MIT STEP offers a teacher licensing program that can be done entirely at MIT or in conjunction with courses at Wellesley College. This program licenses students to teach mathematics or science in grades 5-12. The Scheller Teacher Education Program, offered through the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, prepares MIT students to become teachers who are competent to teach in their field, willing to challenge established norms, able to bridge the boundaries among disciplines, and eager to help students develop the desire to question and explore. Click here for more info on STEP and here for more info on classes.
STEP is actively engaged in many research and development projects, designing and testing new learning technologies for use in formal and informal education. While some projects are in limited testing with partners, others are freely available for all to try and to use (some complete with curriculum and assessment). Find out more about these projects on the projects page.
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MIT/Wellesley Teacher Certification Program
The MIT Teacher Education Program leads to Massachusetts State Certification in a middle or high school science or mathematics discipline. Wellesley students who are interested in teaching math and science are encouraged to join MIT students in these classes, and MIT students have the option of taking classes at Wellesley to fulfill requirements for teacher licensing in subject areas other than math or science. To complete the Teacher Education Program and meet the State requirements, students must complete a major or minor in the subject area in which they wish to teach (or equivalent - see teacher license and subject knowledge requirements below) and take the following courses:
- 11.124 (Fall) Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Back on Education (E. Klopfer)
- 11.125 (Spring) Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education (E. Klopfer)
(Require preceding or concurrent registration in 11.124/125)
Option 1 @ MIT
- 11.129 (Fall) Educational Theory and Practice I (R. Gibb)
- 11.130 (IAP) Educational Theory and Practice II (R. Gibb)
- 11.131 (Spring) Educational Theory and Practice III (R. Gibb)
- *NEW CLASS (Spring): Teaching ELL learners (Instructor TBD)
Option 2 @ Wellesley
- *NEW CLASS (Fall): Teaching ELL learners (Instructor TBD)
- Education 300 (Fall) Educational Theory, Curriculum, Evaluation (K. Hawes)
- Education 302 &303 (Spring) Supervised Practice Teaching (K. Hawes)
These classes include the required 50 hours of supervised classroom observation, and 300* hours of supervised practice teaching . For those who wish to complete their certification requirements by doing their practice teaching and/or classes after graduation, the Wellesley “fifth year program,” which is offered for a substantially reduced tuition during a fifth year, is often the most accessible option. The primary benefit is being able to focus on teacher preparation without having to juggle other MIT classes. Please contact the program manager (info at bottom of this page) for more info.
*300 hours requirement starts in school year 2013-14
Teacher license and subject knowledge requirements
Students do their student-teaching in the grade level and subject that correspond to the primary area of teaching certification that they would like to obtain upon completion of the program. Grade levels and license areas:
- Middle School (grades 5-8) Math
- Middle School (grades 5-8) General Science
- High School (grades 8-12) Math
- High School (grades 8-12) Biology
- High School (grades 8-12) Chemistry
- High School (grades 8-12) Physics
Students demonstrate subject knowledge in that license area by completing a major, minor, or equivalent in that subject. The requirements are described in detail in the documents attached below. Once you've decided which subject you would like to seek certification in, please print out and complete the subject matter advising form and get the listed advisor/professor in the appropriate department to sign the form. You should list courses you've taken to meet the subject knowledge requirements as well as courses that you still need to take, and which semester/year that you plan to take them. Ideally, students who wish to start student-teaching in September should get the form signed in April that year in order to secure a good student-teaching placement.
Student-teaching is a serious responsibility requiring adequate time commitment, so students should plan to do this during an academic year when they have fewer "tough" classes and can arrange their schedule to spend 1 or 2 mornings a week at their placement school during the fall and spring semesters. Student-teachers teach full-time during IAP so should not have any other commitments (part-time jobs, extra-curriculars, classes, UROP, etc.) during that time. Typically, students do their student-teaching during their Junior or Senior year.
Looking for a student-teaching placement typically starts April so that ideally, the student-teacher would know his or her school placement before the summer and can start school visits in early September. In order for the placement process to begin, the following documents should be submitted to the program manager:
- Signed teaching program plan (also known as the subject knowledge advising form)
- Personal statement - who you are, what you're studying and why you are interested in teaching
- Resume - emphasizing tutoring, teaching, or working with children experiences
- Written recommendation - from an MIT faculty member who can vouch for your "moral character" - that you're hard-working, responsible, can be trusted to be a role model for young people - and/or your passion and competence for a subject area (*other people may be eligible to write the recommendation, like a former employer, but check with the program manager)
- Unofficial copy of your transcript
Massachusetts has 3 levels of teacher licenses - preliminary, initial, and professional. Successfully completing the MIT teacher education program enables one to be eligible for the Initial license (or its equivalent in most other states). Successfully completing the program means the following:
- Pass all necessary teacher education classes (see above for various sequences, but most students complete the 5 classes at MIT)
- Pass the classes listed in the teaching program plan that meet the subject knowledge requirements
- Complete the required hours for pre-practicum (50) and practicum (180-200)
- Achieve a "Meets" or "Exceeds expectations" on the practicum assessment for all teaching standards
- Be recommended by the teacher education instructors and program manager
- Pass the appropriate subject knowledge MTEL exam (there is a fee for this test)
- Submit all required documents listed in the Placement section above and the practicum assessment form
- Graduate MIT with a bachelor's degree*
*Note that we welcome MIT graduate students to take the STEP classes and do the student-teaching for experience, but unless the grad student also received his or her bachelor's degree from MIT, the grad student is not eligible for licensure at this time.
In order to actually receive a Massachusetts license, the candidate will also need to:
- Pass the MTEL communications/literacy exam (fee)
- Pay a licensing fee to Massachusetts
If you are planning to get your license in another state, you will not need to do the above two steps but there may be additional requirements by the state where you want to be licensed.
If you have any questions, please contact the program manager - Wendy Huang, email@example.com, (617) 324-2601, E15-301.
Updated: February 7, 2013