There are several types of teacher licensure in Massachusetts. Our graduates are typically recommended to the state for an Initial License, either Chemistry (8-12) or General Science (5-8). Those Initial Licenses are valid for 5 years and renewable for one additional 5-year period. To maintain employment, teachers will eventually need to earn a Professional License, also valid for 5 years and renewable. This typically requires at least 3 years of employment with an Initial License, participation in an induction and mentoring program during that initial employment, and completion of a Master's degree in the academic discipline appropriate to the license sought.
In addition to your WSU program of study, you'll need to pass state-mandated exams (the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure, or MTEL) in order to earn licensure. The exams include both a Communication and Literacy test of reading and writing skills and a Subject Test in the area for which licensure is sought. The exams are computer-based and many are administered year-round by appointment (Monday-Saturday). Each test is four hours in length. The Department recommends that students take the Communication and Literacy Test during their first year at WSU, preferably near the end of the semester in which they complete ENGL 0101 or soon thereafter. The Department recommends that students attempt the Subject Test during the fall of their junior year. Registration can be completed online, but a MEPID number is required in order to complete the registration process - don't wait until the last minute! As of December, 2013 the fee for the Communication and Literacy Test is $112 ($76 for the Reading Sub-Test, $85 for the Writing Sub-Test, if taken separately), while the fee for the Subject Test is $139. Check the registration information at the DESE website, which also has links to information on test objectives, test information guides and practice tests.
A major component of your WSU program will be a semester-long student teaching practicum, usually completed in the spring of the senior year. Prior to beginning that practicum experience, you'll need to have met the requirements for Advanced Standing: (1) completed 57 credits, (2) achieved an overall GPA of 2.80 (including transfer work), an average GPA of 2.7 (B-) or better in ENGL 0101 and ENGL 0102, and a major GPA of 2.50 (with no grades lower than C- in those major courses), (3) completed the appropriate sequence of education coursework for the license being sought, and (4) achieved a passing mark on both the Communications and Literacy and appropriate subject matter portions of the MTEL.