Education Abroad Programs
“In the 21st century, it is imperative that education prepare our students to be citizens of the world with the capacity to respect a diversity of views, and to learn and collaborate productively with individuals whose geo graphic, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds are different than their own. Studying abroad is a highly effective way to ensure these educational goals are met. I hope that every student at Westfield State University will consider its potential.”
— Evan Dobelle, President, Westfield State University
Established in 2008, the International Programs Office offers Westfield State University students opportunities to experience the world outside of Westfield through International Exchange Programs, Semester Study Abroad Programs, Short-term Study Abroad Programs, and National Student Exchange.
International Student Exchange Programs
Westfield State University has entered into direct student exchange agreements with two institutions in China, one in Ireland and one in Poland. In China, Westfield State University has partnered with Capital Normal University in Beijing, and United International College on the mainland outside of Hong Kong. At Capital Normal University, students may choose from courses taught in English and in Mandarin; at United International College, the language of instruction is English. In support of this new exchange opportunity, Westfield State’s Department of World Languages now offers courses in the Mandarin language.
In Sligo, Ireland, students may study at the Institute of Technology. Located on the northwest coast of the Irish Republic, IT Sligo offers a wide range of study options over a number of interesting disciplines through the School of Business and Humanities, School of Engineering, and School of Science.
In historic Krosno, Poland, students may study at Krosno State College - known for an English language department that trains professional English interpreters and translators from around Europe. Therefore, students have many choices from among the courses that are taught in English, and may also take beginning Polish and an Introduction to Poland course. Their International Student group is very active, and excursions are planned for each semester.
Students approved to study in China, Ireland, or Poland for a semester or an academic year remain as Westfield enrolled students and pay their usual Westfield tuition and fees; they also continue their financial aid and insurance eligibility; in most cases, housing, board, and textbook costs are paid to the host institution. To qualify for participation in semester or yearlong programs, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, as well as the approval of their major department chair(s) and the Office of International Programs. All courses must be approved in advance and grades earned are calculated into the Westfield grade point average.
Interested students are strongly advised to procure a passport at the earliest opportunity; current passports must be valid through the exchange period and for at least six months beyond it. General information meetings are held at the beginning of each semester. Deadlines to apply for a China Exchange are March 1 for a fall placement, and October 1 for spring placements.
Westfield State is a member of the University Consortium for International Studies (CCIS), the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), and is affiliated with Academic Programs International, the Center for International Study, the Dublin Business School, Edge Hill University in Ormskirk England, the Umbra Institute in Perugia Italy, and Global Learning Semesters. These study abroad institutions and organizations are committed to developing international dimensions as an integral part of collegiate education and they strive for a high level of academic excellence. Through these consortia and affiliations, Westfield State offers semester or yearlong study opportunities at pre-approved locations in many countries, such as Australia, Austria, Cyprus, England, France, Ireland, Galapagos Islands, Germany, Greece, Scotland Spain, Italy, Egypt, the Canadian province of Quebec. Students approved to study with these approved Study Abroad providers for a semester or an academic year remain as Westfield State enrolled students and continue their financial aid and insurance eligibility; tuition, fees housing and textbook costs are paid to the host institution. To qualify for participation in semester or yearlong programs, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.75, as well as the approval of their major department chair(s) and the Office of International Programs. All courses must be approved in advance and grades earned are calculated into the Westfield grade point average. Interested students are strongly advised to procure a passport at the earliest opportunity; current passports must be valid through the study abroad period and for at least six months beyond it. General information meetings are held at the beginning of each semester. The application deadline for fall term candidates is April 1; the spring deadline is November 1.
Short-term courses are offered during the semester breaks in January and May each year to domestic and international destinations. These faculty-led credit-bearing learning experiences are short-term, focused, and affordable. Designed to provide greater accessibility to students, and to cover a breadth of academic interests and geographic destinations, faculty and students have traveled to Belize, Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Puerto Rico, Spain, St. Maarten, Turkey and Vietnam. January 2014 courses include: Spanish Conversation in Puerto Rico, Service Learning in Nicaragua, Climbing and Treking in Nepal, Adolescent Development in Spain, Environmental Biology in Costa Rica and Community Health Nursing in Guatmala. We have History of Jazz in New Orleans, travelling in during Spring Break in March 2014. May 2014 courses include: International Business in Paris and Milan, Theatre in London, Intercultural and Tropical Ecology for Educators in Costa Rica, Memory, Monuments, Museums and Multiculturalism in Istanbul and London, Oceanography in the Field in Puerto Rico and American Cities, Civic Learning in Chicago. To be eligible for participation, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.25 over 24 earned credit hours, as well as the approval of their major department chair(s) and the Office of International Programs. First-year students are eligible to participate in some short-term courses, such as the Environmental Science course in Costa Rica, and the Service-Learning courses in Nicaragua and New Orleans. Students interested in this rich learning experience are strongly advised to procure a passport at their earliest opportunity; current passports must be valid through the study abroad period and for at least six months beyond it. Spaces are limited; therefore, students are urged to apply early.
