Middle or Secondary Education

Initial License

Programs in Middle/Secondary Education prepare teachers seeking Initial License to teach at this level in Pk-12 schools. Initial Licensure programs lead either to the MEd or CAGS degree and candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from the arts and sciences aligned with the Initial License program selected. Given heightened expectations for teaching subject matter knowledge at this level, successful completion of the content area MTEL aligned with the program selected is highly recommended prior to entering the program. If not holding a bachelor’s degree directly aligned to the area selected, passage of the content area MTEL as evidence of Subject Matter Knowledge is required prior to entering the program for Initial Licensure purposes.

  • General Science 5-8
  • Biology, 8-12
  • Chemistry, 8-12
  • English, 5-12
  • History, 5-12
  • Spanish, 5-12
  • Math, 5-8 or 8-12

Learning Outcomes for Middle or Secondary Education

At the completion of the Middle or Secondary Education Program (Initial License) or CAGS the
candidate will be able to:

  • Design, administer and practice high quality instruction and assessments in the middle/secondary academic classroom.
  • Demonstrate and promote the learning and growth of all secondary students through instructional practices that establish high expectations, safe classrooms, and cultural proficiency.
  • Create and apply effective partnerships with families, community members and organizations in promoting learning and growth of all students.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to reflect on and improve their own practice in order to improve teaching and learning.

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

Learn to lead modern classrooms and to prepare middle and secondary school students to meet curriculum goals as well as college readiness goals.

Future Studies

Middle or Secondary Education graduates can further their studies in specific subjects such as biology, general science, chemistry, english, history, math, or foreign language, to gain a niche role in their teaching career.

Career Opportunities

Candidates that complete the Middle or Secondary Education program can pursue an initial license in biology, general science, chemistry, english, history, math, and foreign language.


  • Passage of the Communication & Literacy and Subject matter portions of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for admission to the licensure track

Foundation Courses

  • EDU5400: The Reflective Practitioner
  • EDU5410*: Introduction to Special Education (25 hours Field Experience*)

Professional Area Courses

  • PSY5350: Adolescent Psychology
  • EDU6610: Behavior Management
  • EDU6661*: Literacy in the Content Areas for Middle & Secondary Schools (25 hours fieldwork*)

Specialty Area Course

  • Secondary and Middle School Methods (Select the one course that corresponds to your license content area)
    • EDU6671: Methods in English   (25 hours fieldwork*)
    • EDU6672: Methods in Math (25 hours Field Experience*)
    • EDU6673: Methods in Science (25 hours Field Experience*)
    • EDU6676: Methods in History (25 hours Field Experience*)
    • EDU6677: Methods in Spanish (25 hours Field Experience*)
  • EDU6654: Classroom Assessment

Required Practicum Orientation

Prior to taking the courses below there is a mandatory culminating workshop meeting.

  • EDU6624: Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) Seminar
  • EDU6625**: Sheltered English Immersion

All required field experience hours and MTEL’S must be complete before the candidate may enter final practicum experience
Choose one as appropriate:

  • EDU 6759: Student Teaching in Secondary Education
  • EDU 6769: Student Teaching in Middle School Education
  • EDU 6859: Practicum in Secondary Education
  • EDU6869: Practicum in Middle School Education
  • Or EDU6669: Field Based Research (Non-Licensure)

Additional Program Notes

*Denotes courses that require 25 hours of field experiences.
** All licensure candidates will either have to take EDU 6625 or provide evidence to AIC that they completed recent training in Sheltered English Instruction for English
Language Learner students in their school district, or have passed the SEI MTEL or hold a valid ESL license.
Master of Education degree or CAGS awarded
Total credits: 36

Course Descriptions

Candidates for initial teacher licensure will examine the dispositions, knowledge and skills of the 21st century educator. A study of American education will explore the historical, economic, and political trends underpinning our current approaches to instruction, curriculum and assessment. Diversity in the classroom and the implications for teaching students with special needs, English Language learners, and students from low income families will be studied. A related investigation of district-based demographic and assessment data will be conducted, followed by the analysis current practices, such as, inclusion, differentiated instruction, and response to intervention. The Common Core Curriculum Frameworks (MCF) will be incorporated into instructional mini-lesson demonstrations. A concentrated ELL module will develop in-depth understanding of the demographic, cultural, language and educational characteristics of these unique learners. Lesson plan development with instructional considerations for ELLs will align with ELL case study activities. Field experience required.

The purpose of this course is to investigate developmental factors and influences that impact child growth and learning for the special needs child. The course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify those children who have special needs and study the ways and means that may be used to aid these children. Students will explore current early identification strategies and techniques as well as Response To Intervention (RTI) procedures used to facilitate struggling learners in the educational setting. State regulations (Chapt. 766) and Federal requirements (IDEA) will be covered in depth, as well as information about services provided and/or available to students by other agencies. An analysis of local/district/state data will be included. Students will acquire knowledge of how to use technology and assistive technology with special needs students and its curriculum implications. This includes Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder (w/wo hyperactivity). Course participants will gain an understanding of the educational problems which mild, moderated or severe handicaps imposes on a special needs child or youth and how this applies to the preparation and implementation of the Individual Educational Plan (IEP).

