Elementary Teacher (1-6, initial licensure)

  • Credits for Licensure: 46
  • Credits: 38
  • Degree:
    Master of Education
  • Program Approved:
    Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education

Program Description

The Elementary Teacher (1-6) initial licensure program is for students who plan to teach in public schools or collaboratives. Students are prepared with appropriate skills and knowledge that will assist them in pursuing their initial license as an Elementary Teacher 1-6. 

Please note: At Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Learning Outcomes

Students learn the principles and knowledge needed by elementary educators, including strategies for teaching students with diverse abilities and languages in the various academic areas. This includes working in cooperative learning groups and co-teaching exercises that transfer into the classroom. Students will look at research on best practices for today's classrooms and teacher's accountability.


Graduates who have completed the licensure option are able to apply for initial licensure and are qualified for employment in public schools and collaboratives, teaching elementary grades 1-6.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


Please note: At Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Professional Seminar and Project
Professional Seminar I: Elementary Education (Initial)
ELE 691N 2 credit(s)
The Professional Seminar is a signature element of the adult learning model at Cambridge College. It grounds learning in a cohort group of students with a faculty leader licensed in elementary education. This seminar introduces the student to a variety of perspectives including historical, socio-cultural and development. Students investigate topics that include learning theories, diversity, teaching models and approaches. A focus for this seminar is the professional teaching standards, subject matter knowledge requirements for state licensure relating to elementary students (1-6). Students integrate their learning from classes and observations and become reflective practitioners. The seminar leader is the students’ academic advisor and guides them through their graduate program and supports students’ work on their independent learning projects. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Professional Seminar II: Elementary Education (Initial)
ELE 692N 2 credit(s)
The Professional Seminar is a signature element of the adult learning model at Cambridge College. It grounds learning in a cohort group of students with a faculty leader licensed in elementary education. This seminar builds upon the first seminar. It continues to engage students in developmentally appropriate practices that meet the needs of students with and without disabilities as well as English Language Learners PreK to grade 2. Students will learn instructional strategies that incorporate various academic areas as part of an integrated program. The cohort studies professional standards for elementary teachers and the requirements for state licensure. Students integrate their learning from classes, research, and observations. The seminar also supports students' work on their independent learning projects, from identifying topics, to guiding the research and writing, to completion. The seminar leader approves the finished projects.
Professional Seminar III: Elementary Education (Initial)
ELE 693N 2 credit(s)
The Professional Seminar is a signature element of the adult learning model at Cambridge College. It grounds learning in a cohort group of students with a faculty leader licensed in elementary education. This seminar explores ways to create a standards-based curriculum, education evaluation in an inclusive classroom setting. The seminar explores multicultural education, inclusive teaching, assessment strategies, management techniques and parent-community relationships. There is a continuation of planning teaching strategies for language arts, working with math manipulatives, and effective classroom instruction. The seminar leader is the students’ academic advisor and guides them through their graduate program. The cohort continues to study the professional standards and subject matter knowledge for elementary teachers and the requirements for state licensure. The seminar also supports students’ work on their independent learning projects, from identifying topics, to guiding the research and writing, to completion. The seminar leader approves the finished project.
Independent Learning Project: Elementary Education
ELE 800 3 credit(s)
The Independent Learning Project is a culminating learning experience that helps educators integrate their personal and formal learning and their professional experiences into a meaningful whole. It reflects the general guidelines for elementary educators and articulates the individual’s educational and administrative philosophy. The project is research- and action-based, on a focused topic chosen by the educator, within the area of licensure. It engages educators in sustained research into educational practice and curriculum development in elementary education.
Elementary Courses
Teaching Phonological and Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
ELE 500
This course is a prerequisite for ELE521. This course will emphasize the development of children’s phonemic awareness, phonological awareness and phonics skills and the learning environment that supports the development of such skills. It will also cover concepts of print, explicit/implicit instruction, analytic/synthetic methods, word analysis skills, the alphabetic principle, and language development.
Dev Reading and Writing Skills for Early Childhood and Elementary Curr
ELE 521 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: ELE500. This course will emphasize the development of children’s reading and writing skills in the primary to upper elementary grades and the learning environment that supports the development of such skills. The relationships between the theories and current research on emergent literacy, oral language, vocabulary development, comprehension, the reading and writing process and assessment will be reviewed and analyzed by the members of this course. In addition, participants will review and discuss the following topics: whole language, balanced literacy, effective teaching strategies, use of research-based programs, literature-based instruction, use of different assessment tools to inform instruction, standard-based instruction, federal funding, culture and democracy. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Developmental Psychology
ELE 510 3 credit(s)
