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Massachusetts Professional Development Requirements for Teachers

Massachusetts Professional Development

Every teacher in Massachusetts must meet professional development goals as regulated by the state Department of Education. Professional development is required by teachers to maintain their teaching license in the state.

Massachusetts Approved Profesional Development Courses

Teachers in Massachusetts have choices about where they earn their professional development points. Even though they work in Massachusetts, it is possible for them to take advantage of the high-quality online continuing education courses offered by Fresno Pacific University. Educators can access Massachusetts-approved PD courses from this California-based university.

A System Based on Professional Development Points

Massachusetts typically sets higher standards for its teachers, which is one of the reasons the state has one of the highest-rated education systems in the world.

The state requires that teachers continue their professional development, a process that is measured through the use of a Professional Development Point (PDP). A PDP measures professional development activity. One PDP is equivalent to one clock hour. One semester hour is equivalent to 15 PDPs. And one continuing education unit is equivalent to 10 PDPs.

However, if the department of education sponsors or provides approval for an advanced academic study, it may be awarded 1.5 PDP per clock hour.

The Requirements in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has designed a system that sets ambitious standards for teacher professional development because it leads to better student outcomes.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, “The goal is for educators within a school and district to work together so that license renewal achieves educational goals for the individual, the school, and the district, in order to assist students in meeting state learning standards.”

The state requires teachers to renew all professional teaching licenses every five years. The system is more complex than that of many other states. Teachers must earn 150 PDPs for a primary license, 30 PDPs for each additional license.

The 150 PDPs must include:

  • At least 15 PDPs related to SEI, English as a Second Language, or Bilingual Education
  • At least 15 PDPs related to training in strategies for effective schooling for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles.
  • At least 15 PDPs in the content area of the license.
  • At least 15 PDPs in pedagogy.

Teachers must also develop an approved Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP), complete a paper-based or online application for license renewal and pay any applicable fees.

Where Teachers Can Go to Earn PDPs

Massachusetts gives teachers a wide variety of options when it comes to earning PDPs. According to the Massachusetts Teachers Association, educators can choose to take their professional development courses through:

  • Colleges or universities
  • District-sponsored activities
  • Activities funded by grants or scholarships
  • Self-funded professional learning activities
  • Professional development activities reimbursed by schools or districts

Fresno Pacific University - A Registered PD Provider in Massachusetts

Fresno Pacific University is an approved PD provider in Massachusetts, providing teachers with professional development courses that count toward earning PDPs. To verify FPU's provider status, search the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE)PD Provider Registry.

The university has developed professional development courses on hundreds of topics. All classes are offered completely online with continuous start dates.

In addition to single courses, Fresno Pacific offers professional development certificates on many topics, including classroom technology, digital innovation, restorative strategies for the classroom and STEM education.

Massachusetts has a system that requires teachers to continually improve their teaching skills.  Fresno Pacific University offers a way for Massachusetts teachers to meet the requirements of their state and learn from high-quality courses.