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.
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.
Important Advising Information
- Deadline for application for Spring 2016 is October 30, 2015.
- 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 accepted with pending MTEL Score Reporting no later than November 13, 2015. 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.
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
- Undergraduate Pre-practicum Attendance Form (PDF)
- Graduate Pre-Practicum Documentation Form (PDF)
- Documentation of passing MTEL Test: please provide a copy of your official score report or obtain evidence of passing from your Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Educator Licensure and Recruitment (ELAR) (PDF) account.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for student teaching?
Complete the student teaching application and return it with the required attachments by Friday, October 30, 2015 for spring 2016 and Monday, May 2 for fall 2016.
Where can I student teach?
Salem State University partners with school districts in the region, including Salem, Melrose, Malden, Danvers, Reading, Revere, Chelsea, Newburyport, 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.
- Malden: Middle and secondary.
- Danvers: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
- Reading: Early childhood, elementary, middle.
- Revere: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
- Chelsea: Elementary, secondary.
- Newburyport: Early childhood, elementary, secondary.
- Amesbury: Early childhood, elementary.
- Woburn: 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.
On the application, you can indicate your location preferences among the choices provided. 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.
To learn more about the different schools and the opportunities available, contact Francesca Pomerantz, professor and lead faculty for school and community partnerships.
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;
- 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;
- 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.
How will I know if my application is accepted?
You will be notified by email about the status of your application within two 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.
Contact Francesca Pomerantz, professor and lead faculty for school and community partnerships to arrange a meeting.