World Outside Westfield (WOW) Competition
The International Programs Office sponsors a WOW contest each semester. Seeking essays, poetry, artwork, photo or video projects, which capture the WOW moments of student study abroad participants, up to ten winners will be chosen from students participating in Westfield Exchange, Study Abroad, and Short-term Programs. Winning submissions will be published in various Westfield media, such as the Westfield State website, the Alumni magazine, (Focus), other publications, as well as being incorporated into study abroad promotional materials including posters to be used campus wide. One scholarship will be awarded for the winning submission. The scholarship can be applied to a future Westfield State University undergraduate or graduate short-term course or to a Westfield State-sponsored exchange or semester abroad. The selection jury is comprised of faculty, staff, and student members of the Westfield community.
International/Intercultural student club
Founded by international students attending Westfield State, and students who studied abroad, current students are invited to join the International/ Intercultural Club. The Club acts as a point-of-contact and offers support to international students on our campus, and students while they are studying abroad. Individual members are available to speak with students who are interested in attending the same institution abroad, or who want to learn from other students’ first-hand experiences. The Club works on fundraising for excursions, study abroad scholarships, and assists the International Programs Office in planning and programming for international and study abroad students. To join, contact the International Programs Office.
Applications for Exchange, Study Abroad and Short-term courses are available on the International Programs website: www.westfield.ma.edu/educationabroad.
For further information regarding Westfield State University Exchanges, Study Abroad opportunities, Short-term courses, the WOW Competition, and National Student Exchange, contact International Programs, 130 Parenzo Hall (Lobby), at (413) 572-8819. Email: IPO@westfield.ma.edu.
The Honors Program
The Honors Program at Westfield State University offers a stimulating educational experience for academically motivated students. Honors courses include general education (CORE) courses, Honors component courses, and upper-level seminars.
The Honors Program features seminars with interdisciplinary curricula, thought-provoking discussion and independent projects. They are challenging learning experiences that provide opportunities for students to refine writing, speaking and research skills in preparation for graduate study and employment. The classes offer students an opportunity to work closely with some of the most creative faculty on campus. Guest lectures are a common feature of Honors courses.
The Honors experience extends beyond the classroom to include special events, receptions with guest lecturers, field trips to cultural events, informal gatherings to provide students with opportunities to socialize and learn, Honors Housing, and priority registration opportunities. Students are invited to help organize activities that promote cultural and academic development.
Students who complete 18 semester hours of Honors courses with a grade of B or better in these Honors courses and a 3.30 overall cumulative average will be conferred the title “Commonwealth Honors Scholar,” which will be noted on their transcript and at commencement. The 18 semester hours must include at least one upper-level Honors seminar and a six-credit Senior Honors Project. Students must have a 3.30 overall cumulative average to begin this project. Students should begin planning for the Senior Honors Project during their junior year and should seek advisement from the Director of the Honors Program. In special circumstances, students may begin these projects during the second semester of their junior year.
Students who complete 18 semester hours of Honors courses, but not a Senior Honors Project, and earn 18 semester hours of Honors courses with a grade of B or better and a 3.30 overall cumulative average will earn the distinction of “University Honors Scholar,” which will be noted on their transcript and at commencement. At least one of the Honors courses must be an upper-level Honors seminar.
All Honors courses are denoted as such on student transcripts. When space is available, students with a GPA of at least 3.0 are invited to take Honors core and seminar courses during their undergraduate years and to seek Honors advisement from the program’s Director or faculty.
Incoming first-year students with a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 and combined (Critical Reading and Math) SAT scores of 1150 may be considered for participation in this program by the Honors Program Director in consultation with the Honors Program Advisory Committee. Other factors that are predictive of academic success will be considered. First-year admission may be granted on the basis of recommendations with the approval of the Honors Director. Undergraduates who have completed at least 15 credits with at least a 3.60 institutional GPA may be considered for participation. Transfer students who graduate from a Commonwealth Honors Program at a community college are guaranteed admission to the program. Matriculated students and students with learning disabilities may self-nominate and present alternative admission criteria.
Students will maintain their status in the Westfield State Honors Program if they have an overall cumulative average of 3.30 or higher. Transfer students must have an institutional GPA of 3.30 or higher. Honors students will be placed on probationary status if their overall GPA falls between 3.0 and 3.29. They will be allowed to take Honors courses and receive the privileges accorded to Honors students during the probationary semester except for priority registration. However, if their overall GPA remains below 3.30 at the end of the probationary semester, they will no longer be considered members of the Honors Program. Students whose overall GPA falls below 3.0 will no longer be considered members of the Honors Program. Some exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Honors Program Director. Students may request to rejoin the Honors Program if they raise their overall GPA to 3.30 or above.
First-year students considered for the Honors Program may also be considered for Presidential Scholarships or for Paul Tsongas Scholarships, if they are Massachusetts state residents. These scholarships are renewable and may be held for a maximum of four years. To sustain eligibility for these scholarships, recipients must maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average, make satisfactory progress toward completing their degree program in four years, and have a record of positive citizenship and contribution to the University community.
