Educator Preparation

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The educator preparation programs prepare educators who possess the knowledge, disposition, and skills necessary to take the lead in establishing effective teaching and learning environments within their own classrooms and school communities. Immersion in subject matter, research, theory, and field-based experience provides a base for our graduates to make well-reasoned judgments in complex situations, render informed decisions, model exemplary practice, and take initiative for planned change. Students learn to establish caring environments which celebrate individual differences and backgrounds while fostering cooperation and educational improvement. We stress reflective critical inquiry as a mode of study and community-building as a means for promoting change. We value and support both our students' local practice and their broader leadership within the profession.

The main program in Educator Preparation at the undergraduate level is the B.A. in Educational Studies: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. At the graduate level, the core is the fifth-year program in which students begin preparation for teaching at the undergraduate level with a semester of field experience and professional course work in education. Students complete a baccalaureate degree outside of education and move into a fifth year of study and full-year internship which lead to either the M.Ed. or M.A.T. degree and licensure for teaching. (Students in the fifth-year program may combine their program for teacher licensure with a master’s program in the department of their major.) Students in music, mathematics, and nursery school/kindergarten and physical education have the option of choosing a four-year undergraduate program for licensure. Students who have already completed a baccalaureate degree may also enter the teacher preparation program at the graduate level. With no prior course work in education, these programs will normally require two years to achieve licensure and a degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

The state of  New Hampshire Department of Education Bureau of Credentialing  issues teacher licenses in New Hampshire. The University of New Hampshire provides recommendations for certification to the state upon completion of an educator preparation program. At that time, a teacher candidate must file an application with the NH Department of Education. Applications are available online through the New Hampshire Educator Information System

In addition to the recommendation for licensure provided by UNH at the completion of a student’s educator preparation program, candidates for certification must provide Praxis Core and Praxis II scores (as required by content area), submit an official transcript showing award of degree, complete a background check, and pay required fees. 

Teacher candidates recommended by the University are eligible for a BEC-Beginner Educator Certificate (license). 

Licensure, which broadly speaking is the ability to demonstrate all the requirements needed to be hired as a teacher or an administrator in a specific state, often requires completing a set of specific courses culminating in a degree, passing national or state exams, completing an internship, practicum or other experience in an educational setting, and potentially collecting letters of reference or verification of professional experience. 

A degree is recognition of the successful completion of a specified program of study awarded by a college or university.  One may earn a degree and not meet certification requirements, or one may earn a degree and based on that program of study, use it as proof of readiness to be certified.  Consider the difference between earning a master’s degree in History versus earning a Master of Education degree in Social Studies Education.  Many of content courses for these degrees may overlap, but the Social Studies degree would lead to certification based on a program of study that includes a broader set of content courses as well as teacher preparation courses and experiences. 

A degree is usually the foundation for recommending someone for certification as it provides a defined collection of courses and experiences for demonstrating the completion of requirements that a state requires to be hired as a teacher or administrator.  The requirements needed to earn a degree are often very similar or the same as what is needed to meet most requirements for certification.  This is intentional; so that students graduating with certain education degrees are ready to be recommended for certification upon completion of their programs. 

Some prospective students who have already earned a Master’s degree in Education or a related field may seek a certification-only program of study.  These students, who have already met many foundational educational requirements, often want an efficient, thorough, additional program of study that opens new career options.  These programs require students to complete a specific set of courses in order to receive a certification recommendation.  Students may not be required to complete all the requirements for a degree program.  UNH currently offers certification-only programs in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Principal Instructional Leader, and Special Education Administrator. 

Yes, you may seek a waiver for the Praxis Core tests by requesting a review of SAT, ACT or GRE tests from the NH DOE.  These may be used for admission purposes to UNH 4-year teacher preparation programs and when applying for certification. 

Here is a link to how that process occurs and all questions should be directed to the NH DOE test evaluation request page. 

Students applying for the 5-year accelerated master’s program or another teacher preparation-related master’s program must submit Praxis Core scores for admission to the UNH Graduate School. 

In many cases you can.  With the approval of your advisor and the certification officer, you may substitute undergraduate courses toward certification requirements.  However, the courses should have been taken recently to ensure that they remain relevant.  Undergraduate courses may not be used to fulfill graduate level degree requirements. 

Here is the optimal timeline:

Praxis Core – Reading, Writing, Mathematics  Prior to admission.  These tests are required by NHDOE for certification and must be passed prior to student teaching/internship. 
Praxis II: Content Tests 

Praxis II: Content tests should be completed in the fall or early in the spring term if a student has their final internship/student teaching placement in the spring term.

Praxis II: Content tests should be completed in the summer or early in the fall term if a student has their final internship/student teaching placement in the fall term. 

Foundations of Reading (select programs)  After EDUC 7/806 – Introduction to Reading Instruction. 
All required tests passed.  Approximately two months prior to graduation, for example, April 1 for May graduation. 

 

You will need to create a myNHDOE account (Educator ID) when you begin the background check process.  Please send your Educator ID number (this is not the MY NH DOE number) to Daniel.Carchidi@unh.edu

You can create your EIS user account on the NH DOE website at myNHDOELogin

This system is where you will apply for your license after UNH has recommended you for teacher licensure.  Creating your account gets the process started.  The license is also issued through this portal as a downloadable .PDF file. 

Please contact Dan Carchidi (Daniel.Carchidi@unh.edu) if you need a letter of eligibility when applying for teaching positions prior to receiving your certification.  The eligibility letter states that you will complete your educator preparation program in May 20XX or September 20XX, depending on your graduation date, and be eligible for New Hampshire certification. Please provide your UNH ID # and your certification area when you request the eligibility letter.  

