Springfield Public Schools

You are

  • A Black or Latinx paraeducator or teacher-on-waiver

  • A college graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher

  • Currently employed by the Springfield Public Schools

  • An aspiring teacher

Quick Contacts

Springfield Public Schools Contact

Matthew Grimes 

Talent Acquisition, Diversity and Inclusion Administrator

413-787-7100 ext. 55317

grimesm@springfieldpublicschools.com

Springfield College Graduate Coordinator

Eileen Cyr

Springfield College Graduate Coordinator

413-748-3312

ecyr@springfieldcollege.edu

 

Springfield College Financial Aid

TJ Griffis

Associate Director, Office of Financial Aid
413-748-3108
tgriffis@springfield.edu

Springfield College MTEL Coordinator

Katy Reed

Springfield College MTEL Coordinator
413-748-3656
kreed@springfield.edu

Paradigm Shift Program Coordinator

Danielle Phillips

413-542-4018

dphillips@fivecolleges.edu

 
 
 
 
 

Your Path: Springfield Public Schools

Paradigm Shift is here to help you become a licensed teacher.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1. Learn More & Submit an Interest Form


The first step is to learn more about the process of becoming a teacher by contacting your district Human Resources Department or through the Springfield College Education Department. You will receive a link to an online Interest Form, titled "Springfield College 'Step Up Paras' Interest Survey," which you must complete and submit. This form will be received and reviewed by Springfield College to gauge your interest.




Step 2. Apply to Springfield College Graduate School


During your group or one-on-one information session, you will be provided a link to apply to the Springfield College Educator Preparation and Licensure Program.

Once you apply, you can set up an appointment with the Springfield College Graduate Coordinator to review your transcript. You will find out how many prerequisites you will need to complete the program and how long the program may take.

Once accepted into Springfield College, you will automatically be admitted to the Springfield College Working Teachers Program. In addition to flexible class times and other features, public school teachers and paraeducators receive a 40% reduction in tuition. You will also be assigned a Springfield College Financial Aid Advisor who will help you identify and apply for other financial aid that may be available to you.




Step 3. Enroll in and Attend Courses at Springfield College


Once you have chosen your field of study, or licensure area, you will receive a course list to obtain your license. You may also choose to obtain your master’s degree. The Educator Preparation and Licensure Program at Springfield College requires 24 credits and is typically completed over one calendar year. Earning your master’s degree requires an additional eight credits. Your Springfield College advisor will review this with you. Then, you will enroll in courses for the semester ahead.

Once you have enrolled in your courses, your Springfield College advisor will explain all of the academic resources and support available to you, such as tutors, mentors and study sessions. You will also participate in a Paradigm Shift Orientation Session with your Paradigm Shift liaison to learn about additional resources available to you. Your liaison will continue to serve as a contact and support person for you throughout the program. In addition, you may choose a mentor who will serve as a coach, cheerleader, and advocate within your school and district.

For help enrolling in courses, contact
Springfield College Graduate Coordinator

To learn about academic support available, contact
Paradigm Shift Program Coordinator




Step 4. Prepare, Take and Pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL®)


While you are taking your graduate courses at Springfield College, you must also prepare for and pass your MTELs. The MTEL Program was initiated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and includes tests covering communication and literacy skills as well as subject matter knowledge. The tests are designed to ensure that Massachusetts educators:

  1. Can communicate adequately with students, parents/guardians and other educators

  2. Are knowledgeable in the subject matter of the license sought

The Springfield College MTEL coordinator is also happy to help you identify courses, register, and schedule your MTELs.

Our MTEL Resources page provides extensive information about MTELs, test preparation, and exams by popular licensure programs.
Our PS Test Prep Support page offers information about test prep.
Use our Request a Tutor form for free tutoring help.
Paradigm Shift will also reimburse your MTEL test fees. Simply send a completed W9 form and a copy of your MTEL receipt to the Paradigm Shift Program Coordinator. You will receive a reimbursement check within two weeks' time.




Step 5. Complete Your Practicum


Your practicum is the practical application of your coursework. Once you have passed your MTELs and during your coursework, you will teach for a minimum of 300 clock hours, 100 hours of which must be direct instruction. There are bi-weekly seminars that provide additional support. All teacher candidates are assigned a college supervisor as well as a supervising practitioner. Springfield College will work together with your Springfield Public School District and your school’s principal to ensure you are able to meet your required hours and that you are supported throughout your practicum.




