Jul 12, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Updates 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Updates

McKeown School of Education

Joseph Cambone, Dean

Nicole Harris, Associate Dean
Kristina Scott, Assistant Dean

The School of Education offers a wide variety of programs for individuals eager to have careers in public schools, early care and education centers, colleges and universities, and nonprofit, community-based education enterprises. Students range from “traditional” students coming directly from high school, transfer students, career-changers, and veterans. Many are the first in their families to attend college.  The School of Education continues to seek out and educate engaged students who are as diverse in their backgrounds, beliefs, and goals as are the citizens of the Commonwealth they will eventually serve.


Childhood Education and Care  

Secondary and Higher Education  


Our Mission

The mission of the School of Education is to develop inquisitive, reflective and culturally responsive teachers and leaders who value collaborative professional communities and whose practice engages students in transformative learning.

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Science in Education
Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Teacher Licensure Degrees (4+1)

The 4+1 program offers education majors a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree with initial licensure to teach in Massachusetts public schools in:

  • Early Childhood Education (grades prek-2)
  • Elementary Education (grades 1-6)
  • Elementary Education and Special Education combined (may require summer work)


Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Programs with a second major in Teacher Education (4+1)

Students who major in any of the listed content areas also have 4+1 program options leading to a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree with initial licensure to teach in Massachusetts public schools in:

  • Biology
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish

This path offers the option of earning a second initial license in Special Education or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages by completing additional courses which may require summer coursework.

Educational Studies Minor

Students in any major outside of education can choose educational studies as a minor to explore our varied systems of education. The minor requires 15 credits of education electives. Education electives can be found by searching the following prefixes: EDU, EDC, EEC, EDS. Students interested in pursuing a teaching license at the graduate level should speak with an education advisor about using the education minor as a bridge to a graduate initial licensure teacher preparation program.

Programs in the School of Education

The Early Education and Care concentration is a four-year program that leads students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. There are six concentrations available within this major that allow students to specialize in administration (fulfills requirements for Director 1 certification), early intervention, entrepreneurship, pre-licensure (graduate work required to complete state public school license requirements), or preschool lead teacher (fulfills requirements for preschool lead teacher). Students currently working in early education and care settings and who already hold lead teacher qualifications can also choose the advanced topics concentration.

This program incorporates extensive workplace experience across a range of early childhood settings. Upon graduation students will be ready to teach in private daycare and preschool settings, enter the field of early intervention, take on leadership roles in early childhood contexts, or work at the state or national level on policy or advocacy. 


The Educational Studies concentration is a four-year program that leads students to pursue a chosen career path in areas such as community education, international education, out-of-school programming, or higher education. With a heavy internship focus and coursework in grant writing, recruiting participant interest, and educational planning graduates are ready to pursue work in education oriented for- and non-profit venues or to move on to graduate school. Students who select the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) option will be ready to go abroad to teach English as a foreign language or to work in adult education settings. Students interested in teaching in the public schools will require graduate coursework to complete state teacher license requirements.


The 4+1 programs offer a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree for students in a variety of concentrations and content areas.

The combined bachelors and masters 4+1 in elementary and early childhood programs are designed to send expertly prepared, experienced teachers into our public schools. Our programs combine intensive, early experiences in our partner schools with rigorous academic expectations.

During their first two years at the university, potential 4+1 early childhood and elementary education candidates are advised to complete their general education requirements, their required education support courses, and to progress towards completing their chosen minor. Students will take 1-3 education courses each semester for the first four semesters that emphasize the role of social justice in education, review the elementary curriculum with a focus on whose stories are told and how to incorporate diverse perspectives, and build the core skills needed for teaching.

In the spring of their sophomore year, all candidates for the 4+1 programs are encouraged to have passed the Communication & Literacy MTEL, are required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and must obtain a work habits recommendation from a faculty member. Students who meet these standards will be invited to complete a writing sample and to interview before a faculty panel. Students who are found eligible for the program will be informed by the end of their sophomore year.