NHDOE requires an official transcript showing award of degree to be licensed.  When requesting your transcript from the UNH Registrar, note “hold for degree” on the submission form.  Official transcripts should be sent to NHDOE at this address: credentialing.docs@doe.nh.gov  Final degree and certification information may take 6 or more weeks after graduation to be included on your official transcript.   

Massachusetts is second only to New Hampshire as the state in which Education Department graduates seek certification.  Here are links and information to get started. 

MA Department of Education Information (Initial licensure info) 

Obtain the Mass. verification of completion form; send to Dan Carchidi (Daniel.Carchidi@unh.edu) prior to graduation.  Upon graduation, UNH will complete the form, affix the official seal through the UNH Registrar and send it back to you through US mail.  See information at:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/licensure/apply-check-status-license.html 

Students who are applying for MA licensure only should take the MTEL for their content area and not the Praxis II. 

Note that MA requires a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) endorsement for certification.  NH does not have this requirement.  (As a newly hired MA teacher, you will have 1 year to complete this requirement after starting a teaching position.  Check for any changes on the MA DOE site before you apply.) 

You may qualify for the SEI Teacher endorsement through one of the following pathways: 

  • Enroll in and successfully complete a for-cost course sponsored by a DESE-approved vendor; or 

  • Complete a Massachusetts-approved educator preparation program for the applicable license; or 

  • Take and pass the SEI MTEL; or 

  • Hold an ESL/ELL license in Massachusetts; or 

  • Possess a Bachelor's degree in a DESE-approved major or DESE-approved graduate-level training. *If you believe that you may qualify for the Endorsement by virtue of having the appropriate degree or graduate level training, you may submit materials to the Office of Educator Licensure for review. (Provisionally certified.  Up to a year to achieve SEI requirement to the initial license.) 

    • In the past, UNH students who have completed EDUC 712/812: Teaching Multilingual Learners and ENGL 716/816: ESL Curriculum & Assessment have successfully petitioned MA DOE for an SEI endorsement.  Please contact Dan Carchidi if you have taken these courses and would like a letter supporting your case. 

Application fee in MA: $100   Additional license applications are $25. (double check to ensure these fees haven't increased)

If you are applying for certification outside of New Hampshire, please visit the Department of Education website of the state in which you are seeking certification.  Information regarding testing requirements, verification of completion of out-of-state educator preparation program forms and other useful information can be found online or by contacting the State Department of Education in the state in which you would like to work.   

It typically takes 4-6 weeks to be issued a teaching or administrator license once an application is complete. 

NHDOE policy states that recommendations for licensure are valid for 3 years from an institution’s date of recommendation. 

Once you complete all degree requirements including your student teaching/internship, you will be recommended to NHDOE as a program completer.  You will need to submit your Praxis II or other tests such as the Foundations of Reading (Elementary Ed and Early Childhood) to NHDOE, final transcript showing award of degree, pay the applicable fees, and complete a background check in order to be eligible to receive your license.  Please contact the Education Certification Officer, Dan Carchidi (daniel.carchidi@unh.edu), once you have completed final requirements such as Praxis II tests. 

Not really.  State requirements are consistent to be certified including Praxis tests, degree completion, student teaching/internships, and NH Teacher Candidate Assessment of Performance (NHTCAP).  However, courses and length of student teaching or internship are different in the 4 and 5-year programs. 

The professional experience requirement depends on the administrative position the candidate is seeking. 

  • Superintendent: A candidate must have completed at least 3 years of experience as an education administrator in a k-12 setting (Ed 506.01, Superintendent) 
  • Assistant Superintendent:  A candidate must have completed at least 3 years of experience as an educational administrator in a k-12 setting (Ed 506.02, Assistant Superintendent) 
  • Principal: A candidate must have completed at least 5 years’ experience as an educator (Ed 506.04, Principal Instructional Leader) 
  • Curriculum Administrator: A candidate must have completed at least 5 years’ experience as a classroom teacher (Ed 506.05, Curriculum Administrator) 
  • Associate Principal: A candidate must have completed at least 3 years’ experience as an educator (Ed 506.08, Associate Principal Instructional Leader) 

Feedback that we have received from former students suggests that logging a ticket through the NHDOE Credentialing Helpdesk  has received a faster response than calling the main NHDOE phone number.  In addition, many students are able to locate answers to their questions using the NHED Help Desk . 

The UNH Education Department offers a Master of Educational Studies degree in a completely online format.  However, this degree does not lead to teacher or administrator certification. 

Information on background checks is available on the Education Department website here 

The Department of Family Studies, Department of Mathematics, Department of Music, and Department of Kinesiology list the appropriate contact person on their application materials or provide instructions when students enroll in particular gateway courses. Please contact the appropriate department for details.”  Also, when preparing for student teaching: “Students enrolled in EDUC 694: Please contact the designated contact person at the placement district(s) as soon as a contract for the student teaching experience is completed. Results are sent to the superintendent at the placement district(s). Students with placements in multiple districts must complete a background check for each district.” 

Questions about NHDOE teaching licensure, creating an EIS profile and receipt of application materials should be addressed to the NHDOE Credentialing Bureau.  You can submit a ticket by via the customer service portal

The New Hampshire Teacher Candidate Assessment of Performance (NHTCAP) often referred to as the “TCAP” is a statewide, common assessment tool for evaluating teacher candidates’ preparedness for the classroom while also serving as a tool for candidate and programmatic learning.  The TCAP requires teacher candidates to demonstrate strategies they will use to make learning accessible to their students; explain the thinking underlying their teaching decisions; and analyze strategies they use to teach.