graduate programs typically culminate in a full-time field practicum. The practicum is a full-time teaching experience of at least 300 hours in the role of the license sought, supported by a cooperating practitioner and a Salem State supervisor.

The lead faculty for school and community partnerships is responsible for working with program coordinators and students to optimize a student's placement in a practicum. Student teaching practica can be completed in a partner school that meets state and national standards for appropriate practica. Practicum candidates have completed all program requirements including coursework, pre-practicum field experiences, MTEL tests, meet the grade point average requirement, and have been recommended for the practicum by their program coordinators.

Fall 2016 Practicum handbook

Applications are closed for Fall 2016 practicum. The application for Spring 2017 practicum will be available in late September and due by October 31.

General Practicum Requirements  

  • Matriculation into an undergraduate initial licensure program with a major in one of the disciplines required by the program, or into an approved post-baccalaureate/graduate initial licensure program 
  • Passing score on the communication and literacy portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
  • Passing score on all appropriate MTEL subject matter test(s) for the license sought
  • Successful completion of all prerequisite courses
  • Minimum of 75 hours of field-based experiences prior to the practicum
  • 2.75 or better cumulative grade point average
  • 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average in the major(s)
  • Faculty/program coordinator recommendation for admission to student teaching
  • Passage of fingerprinting and CORI check (and in some districts drug & alcohol testing).

No exceptions are made to this policy. Students who have not passed all relevant MTEL tests will not be allowed to enter into a practicum. There are many resources on campus to assist you in preparing for the MTEL, including the MTEL Test Prep Center which offers study materials and diagnostic testing to help you prepare.

Evidence of passing MTEL scores must be submitted with the practicum application. This is a firm deadline. Exceptions will only be made in cases where DESE policy makes it impossible to have the scores in on time or there is a failure of test administration. Requests for exceptions in these cases should be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean.

Fingerprinting

To register for a time to have your fingerprints processed, please visit the IdentoGO site. To go directly to a list of the locations for Massachusetts, please see their Location Listing page

Please note: Walk-ins are not allowed. The fee is $35.

The full list of district names and codes is available, but Salem State recommends you request the following districts when you get your fingerprints processed:
  • Salem 02580000
  • Amesbury 00070000
  • Chelsea 00570000
  • Danvers 00710000
  • Ipswich 01440000
  • Malden 01650000
  • Melrose 01780000
  • Newburyport 02040000
  • Reading 02460000
  • Revere 02480000
  • Woburn 03470000

Important Advising Information

  • Deadline for application for Fall 2016 was May 2, 2016.  Deadline for application for Spring 2017 will be posted in the fall.
  • Practicum applications cannot be accepted after the due date. This policy is strictly enforced and is due to school district requirements of CORI, fingerprinting, and classroom placement. Please submit your practicum application as soon as possible.
  • Applications are NOT accepted with pending MTEL scores.  Please see the 2015-2016 MTEL Test Schedule with testing deadlines for detailed information.
  • Answers to many of your MTEL questions can be found here.

MEPID

All practicum applications require you to provide your Massachusetts Education Personnel Identifier (MEPID). If you do not have or know your MEPID number please obtain the information from your Educator Licensure and Recruitment (ELAR) account profile or create your MEPID number here.

Practicum Application Attachments

Reduction in Student Teaching (KWaiver)

Reduction in student teaching applications can be found here. Reduction applications and portfolios must be submitted with the practicum application on the due date.

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to submit a portfolio for a reduction in student teaching:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above, GPA in major of 3.0 or above
  • Pass all appropriate portions of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
  • Have had at least two full years of teaching experience

The student teaching/practicum requirement cannot be reduced beyond one-half of the requirement set forth by the Regulations for Educator Licensure by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Therefore, students will receive no more than six credits toward the reduction of undergraduate student teaching and three credits toward the reduction of graduate practica. All students must attend the practicum seminar for the full semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for student teaching?