Step 6. Apply for your Initial License


Once you have completed your MTELs, coursework and practicum, you can apply for your Massachusetts Initial License. Once you receive your license, you are a fully qualified teacher. Your license is valid for 5 years and may be renewed only once. After three years teaching, you can choose to work toward earning your Professional Teaching License. The professional license expires every five years but can be renewed as many times as you'd like.

Springfield College provides a seminar and one-on-one assistance as needed to complete the Initial License application. It takes one to four weeks to receive your license.

Congratulations! You did it! Springfield Public Schools and the children you serve are fortunate to have you!





 

Springfield Public School Financial and Academic Support

In addition to federal and state financial support, there are opportunities for financial and academic support available specifically for Springfield Public Schools' paraeducators and teachers on a waiver working to obtain their initial teaching license.

Springfield College Working Teacher's Program tuition reduction


Once accepted into Springfield College, you will automatically be admitted to the Springfield College Working Teachers Program. In addition to flexible class times and other features, public school teachers and para-educators receive a 40% reduction in tuition.




Tuition reimbursement for teacher candidates pursuing a license in Special Education, Math or Science


If you pursue your teaching license in one of these areas, you could qualify for the S-Cubed Program, which is part of the Working Teachers Program. If you meet all S-Cubed Program requirements, you could be awarded an additional $5,000 toward tuition. In order to apply for the S-Cubed program, you must:

  • Pursue your teacher’s license in Special Education, Math or Science

  • Pass all of your required MTELs

  • Receive a recommendation from your Principal

  • Have your application approved by your district Human Resources Department

  • Commit to teaching in the Springfield Public Schools for five years following licensure

Approximately five para-educators per year working in Springfield Public Schools are awarded the additional $5,000. If awarded, the $5,000 will be deducted from your bill. Be sure to let your Springfield College Graduate Coordinator know if you are interested.





FAQ

What is the full cost of teacher preparation?


The total cost to obtain a Massachusetts Initial Teaching License is different for each person. We have included a worksheet in the Paying for Grad School section that you can print and complete as you gather financial information from the college you will attend and explore financial support that may be available to you. You will automatically receive a 40% reduction in tuition from Springfield College through the Working Teachers program. If you are pursuing a teaching license in Special Education, Math or Science, you may also be eligible for $5,000 in tuition reimbursement. Be sure to review the section titled Springfield Public School Financial and Academic Support.




When would I have to pay for my college courses?


Students are typically billed prior to the start of a new semester. Students who are not able to pay in full up front would work with the college’s financial aid office during the application process to secure financial aid.




Would free tutoring be available to me?


Yes. There is abundant free academic and MTEL tutoring that would be made available to you. Once you have enrolled in your courses, your Springfield College advisor will explain all of the academic resources and support available to you, such as tutors, mentors and study sessions. Springfield Public Schools Human Resources will notify you about free MTEL test preparation opportunities and provide a signup form. Paradigm Shift offers free MTEL tutoring. Simply complete and submit the online Request a Tutor Form. You will be contacted within the week by a prospective tutor. Paradigm Shift also offers free test preparation courses.




How many MTEL tests will I need to take?


Once you have chosen your licensure area, you can consult the Department of Education website for a list of test requirements. Our MTEL Resources page has a great overview of popular licensure test requirements, test prep ideas, and other resources. The Springfield College MTEL Coordinator is also happy to help you identify courses, register and schedule your MTELs.




How do I get reimbursed for MTEL test fees?


Paradigm Shift will pay for an MTEL test fee voucher that you request through the Springfield College MTEL Coordinator or you can request that Paradigm Shift reimburse your MTEL test fees. Simply send a completed W9 form and a copy of your MTEL receipt to the Paradigm Shift Program Coordinator. You will receive a reimbursement check within two weeks' time.




What is the Working Teachers Program (WTP), S-Cubed, and Step-up Paras?


The Working Teachers Program (WTP) is a collaboration between Springfield Public Schools (SPS) and Springfield College that offers tuition discounts to employees of SPS continuing their teaching education. S-Cubed is the leg of WTP that is specifically for those seeking to meet the requirements for filling high-need positions within SPS. Meeting those requirements comes with an additional $5,000 from the district towards your tuition. Step-up Paras is the leg of WTP that is specifically designed for recruiting paraeducators into teaching.





 

Still have questions?