After passing all required MTELs, Early Childhood and Elementary students complete a full year of student teaching practicum experience during their fifth year.

4+1 programs are also available for candidates seeking a secondary teaching license in biology, English, history, math, physical education, or Spanish.  Students will complete a major in that field of knowledge, along with the second major in teacher education. 

After passing all required MTELs, secondary students will complete a semester of student teaching followed by a semester of a school-based internship.

In all education 4+1 programs, the senior year is a combined graduate and undergraduate year. Students complete all education coursework at the graduate level and are required to meet graduate standards in terms of workload, minimum grade expectations, and independence. Any remaining requirements for the undergraduate degree will be completed with undergraduate level coursework.

Please note: The combined elementary and special education 4+1 program requires high credit enrollment every term. Many students choose to distribute the courses by registering for summer courses at an additional cost.

Additional Note on MTEL Requirements: Please consult with the School of Education Student Support Office for current information on the status of MTEL requirements.

School of Education Student Support Office

In 2014, the School of Education opened the doors to its Student Services Center. This office, located in the Sullivan Building, room 304, serves the needs of students affiliated with School of Education. From advising and licensure questions, to MTEL (Massachusetts test for educator licensure) preparation, and a comfortable place to study between classes, the staff of this office is there every day and two evenings a week to support students in their programs.

Lifespan of Licensure Courses

No education courses that are part of or required for a teacher licensure course sequence may be more than seven years old at the start of a student teaching practicum.

Students who wish to appeal this policy may file an appeal with the chair and/or coordinator of their program.  Students who file an appeal should provide a course-by-course explanation of how they have kept current in the content area of each course (e.g., by working in a classroom that employs specific curricular approaches, taking professional development workshops, attending lectures, etc.).


BA/M.Ed. and BS/M.Ed. Progression and Intervention Policy

The School of Education regularly assesses all students enrolled in a combined BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program to ensure satisfactory progress in academics and professional dispositions prior to entering the practicum phase of their studies.  This policy applies to all students in any configuration of a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s degree educator licensure program.  Student performance undergoes holistic, formative assessment at the conclusion of each academic term in several areas, including: minimum course grades and GPA, Programmatic Assessments, satisfactory completion of the MTEL, Assessment of Professional Dispositions (APD), and fieldwork performance.  Depending on the outcome of the holistic assessment, the student progresses to the next phase of the program; receives a low-level intervention plan for the subsequent semester; receives an intermediate level intervention for the subsequent semester; or undergoes a high-level review that may lead to dismissal from the program.  There is no requirement to complete an intervention semester before program dismissal.  Students receive their holistic assessment results in writing.

Intervention Semester

Our goal in the School of Education is to provide supports necessary to develop prepared professionals as future educators.  As a mechanism to support student growth and performance, students will be assigned an intervention semester of 15 weeks to make reasonable improvement. Interventions usually progress from (1) low-level interventions, which occur at the course level, (2) to intermediate-level interventions, which occur at the program level with the Department Chair or Program Coordinator, then (3) to high-level review, which includes the Dean’s review.  Specifics of the intervention activity will depend on the individual student and situation.

Students are reassessed every semester.  If a new issue arises, a new intervention semester begins.  The last permissible intervention semester is Senior Spring year and is determined during Winter Break between Senior fall and spring semesters. A high-level review may lead to dismissal from the combined BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program.  Dismissal from the program does not end a teaching career but may lead to a different route to licensure than through the SSU combined BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program.