This course addresses the developmental reading and language needs of the middle and high school student in the content area classroom spanning from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” The strategic use of multiple texts, including 21st century technology literacies, will be presented using micro-teaching lessons to demonstrate effective practice. Using technology to access national and local assessment data, students will analyze and identify areas of need within the English language arts and their intended subject area to guide instructional decision-making. Instructional accommodations for diverse learners will explore methods in sheltered English language immersion, special education, gifted and talented enrichment, and compensatory strategies for rural and urban poverty populations. Field work experiences and a diagnostic case-study assignment will integrate all course components. On-line research of the National Reading Panel Report and other professional sources will be integral to course learning. Field experience is required.

This course offers an analysis and a practical look at the most effective methods of planning and teaching in a middle and/or secondary classroom. The major emphasis of the course is the development of a subject-area instructional unit appropriate to their teaching situation (urban, suburban or rural) that will include activities and strategies is such areas as cross-curricular, differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, integration of technology and indirect teaching methods. Micro-teaching experiences within the student’s discipline area will focus on specific components of lesson planning and lesson presentation in keeping with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Field experience is required.

This course will examine the substantial variety of student-centered evaluation practices and their importance in instructional planning for diverse student populations. Beyond the consideration of various standardized measures and traditional classroom testing and grading techniques, students will study 21st century assessment practices such as performance-based assessment, formative assessment strategies, open-ended questions, portfolios, and affective assessment, all of which emphasize higher-order critical thinking. The development of checklists, rubrics, and other methods of data collection will be emphasized. This technology-intensive course requires a unit plan created according to the principles of backwards design.

This course is a study of adolescent behavior, including current theories concerning the nature of adolescence. Emphasis is placed on physical, emotional, and cognitive forces, and how they interact to shape the adolescent personality. Students write a topical paper on some aspect of adolescence to gain a better understanding of the issues.

Students will engage in a survey of current practices of classroom management for regular and special needs students. Theory, materials, and practical applications will be included. Special attention is given to communication, observation, group and class management skills. Students will master terminology relative to cognitive behavioral programming and educational applications. Students will become familiar with classroom management techniques and demonstrate the ability to identify specific target behaviors, develop positively based programming strategies, establish manageable data collection methods, and analyze data using empirically based strategies. Federal and State regulatory mandates will be studied with a focus on the implementation of Functional Behavioral Assessments within the naturalistic setting. Students will become familiar with strategies that reduce or eliminate disruptiveness, aggressiveness, and defiance. They will learn practical ways of achieving better home-school relations and become familiar with services of the resource staffs as well as services provided by other (State and private agencies) in order to meet the needs of exceptional students.

The seminar sequence is arranged across the culminating semester to integrate specific topics and competencies with the teaching experience. Various areas of study will include health, media and technology, education of diverse populations (including ELL), data collection and analysis, development and implementation of IEPs, and legal issues. There will also be opportunities for peer mentoring. Students will generate products for inclusion in their portfolios by extending seminar concepts into classroom applications. Two research papers and a powerpoint presentation are required.

This course will provide a comprehensive model for instruction for preparing teachers to work with English language learners, (PreK-12) in all classrooms. Using a structured immersion approach (SEI), such as the SIOP Model, students will practice the cycle of assessment, lesson design and implementation of instructional strategies that provide access to grade level content for ELL learners. Students will plan, design and present a model lesson following the SIOP Model.

The practicum for initial licensure in MA involves 150-300 hours of observation, assisting and taking on the full role of classroom teacher under the direction of a college supervisor and a supervising practitioner in a school setting. A program portfolio and additional paperwork to meet state regulations is required.

The practicum for initial licensure in MA involves 150-300 hours of observation, assisting and taking on the full role of classroom teacher under the direction of a college supervisor and a supervising practitioner in a school setting. A program portfolio and additional paperwork to meet state regulations is required.

For candidates seeking teacher licensure, this is the 300-hour practicum-equivalent for classroom teachers employed in the field in which they are seeking licensure. A minimum of 150 hours must be logged in the full-role of teaching. There is an application process. Students will be assigned a college supervisor. A portfolio and documentation for the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education is required at the conclusion.

The practicum requirement for initial licensure in MA for those employed as classroom teachers in the field in which they are seeking licensure. 150-300 full-role hours of teaching under the direction of a college supervisor and a supervising practitioner in a school setting. A program portfolio and additional paperwork to meet state regulations is required.

Students majoring in one of the above specialty areas may opt for the appropriate field experience which will satisfy the degree requirement for a culminating experience. Candidates will have the opportunity to delve into data collection and analysis, designing program for diverse populations, technology, developing 21st century skills, as examples, and/or other principles learned in their coursework to the end of increasing student achievement in the classroom. An action based research project is the central activity for this course. Employed teachers may utilize their own classrooms for this culminating experience [40 clock hours per credit]. Students who complete their degree with this culminating project are not eligible for licensure as a teacher or administrator in Massachusetts nor will they receive the NASDTEC stamp for reciprocity with other states.

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