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M.Ed. in Middle School (5-8) and High School (8-12) Education

Our 36-credit M.Ed. in Middle School (5-8) and High School (8-12) Education prepares you for your Initial License to work in secondary education.

Through coursework and field-based experiences, you develop an understanding of subject matter knowledge, curriculum design, instructional strategies, observation and assessment, communication, and collaboration with families and the community.

This program is approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and is aligned with the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers and Subject Matter Knowledge requirements.

Completion of a teacher education program is one of the requirements for initial licensure from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Initial Licensure students who decide not to pursue their license will still be able to complete their degree as a personalized non-licensure master’s degree.

The School of Education and Social Policy offers this program with concentrations available in many different content areas. Middle and High School Education: Verification of subject-matter requirements for initial license in the content area.

Candidates must have the applicable academic content background for the license.  Candidates are encouraged to apply for the license through ELAR prior to application to the graduate program.

  • Biology (8-12)
  • Chemistry (8-12)
  • Earth And Space Science (8-12)
  • English (5-12)
  • General Science (5-8)
  • History (5-12)
  • Humanities (5-8)
  • Math (5-8)
  • Math (8-12)
  • Math/Science (5-8)
  • Physics (8-12)

Learn more about Merrimack’s M.Ed. in Middle School (5-8) and High School (8-12) Education.

By submitting this form, I agree to be contacted via email, phone, or text to learn more about the programs at Merrimack College.

Tuition-Free Teacher Education Fellowship

Graduate in One Year, Tuition-Free

As a K-12 teacher fellow, you’ll work in a partner school district for a full academic year, gaining unparalleled and invaluable field experience. You’ll engage in a range of classroom-based activities, including small group instruction, co-teaching, and ultimately, independent classroom instruction.

Fellows graduate in one year, tuition-free, and earn a Master of Education in Teacher Education and licensure in their area of specialization.

Available now for both on-campus and online students while spots are still available.

Learn More

Nine (9) courses

Your secondary education program is easy to complete through convenient self-paced and online courses. Merrimack College’s advanced degree format allows you to schedule school around your life, so you can advance your career while you work. You’ll earn a total of 36 credits through nine courses. Class schedules run for eight weeks and each course is worth four credits.

Immersion Events

Throughout the secondary education program, you will have the opportunity to participate in optional immersion events such as seminars, guest speakers, and networking sessions. These events provide online students with a way to engage and network with peers, faculty and leading educators in the field outside of the classroom.

Field-Based Experiences

Field-based experiences are an important part of your educational journey toward a master’s degree in Middle School (5-8) and High School (8-12) Education. You’ll have the opportunity to learn in the classroom through three pre-practicums and a full practicum of 450 hours, which is the equivalent of 15 weeks. Field-based experiences are arranged at conveniently located schools in Massachusetts, close to home.

Your teacher education program specialist provides personalized support throughout your field-based experiences. Successful completion of the 15-week practicum contributes four credits toward your degree for a grand total of 36 credits.

Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Exam Preparation Support

At Merrimack College, you will benefit from support and preparation assistance for the MTEL exams required for your Initial License in Massachusetts. MTEL preparation is built right into your program. The Early Childhood Education Concentration requires successful completion of the following MTEL exams:

  • Communications & Literacy Skills (01): Reading and Writing subtests
  • Appropriate subject area

Initial Licensure students who decide not to pursue their license will still be able to complete their degree as a personalized non-licensure master’s degree.

What Skills Will You Develop?

To earn your M.Ed. in Middle School (5-8) and High School (8-12) Education, you will complete nine courses, including your practicum, for a total of 36 credit hours. Classes are eight weeks long and self-paced for your convenience. Field-based experiences include three pre-practicums and one full practicum.*

*The practicum field experience is a full semester of 15 weeks, comprised of 450 hours.

The course will present the basic components of lesson planning using Understanding by Design (UbD). Students will learn techniques around differentiating instruction, including tiered instruction, scaffolds to accommodate differences in learning styles, needs, interests, and levels of readiness of students. Students will examine specific systematic behaviors teachers use to create orderly, cooperative, and motivating learning environments that promote student achievement.

Co-requisite (0 credits): ED 6500G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience I

This course provides an overview of the challenges that students with moderate disabilities encounter in their lives. The class will explore how disabilities are identified, what necessary steps are taken to refer students for evaluations in the Special Education process, characteristics of students with disabilities, general issues of evaluation approaches, and research-based accommodations and interventions including the use of assistive technology devices and behavioral interventions. State and federal laws as well as an overview of local and national support agencies are also reviewed.