Complete the student teaching application and return it with the required attachments by October 31, 2016 for Spring 2017 and May 2, 2017 for fall 2017. Late applications are not accepted. All MTEL tests for the license sought must be passed prior to application

What are the minimum requirements to be able to student teach?
  • Matriculation into an undergraduate initial licensure program with a major in one of the disciplines required by the program, or into an approved post-baccalaureate/graduate initial licensure program; 
  • Passing score on the communication and literacy portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL);
  • Passing score on all appropriate MTEL subject matter test(s) for the license sought at the time of application;
  • Successful completion of all prerequisite courses;
  • Minimum of 75 hours of field-based experiences prior to the practicum;
  • 2.75 or better cumulative grade point average;
  • 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average in the major(s);
  • Faculty/program coordinator recommendation for admission to student teaching;
  • Passage of fingerprinting and CORI check (and in some districts drug & alcohol testing).

Salem State University partners with school districts in the region, including Salem, Melrose, Danvers, Reading, Revere, Chelsea, Newburyport, Ipswich, Amesbury and Woburn. The specific grade levels available in each district are indicated below (this list is subject to change):

  • Salem: Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary.
  • Melrose: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
  • Danvers: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
  • Reading: Early childhood, elementary.
  • Revere: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
  • Chelsea: Elementary, secondary.
  • Newburyport: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
  • Salisbury: Early childhood, elementary.
  • Amesbury: Early childhood, elementary.
  • Woburn: Early childhood, elementary.
  • Ipswich: Early childhood, elementary.

The faculty, principals and superintendents carefully select the schools and classrooms they believe offer an excellent learning environment for student teachers. The office of School and Community partnerships at Salem State coordinates the placements and develops the partnerships to support the student teaching experience.

You may not set up your own placement unless you are already employed in a school. Students who live on campus and do not have a car have priority for placements in Salem. It is a priority to place students in cohort groups of 2-6 per school whenever possible. This, combined with the number of placements available in a school, means it is not always possible to give you your first choice of location. You will be placed in a school within reasonable commuting distance of your home address.

To learn more about the different schools and the opportunities available, contact practicum@salemstate.edu.

Are there paid positions in conjunction with student teaching?

Yes. Some districts are interested in hiring Salem State student teachers as after-school teachers and tutors, as well as teaching assistants. These opportunities will be listed on the student teaching application with instructions for how to apply.

Can I student teach in my job?

You can student teach in your job if:

  • you have met the minimum requirements for student teaching;
  • your job is in the same grade(s) as the license you wish to obtain;
  • you can take on the role of your intended license for the required number of hours (see DESE requirements for the number of practicum hours for your specific license area:http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr7.html?section=04);
  • your practicum hours include a minimum of 135 hours for which you have full responsibility for planning and directing instruction in the role of the intended license;
  • your job allows you to teach all of the subjects in the license area (e.g., elementary license candidates must be able to teach all elementary subjects)
  • your school is within an hour of Salem State;
  • the school follows the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks;
  • the principal provides a letter you attach to the application stating
    • you have permission to use your place of employment as the practicum site;
    • you can complete the hours, activities and assignments required in the practicum, including teaching all of the subjects in the license area if applicable;
    • the school follows the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks;
    • there is a supervising teacher at the school who has at least three years of experience and/or the professional license, has a proficient rating on the teacher evaluation rubric, and is willing to be your mentor. The name, email address and grade level of the teacher must be included in the letter.

How will I know if my application is accepted?

You will be notified by email about the status of your application within a few weeks of the application deadline.

What are the reasons my application could be rejected?

  • The required MTELs have not been passed by the deadline;
  • If you want to student teach in your job, there is no letter from the school principal and/or no supervising teacher’s name on the application;
  • Your GPA does not meet the minimum requirements;
  • Your application is late.

How do I register for student teaching?

You will receive a letter with registration instructions several weeks before the practicum begins. Since student teaching requires permission, you cannot register for student teaching or the practicum seminar without the instructions in the letter.

What happens if I get a placement from SSU and then get a job at another school?

We will do our best to assign you to a different supervisor; however, it will not always be possible since faculty supervisors’ schedules are determined well in advance. If we cannot arrange for faculty supervision in your new location, you will need to defer student teaching until the next semester which will give us enough time to arrange for faculty supervision.

More questions?

If you are an undergraduate student, contact practicum@salemstate.edu. If you are a graduate student, contact Julian Brown-Myers, assistant director, student services and support at 978.542.2986.

Policies

Practicum policies and requirements are contained in the student teaching, educational leadership and guidance counseling handbooks. In order to ensure endorsement for licensure by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, all parties (practicum student, cooperating practitioner and faculty supervisor) must complete the necessary paperwork outlined on this page.