In order to obtain licensure, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires a 500-hour practicum and proficient scores on the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (MAPAL). This graduate certificate program provides content-specific experiences, which align with the MAPAL, and provides support with the 500-hour school site practicum experience; however, earning a proficient score on the MA-PAL exam itself is requirement for licensure. The MA-PAL assessment can be taken at any point a student feels prepared or post-graduation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Career, Licensure, Exam
The completion of the four tasks required for the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (MAPAL) Exam are aligned to the curriculum for this graduate certificate. The MA-PAL handbook designates acceptable forms of support from leadership programs such as: 1) ensuring the understanding of tasks 2) the alignment of tasks to coursework and field work, 3) discussions on how to demonstrate understanding and 4) practicing leadership skills related to the four tasks. The GCSL does provide support for students who wish to take the exam post-graduation or during the program.
The GCSL is a principal preparation program. If you are interested in being a school principal or assistant principal, in the state of Massachusetts, a license is required. We are a DESE sponsoring organization who has authority to endorse candidates for this licensure.
GCSL may also be attractive to other educators looking to enhance their leadership skills, as well as employers outside of school leadership, because this program educates about universal practices in leadership and equity along with racial understanding and organizational transformation.