The purpose of this course is to prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills to effectively design content instruction in order to support English Language Learners (ELLs) in accessing curriculum and achieving academic success as they prepare for their futures in the 21st-century global economy. Throughout the course, effective research-based strategies will be modeled. Teachers will have opportunities to practice strategies, to analyze their practice, to provide and receive feedback, and to reflect on their own experiences. The course addresses three over-arching goals for teaching ELLs:

  • To help teachers effectively carry out their responsibility for the teaching and learning of ELLs, as well as to understand the social and cultural issues that contribute to and impact schooling for ELLs.
  • To expand teachers’ knowledge of how language functions within academic content teaching and learning, and how children and adolescents acquire a second language.
  • Provide teachers practical research-based protocols, methods, and strategies to integrate subject area content, language, and literacy development using the Massachusetts English Language Development (ELD) standards and the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards to support ELL students’ success in meeting standards of the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks as well as the Common Core content standards.
    This course is delivered in a hybrid model with on-ground elements delivered in person over a series of weekends. Alternate models for the completion of your SEI endorsement are available. Please contact the Program Director for more information.

Co-requisite (0 credits): ED 6507G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience III

Students will undertake the gradual assumption of full teaching responsibilities in a middle- or secondary-level classroom under the guidance of a Supervising Practitioner and a Program Supervisor. Students must complete at least 200 hours of full teaching responsibility and another 100 hours observing and/or assessing. Students must have a passing score on all required Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams, completed all graduate education coursework, and a minimum 3.0 overall GPA before starting the practicum.

Co-requisite (0 credits): ED 6510G – Practicum Seminar

This course introduces students to research and best practices applying reading, writing, speaking and listening strategies to enhance discipline-based learning outcomes, grades 6-12. Concepts related to College and Career Readiness and the Common Core Literacy Standards for grades 6-12 content areas provide the foundation for the knowledge, skills, and understanding in the course. General and discipline-speci fic elements of literacy, including vocabulary acquisition, speaking and listening in collaborative group and public presentation settings, reading and comprehending complex texts and multiple texts, genres, and formats, writing to learn and writing for audiences, comprise key areas of study. Students engage with scholarly and practice-oriented readings, web-based materials, case studies, model lessons, units, and programs. Finally, students demonstrate the application of contemporary literacy standards and practices in the content areas through class exercises, assignments, and projects and in lessons and units of study intended for use in middle and high school classrooms.

Co-requisite (0 credits): ED 6505G – Pre-Practicum Field-Based Experience II

This course will integrate the theory and practice of curriculum theory, design, and implementation. The course will be aligned with the appropriate Professional Standards for Teachers (PST) and Subject Matter Knowledge (SMK). The course will provide an overview of the history of curriculum in the United States with a focus on the current standards movement, an introduction to select international curriculum, and an in-depth exploration of various curriculum designs and practices such as Understanding by Design (UBD), interdisciplinary curriculum, Social-Emotional Curriculum, Sheltered English Immersion, Differentiated Instruction, Universal Design, Response to Intervention, Blended Learning and Expeditionary Learning and Curriculum Mapping. Students will have the opportunity to develop a definition of curriculum and comprehend the factors that drive curriculum change, to compare and contrast various curriculum designs, and develop curriculum units following the tenets of UBD and Rigorous Curriculum Design. Students will also become familiar with the process of selecting curriculum.

In the next few years, it will be essential that our students can effectively and efficiently ask questions, access, evaluate and curate information, create content, collaborate with peers, communicate with a wider audience. This course will introduce and provide introductory training on some of the basic technology that is available to support these educational goals. Students will develop a process for evaluating the appropriateness and effectiveness of educational technology and develop a lesson utilizing the technology of their choosing. Finally, each student will create a convincing case for adding new educational technology in his or her classroom.

This course will focus on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional aspects of adolescent development from an applied perspective. Specifically, issues related to teaching adolescents in middle schools and high schools, grade 5-12, will be considered. Students will engage in a service learning project to gain an understanding of children in this age range [undergraduate requirement]. Fulfills X in LS Core for undergraduate students. This course will be required for graduate students enrolled in the Middle or Secondary Teacher Education licensure programs who have not received credit for it and as an undergraduate student.

This course offers an analysis of methods most effective in the middle and secondary classroom. Micro-teaching experiences within the students discipline area will focus on specific components of lesson planning and lesson presentation in keeping with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The preparation of a subject-area unit will involve the development of activities and strategies in such areas as integration across the curriculum, critical thinking, cooperative learning, and the incorporation of community resources. Particular attention is paid to learning plans that respond to diversity, learning needs, and learning styles of all students, including unit and lesson construction, varied learning strategies, material construction, audio-visual, technology, and classroom evaluation. A 25-hour field-based experience is required.

It’s Easy to Apply Online

A complete application includes:

  • Online application (no fee).
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Resume.
  • Interview or Personal statement.
  • Contact information for one reference or one letter of recommendation.

GRE and GMAT scores are not required.

Key Dates and Deadlines

This program enrolls six times a year. Each term is eight weeks.

Application Deadline
Classes Begin
Fall I
Monday, August 12, 2024
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Monday, October 7, 2024
Monday, October 21, 2024
Fall I
Application Deadline
Monday, August 12, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Application Deadline
Monday, October 7, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, October 21, 2024

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

  • Most Innovative Schools (No. 14)
  • Regional Universities North (No. 33)
  • Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 31)
  • Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (No. 86)
    (at schools where doctorate not offered)
  • Best Colleges for Veterans (No. 14)
  • Best Value Schools (No. 47)
  • Merrimack College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
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