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New Master’s Degree Requirement Only Applies to New Graduates

_MG_3349A law that just went into effect will impact teachers getting their first Connecticut educator certificate on or after July 1, 2016, but educators who already hold a Connecticut educator certificate will not be impacted.

In 2012, the Connecticut General Assembly passed new legislation requiring a master’s degree to advance most provisional level educator certificates to the professional level. Connecticut General Statutes, Section 10-145b (g), state that “on or after July 1, 2016, to qualify for a professional educator certificate, a person who holds or has held a provisional educator certificate… shall hold a master’s degree in an appropriate subject matter area, as determined by the State Board of Education, related to such teacher’s certification endorsement area.”

Additional guidance is being developed regarding what should be considered an “appropriate subject matter area” for the master’s degree. Once approved by the state Board of Education, these guidelines will be published. In the meantime, to assist educators who are hoping to enroll in master’s degree programs now to advance their provisional educator certificates expiring after the 2016 date, the state Board of Education recently approved the following grandfathering language:

Any person who is issued a Connecticut educator certificate for the first time on or after July 1, 2016, will be required to complete a master’s degree in an appropriate subject matter area in order to advance their provisional educator certificate to the professional educator certificate. Educators who already hold a Connecticut educator certificate PRIOR to July 1, 2016, will not be impacted by the new master’s degree requirement for that certificate, provided no lapse in certification occurs.

If you have any questions about maintaining your Connecticut educator certificate, you may email them to the State Department of Education at teacher.cert@ct.gov or contact CEA Educational Issues Specialist Michele O’Neill at micheleo@cea.org.

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