  1. Minimum Grade and GPA policy
    a. Students in the BA/M.Ed. and BS/M.Ed. programs must maintain a 3.0 GPA in Education majors.  An overall GPA of 3.0 is required, but if students earn under a grade of B in an Education course, then they will be subject to the grade policy in the appropriate BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program.
    b. In order to progress into the practicum/internship, students must earn a grade of B or better in each methods course, and in the case of Elementary and Early Childhood candidates, EDC406 Literacy Development II.
    c. Students earning below the minimum grade of B in a single course will receive an intermediate level intervention; two or more grades lower than a B will initiate a high-level review. Alternatively, students may exit the combined BA or BS/M.Ed., earn a bachelor’s degree and reapply for an appropriate M.Ed. or MAT program.
  2. Programmatic Assessments
    a. At the conclusion of each semester the combined BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program, students will be evaluated across an array of summative, program-level assessments.  On a multi-criteria rubric, program faculty rate each student as follows:
         1. Does not meet criteria (fail)
         2. Meets criteria with conditions (minimal pass)
         3. Meets criteria (pass)
    b. An intermediate-level intervention is initiated for a student that is rated one (1) on any single criterion, or two (2) on four or more criteria in a given term.
    c. During the following semester’s Programmatic Assessments, students are evaluated with previous interventions in mind. A high-level review is initiated for a student for whom any criterion persists at a rating of one (1) or has four or more domain ratings of two (2) in a given term.
    d. Failure to take scheduled Programmatic Assessments or to complete specified interventions automatically initiates a high-level review.
  3. MTEL
    a. Elementary license track: Students are strongly encouraged to pass the Foundations of Reading and Multi-Subject Subtest by August 30 prior to the fall senior year.  b. Secondary/specialist license track: Students are strongly encouraged to pass the appropriate subject matter test by April 30 of the senior spring semester.  c. Early childhood license track: Students are strongly encouraged to pass the Foundations of Reading and Early Childhood test by April 30 of the senior spring semester.  d. Failure to pass MTELs by the recommended deadlines listed above initiates an intermediate-level review.
  4. Assessment of Professional Dispositions (APD)
    a. Each semester in the combined BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program, the summative, end-of-semester APD is filled by the field supervisors, the faculty and the host teacher.  Formative feedback to students on the APD is recommended throughout the semester.
    b. Junior Fall - Any single criterion rated one (1) will initiate participation on a low-level intervention.
    c. Junior Spring - Any single criterion rated one (1) that persists from the previous semester or that has been the subject of previous interventions during the semester is referred to high-level review.  Any other criterion rated one (1) will initiate participation in an intermediate-level intervention.
    d. Senior Fall- Any ratings of one (1), including those from previous terms, are referred to a high-level review.
    e. Senior Spring and Practicum/Internship- Any ratings of (1) initiate high-level review.
  5. Field Performance
    a. Students must meet minimum requirements on three criteria:
         1. Attend fieldwork weekly on schedule.
         2. Meet minimum hour requirements according to combined BA/M.Ed. or BS/M.Ed. program requirements.
         3. Enact feedback from teacher or supervisor.
    b. Progression
         a. First lapse initiates a low-level intervention.
         b. An intermediate-level intervention is initiated if two criteria are not met or if a criterion persists as not met from previous semester(s).
        c. A high-level review is initiated for a second lapse after an intermediate-level intervention or egregious concern determined by the site in consultation with Salem State University.

Fieldwork and Sequencing

Fieldwork is a crucial component of all education programs that may consist of pre-practicum, practicum and internships. The McKeown School of Education position on fieldwork is that is a reciprocal experience that benefits both the hosting program and the student and that this benefit is most effectively accrued through planned, consistent, long-term participation in the field. As such, students are not placed in the field until they have completed the introductory portion of their program. When they enter Stage I (foundational courses) they concurrently begin to spend short periods of time on a consistent weekly basis throughout the academic year with a mentor educator. When they progress to Stage II (methods courses) they experience a new setting for the next academic year and increase the time and responsibilities in the field. Finally, students complete a practicum in Stage III which requires taking on the full professional responsibilities of the role for the period of the practicum.

Policy for Students Who Do Not Complete the Fifth Year of the 4+1 Program in Education

In unusual circumstances, a student enrolled in the combined BS/MEd program in education may petition the Dean of the School of Education to be awarded a BS in Education without the MEd and licensure endorsement.  If the student’s petition is successful, course substitutions in lieu of field-based courses may be recommended and selected in consultation with the student’s program coordinator or chairperson.  In such cases, the minimum number of education major credits for the BS in Education is 36.


Childhood Education and Care





Secondary & Higher Education