New DLCS License Information

From our friends at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding the new DLCS license (Digital Literacy and Computer Science):

Dear Educator,

As a teacher of a digital literacy and/or computer science (collectively, “DLCS”) course in 2016-17, this is to inform you about new licenses available to you and your colleagues:

  • DLCS Teacher License (Grades 5-12)
  • Instructional Technology (IT) Specialist License (Grades K-12)

These licenses do not affect existing licenses; you may continue to work in your current role(s) under your existing license(s), and any waivers to that effect at the local level remain in place.

DLCS Teacher License (Grades 5-12)

With the approval of the 2016 DLCS Curriculum Framework, DLCS became a core subject. The DLCS Teacher License is available to all current teachers interested in teaching DLCS courses, whether they intend to teach DLCS courses greater than 20% of the time, or exclusively, in grades 5-12.

Three pathways to this license exist: (A) the Competency Review Process, described in more detail below, (B) the Structured Guidance and Support Process, which is a performance-based assessment for teacher licensure, and (C) a DLCS initial licensure program through an approved Sponsoring Organization. Visit the DLCS 5-12 Licensing Page for more information

Preparation programs for new DLCS teacher candidates may be available starting in Fall 2018 and a Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) for the DLCS Teacher License is expected to be available in approximately 18 months.

IT Specialist License (Grade K-12)

The 2016 DLCS Curriculum Framework retired the 2008 Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations underlying the old IT Teacher License (Grades K-12). Acting on the recommendations of an expert review panel, the new IT Specialist License is primarily a coaching license, although it permits you to teach DLCS classes in K-5 and digital literacy classes in 6-12. Among other key responsibilities, the role includes identifying and evaluating the appropriate uses of technology resources to support teaching and learning; supporting the integration of technology in the classroom; ensuring equitable access to digital resources outside school; and providing support in the use of assistive and adaptive technology and accessible educational materials.

Subject matter knowledge requirements may be satisfied through the completion of an approved program for this license field and grade level.  Preparation programs for new ITS teacher candidates may be available starting in Fall 2019.

NOTE: If you are currently enrolled in a program for the IT Teacher License, contact the program to see if you can become eligible for the IT Specialist License.

Competency Review Process

The Competency Review Process consists of uploading evidence of your subject matter knowledge to the Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) portal. This information is subsequently reviewed by a licensure specialist who makes the final determination. Evidence may include any combination of higher education coursework, professional development, mentored employment, an approved assessment (Praxis #5651), and/or school-based teaching experience. Once an MTEL is developed for the DLCS Teacher License, the Competency Review Process will sunset.

NOTE: In uploading evidence to ELAR, please use the wording provided in the sample evidence letters. Helpful resources in identifying which courses taught or PD taken are related to the DLCS subject matter knowledge may be found on the DLCS Page.

Contacting the Department

If you have questions about these licenses or an existing license, please contact the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600 on weekdays between 9-12 and 2-5. The Walk-In Welcome Center in Malden is open every weekday from 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM. Visit the licensure home page for more information and directions.

Staying in Touch

To be informed of digital literacy and computer science announcements and upcoming events, subscribe to the Department’s STEM Listserv: Email with “Add to STEM DLCS Listserv” in the subject line.  Recent DLCS announcements have come from CODE.orgMECSPCAITE, and Mobile CSP.


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