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Alternative Certification Programs in Massachusetts

For 10 years, the Massachusetts Institute for New Teachers (MINT) provided an accelerated, alternative certification path for recent college graduates and mid-career professionals who wished to become teachers. According to the National Center for Alternative Certification, over 600 teachers received training through MINT since its inception in 1999.

The MINT program came to an end in 2008-2009 as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education moved to state-approved, district-based alternative certification programs.

Application to any of the district-based programs begins with the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure or MTEL. The MTEL consists of a content area component and a communication and literacy component. Candidates who pass the MTEL can apply for a five-year preliminary license under which they can become teachers of record while completing additional requirements for professional licensure. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website has a helpful video about changing careers to become a teacher.


Individual districts and charter schools develop their own programs. Here are two to take a look at:

New Teacher Collaborative: Consider this program if you are open to teaching in a Massachusetts charter school. Four charters schools in the state accept teachers from this intensive, year-long preparation program. Participants receive training at two summer sessions and during the school year. The best part is that participants pay no tuition and receive a $15,000 stipend and some benefits. The New Teacher Collaborative is for middle and secondary school teachers only.

Boston Teacher Residency: This highly competitive program offers college graduates of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences a fast track into Boston Public Schools classrooms. With over 63,000 students, the Boston Public Schools system is the largest in the state. The yearlong BTR program kicks off with a two-month summer institute. Participants then teach four days a week under the guidance of a mentor teacher. One evening a week and every Friday are devoted to additional coursework requirements.

Top Online Schools for Teachers In Massachusetts

The outlook for teaching overall in Massachusetts is positive, with
some variances depending on the educational level. If you are
intrigued as to how you can obtain credentials online, there is a
network of schools and groups that can help.

Grand Canyon University Online
Grand Canyon University is home to an industrious online degree
program, with a particular focus on education. The university also
may be of assistance to you with regards to financial aid options
to better assist your degree goals.

University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts offers a slew of online degrees through
the College of Education, with an emphasis on science and administration.
There is also a division dedicated to specialized teaching licensure.

Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s online degree program includes a doctoral
degree in education. Interested parties can even take a glance at a demo
of an online class to see what online classes are like!

Learning Outcomes for Alternative Certification Programs in Massachusetts

To ensure that new teaching candidates are prepared for the world of education, alternative Massachusetts teacher certification programs allow students with their bachelor’s degrees to qualify for teaching jobs. Each program has a set of learning outcomes that are geared to help them become effective leaders in the classroom. Your instructors will likely expect you to develop a set of instructional practices that suit a variety of students. These Massachusetts alternative teaching certification programs also tend to focus on teacher-student communication; as you begin your career, it’s crucial to be able to communicate your expectations to students and teach them to have high expectations for their own success. These skills should extend to working with students of different backgrounds, abilities, and needs.

Working towards collaborative practice is another learning outcome in many Massachusetts alternative teacher programs. No teacher works completely independently, so you should learn how to develop a network of teaching peers and work with them to reach a common goal. Throughout the course of your education, it’s likely that you’ll learn how to build partnerships with other people in students’ lives. This may include working with parents, community members, and organizations in Massachusetts. Mastering these learning outcomes can help you prepare for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure.

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