This course explores basic theories and concepts in cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development from childhood to adolescence; and the characteristics and instructional implications of moderately and severely disabling conditions. These theories are then applied to instruction, with emphasis on Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Students explore multiple theories of intelligence and learning, and strategies for a curriculum reflecting the diverse intellectual needs of children as learners. The stages and characteristics of child development are introduced and students apply this knowledge to the classroom through the use of integrated curriculum. Participants investigate methods of systematic observations and recording of child behavior in light of child development theories, and utilize this information in their planning and implementation of instruction. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Science & Technology in Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 653 3 credit(s)
This course provides the knowledge, tools and methods for making early childhood and elementary science an exciting, hands-on learning experience for children. Educators learn how to develop lessons that address student experimentation and design techniques using readily available materials. Safe laboratory practices for the classroom are also addressed. A standards-based approach to science education is our template for lesson development, covering the major domains in science: life, physical, earth, inquiry-applied and engineering technology; and historical scientific discoveries in each area. Alignment of curriculum is emphasized; national benchmark standards in elementary science are also supported. Analysis of elementary summative science assessments, based on the National Science Standards is incorporated in the coursework. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Integrating Physical Ed. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
ELE 594 1 credit(s)
This course reflects current thinking and practices in physical education for the classroom teacher. Emphasis is on the importance of quality physical education programs and to raise awareness of teachers combining their expertise and content to integrate with other disciplines.
Integration of Children's Lit. in Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 620 3 credit(s)
This course introduces some of the best literature—children’s, young adult, adult and contemporary—and helps children become lifelong learners and readers. Students gain knowledge of the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks/Common Core Standards. Many genres of literature are explored, along with basic literacy elements and techniques including the necessary basics of the English language with emphasis on correct grammar, usage and composition. Lesson plans and models for teaching literature are presented. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Integration of Visual Arts for the Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 593 1 credit(s)
The Arts enable teachers to better engage their students while also addressing student’s different learning styles and allowing student creativity to flourish. This course will give participants an introduction to using the visual arts as a vehicle for learning in the classroom. Teachers will learn ways to use the arts and art materials as a pathway toward gaining knowledge and using higher order thinking skills. Presentation of material will be part reading, part lecture and part hands on participation and exploration. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of art materials, art language and how to use visual arts in the early childhood and elementary classroom that includes special needs and ESL students.
Classroom Management with Models ofTeaching
ELE 630 3 credit(s)
Participants learn strategies and techniques for managing students in the classroom. Students observe, analyze, and discuss a variety of teaching models including information processing, group investigation, social inquiry, inductive models, non-directive teaching models and problem-solving. Emphasis is on interpersonal relations, arrangement of space, management of time, working with individual students, small group and large group structures and working with content and process. The Massachusetts Frameworks and teacher licensure competencies are taught to fully support teacher/student learning and instruction techniques. An historical approach to elementary education in America is researched in the course. One to two hundred years of teaching/learning techniques, legislation, and philosophies are discussed and paralleled with contemporary educational issues and guidelines for student learning. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Soc.Sci. Hist. & Multicul. Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 656 3 credit(s)
This course prepares educators to teach social studies that includes the multicultural contributions of the world. They gain skills and varied methods for teaching basic information in social studies, history and geography. They gain a basis for researching issues in social studies and history that give their students more universal perspectives. The materials chosen are appropriate to the Massachusetts Curriculum frameworks/Common Core Standards in history and social studies. Educators will gain the basic information and know the principles for teaching social sciences, history and geography as outlined in the Massachusetts regulations for educator licensure. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Euclidian Geometry
MAT 609 3 credit(s)
This course emphasizes the fundamental ideas of Euclidean geometry with a focus on logic, observations, predictions, and conclusions. Significant geometric properties and concepts are explored through the systematic presentation of the axioms, definitions, constructions, and theorems of classical geometry. Major topics include: the foundations of geometry, direct proofing techniques, triangles, parallel lines, and polygons, right triangles and the Pythagorean theorem, circles, and solid geometry. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Mathematics Essentials
MAT 618 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the essential components of algebra, probability and statistics. Major topics include: algebraic, linear and non-linear models; functions and graphs; collecting, organizing and displaying data; using appropriate statistical methods based on data; and applying basic concepts of probability theory to everyday situations. Observations of lessons in which any of these topics are taught would meet pre-practicum observational requirements for this course.
Teaching Numeric and Geometric Structures
MAT 623 3 credit(s)
This course covers the teaching pedagogy of the basic foundation of the mathematics curriculum in terms of its numerical and geometric structures. Major topics include: number sense, numeration, estimation, mental math, modeling operations using concrete objects, geometry, spatial sense and measurement. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Practicum (licensure students only)

