The M.E.T. Degree
The Master in Effective Teaching (M.E.T.) degree has an unusual name: this is to signal to applicants that there is an unusually high bar to complete the program. In addition to success in all the graduate classes, teachers must succeed with the actual children they teach, during their actual full-time teaching experience (i.e. not just as a “student teacher”).
We measure the classroom success of our master’s candidates via neutral outside observers, student achievement gains (where we can measure them), student surveys, and principal evaluations.
This method of evaluation aligns with cutting-edge Gates Foundation research, led by Harvard economist Tom Kane, called the Measures of Effective Teaching project. This evaluation also aligns well with new Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements for all teachers (so in the future, all full-time teachers in Massachusetts will be measured in this way).
More about the M.E.T.
The Sposato Graduate School of Education was approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education in the spring of 2012. All graduate schools in Massachusetts have received a similar approval. Many – although not all – local graduate schools also apply for accreditation from an organization called the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC.) This is a multi-year process, typically completed by organizations much older than ours.
What does this mean?
The one clear disadvantage to the lack of accreditation is that the Sposato Graduate School of Education students do not qualify for federal financial aid.
Some schools choose to compensate their teachers more if they have a Master's Degree; the small number of Sposato Graduate School of Education graduates who have worked in schools like this have received the corresponding pay bumps. However, there is a theoretical risk that some schools or districts may not recognize the Sposato Graduate School of Education degree due to our lack of accreditation.