Teacher Licensure: A Program Off the Traditional Path

Some people know from the start that they want to work in education. Maybe they had a teacher whose passion for their subject was so influential, and they want to spread the love of their subject to other students in a similar way. Upon graduating from high school they head off to college and begin their higher education, taking education classes, and summing it up with a practicum experience where they can work closely with a mentor teacher to learn the ropes of being a teacher. This process does a great job of preparing teachers, but not all teachers have taken this path.

Many great teachers have decided later on in life that they wanted to work in primary or secondary education, but the idea of returning to college to take many new classes and a practicum can be daunting. For many it may not be financially feasible, and the time required to complete such a program can be a challenge for those with families at home. These teachers apply for a provisional teaching license (valid for 5 years, non-renewable), but advancing to an initial license may not be possible using the traditional process. Luckily, there is another path that can be taken in Massachusetts: PRPIL.

The Performance Review Program for Initial Licensure (PRPIL) is run by a company called Class Measures, and it creates an opportunity for individuals to meet the educator preparation requirements for initial licensure in a much faster (and cheaper) way. Candidates are assigned an Instructional Consultant from Class Measures and they choose a mentor teacher (or administrator) in their school. Throughout the course of one school year they will have 3 announced observations by their instructional consultant, 2 unannounced observations by their mentor, and a few three-way meetings with both. Lastly, they will put together a digital portfolio of evidence and reflections to show that they meet all standards for being an educator in Massachusetts. Upon approval of the portfolio, Class Measures will communicate with DESE to let them know that the applicant has met the educator preparation requirements.


There are a few requirements to participate in PRPIL, you must:

  • Hold a Massachusetts Provisional (formerly known as Preliminary) non-vocational teaching license.
  • Have completed three years of teaching under an MA Provisional license .
  • Have completed 120 hours of educational coursework or training related to the pedagogy of teaching.
  • Be currently teaching in the subject and grade level of the Provisional license being advanced.
  • Find a mentor from your school or district who holds an Initial or Professional license in Massachusetts.
  • Be recommended by your current principal. (See Principal Agreement included in RESOURCE tab of the PRPIL portal)
  • Hold an SEI Endorsement from DESE (Core Academic Subject teachers only)
  • Be able to present evidence verifying all subject matter topics listed in the Subject Matter Knowledge for Music document (Music teachers only)

The cost of the program is currently $2400, which is considerably less than the comparable program at a college or university. The program is typically completed in about 6-10 months, within a single school year. Visit the website below for more information, or to apply for the upcoming school year.


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