Practicum Prerequisites

  • Pass all teacher tests required by the state for this license.
    Massachusetts: Communication & Literacy, General Curriculum, math sub-test, and Foundations of Reading (MTEL).
  • SEI605 Sheltered English Immersion (3 additional credits) or Mass. ESE-endorsed course or SEI MTEL.
  • Pass all required courses including Independent Learning Project.
  • Pre-Practicum — 75 hours in diverse settings (0 credit).

The practicum is guided and evaluated by a licensed/certified elementary teacher in the classroom and a Cambridge College elementary supervisor. Practicum locations are subject to MA DESE regulations and must be approved by the program chair. Students are responsible for discussing options for practicum with the program chair.

SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Content License Endorsement Course
SEI 605 3 credit(s)
This Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Content License Endorsement Course is designed for educator licensure candidates in all core academic areas, to prepare them to address the needs, and build on the multilingual and multicultural assets, of a diverse and ever-changing student population in Massachusetts. The course is a key element of the Massachusetts RETELL initiative (Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners). RETELL also includes statewide implementation of the WIDA ELD (English Language Development) standards, and the WIDA-ACCESS assessment tools. Participants will be introduced to ELD standard and WIDA tools, and will practice applying research-based SEI instructional strategies as they teach their content to English language learners (ELLs). They will also be introduced to a variety of professional growth opportunities to prepare them to extend their learning by making SEI the focus of professional practice within the new educator evaluation process.
Practicum: Elementary Education (1-6) 400 hours
ELE 790 3 credit(s)
400 hours. Prerequisites: Pre-practicum 75 hours, all initial licensure courses, Pass all teacher tests required by Massachusetts for this license. Practicum Seminar required concurrently: Students must participate in the role and at the level of the license sought, under a supervising practitioner with the appropriate license, with Cambridge College supervision. The Practicum experience provides student teachers with an opportunity to gain insights into the profession, refine their teaching skills, and to master the current Professional Standards for Teachers by working with young people in public schools and classrooms. Students work with the guidance and support of an experienced educator and by observing his/her instructional and classroom management strategies, utilize contemporary teaching techniques and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners in action. Students develop instructional strategies and align lesson plans with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks/Common Core Standards, appropriate curriculum materials, classroom management skills, strategies for creating a learning environment that fosters an appreciation of diversity and interactive learning. Students reflect on their own professional growth and examine theory through actual classroom practice. An Exit Performance Portfolio/ePortfolio documents their experiences.
Practicum Seminar: Elementary Education
ELE 791 2 credit(s)
Practicum required concurrently: ELE790. Exit Performance Portfolio required for credit. The seminar for classroom experience supports students’ growth as they assume the teaching role. It is the setting for students to interpret their field-based experiences and transform them into skills, knowledge constructs, attitudes and values. The seminar provides a cohort support for students to address problems and find solutions, while utilizing current academic research and practices. They master understanding and practice of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and become familiar with the current reforms, changes in state regulations on educator licensure, and teachers' Code of Ethics. Students present an Exit Portfolio as part of their evidence of the preservice preparation experience


  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

Program Requirements

Licensure Programs

  • MTEL Communications and Literacy Test
  • GPA of 3.0
  • Program Chair consultation and approval

Students may enter the College without having met the MTEL and GPA requirements. Enroll in the non-licensure program aligned with the licensure desired. When the MTEL test is pased and a GPA of 3.0 earned, seek approval to transfer into the licensure program.

Learn more about School of Education and licensure program admission requirements.

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form 

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.



  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $2,938 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2017, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

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Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

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