For additional information about the Honors Program, contact the Director of the Honors Program at email@example.com. For additional information about the Presidential Scholarships or Tsongas Scholarships, contact the Admission Office in the Student Administrative Services Center at (413) 572-5218.
National Student Exchange (N.S.E.)
National Student Exchange (NSE) is an educational consortium of nearly 200 colleges and universities in the United States enabling participating students to attend another NSE school at either the home or host school in-state tuition rate. Tuition reciprocal exchanges are available in 48 states including Alaska and Hawaii, and in the 3 U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NSE allows exchange students to live and learn in different academic and geographical settings for up to one full year away from their home campuses.
NSE offers exchange students:
- Access to an extensive array of courses, programs, and other educational opportunities;
- Full-time undergraduate study for one semester or one full year;
- Linkage to Study Abroad sites at participating host institutions;
- More than 80 Honors programs at participating host institutions;
- Resident Assistant positions at some participating institutions;
- Wide-ranging multicultural opportunities.
The Westfield State student applicants must:
- Be a full-time Westfield State student at the time of application;
- Commit to stated terms and conditions (e.g., length of exchange, cost of exchange, academic advising agreement, and acceptance of home and host school policies);
- Complete full-time study at Westfield State the semester immediately prior to exchange;
- Have sophomore, junior, or senior status (first-year students may apply for sophomore exchange);
- Earn a 2.50 GPA (4.0 scale) at the time of application and at the end of the semester prior to exchange.
Cost of exchange for Westfield State student applicants:
- Host NSE school in-state tuition/fees or Westfield State in-state tuition/fees;
- Host NSE school room/board (or off-campus room/board accommodations);
- NSE application fee ($150 non-refundable bank check or money order payable to Westfield State University);
- Student expenses, including personal transportation.
Student financial aid considerations for Westfield State applicants:
- Students who pay the host school’s in-state tuition/fees may apply for student financial aid through the host school;
- Students who pay Westfield State’s tuition/fees may apply for student financial aid through Westfield State.
Student Grades and Credits:
- Full credit is given for pre-approved course work satisfactorily completed on exchange;
- Prior to exchange, the Westfield State student must complete an Advising Agreement with Westfield State;
- The Westfield State student remains enrolled at Westfield State while on exchange—the student is not a transfer student.
Westfield State Student Applicant Timeline:
- Obtain the Westfield State Student Applicant National Student Exchange Packet (September - December);
- Return a completed NSE Packet, Parenzo Hall (December - January);
- Attend a Mandatory NSE Applicant Advisement Meeting (as scheduled and announced);
- Accept or reject your NSE host school placement offer (late March – early April)
For more information, visit the National Student Exchange web site at www.nse.org or call the International Programs Office, Parenzo Hall Lobby, (413) 572-8819. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Resort College Program
The Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World Resort is a one-of-a-kind, Disney-designed combination of education and work experience. The Disney College Program is looking for exceptional, ambitious students who have a genuine enthusiasm for their professional futures and who love to make people smile. In addition to the experience gained working as Disney Cast Members, participants in the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World Resort will have the opportunity to meet Disney leaders and network so they may be able to gain a clearer understanding of what they want to do with their future.
This is a credit granting experience; all students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and have completed 24 credits by the time they start the program.
For further information contact:
Washington Center Internship Program
Westfield State University partners with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars to provide full-time internships in our nation’s Capitol for students of all majors. Over the last few years, 100+ undergraduates have enjoyed prestigious internships with a wide array of agencies and organizations including; the U.S. Treasury, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshal Service, the U.S Attorney’s Office, U.S. Office of Civil Rights, INTERPOL, Americas Most Wanted, the Smithsonian, and Naval Criminal Intelligence Service.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and The Washington Center provide generous scholarship support for qualified upper level students seeking fall, spring or summer internships. Tuition and fees are also waived for academic year internships for students who are Massachusetts residents with overall grade point averages of 3.0. Students are provided full-time placements and high quality executive style apartments while in Washington D.C.
Contact the liaison for more information on eligibility, cost, program requirements, tuition waivers and the placement process.
For more information, please contact:
Maureen McCartney, Washington Center Liaison
Parenzo 101 (413) 572-8801
College Academic Program Sharing (C.A.P.S.)
The College Academic Program Sharing program is designed to offer students the opportunity for an educational experience at another Massachusetts State University. It is available to full-time Day Division students in good academic standing and does not necessitate transferring. Students may participate in this program for one or two semesters, completing up to thirty credits. The filing deadline is December 15 for the Spring Semester and May 15 for the Fall Semester. First-year students are ineligible. The state universities/colleges participating in this program are: Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Salem State, Westfield State, Worcester State, Massachusetts College of Art, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
All students are strongly urged to consult their academic advisor concerning required courses to be taken through this program to be sure the course work fits with their degree program. The Chair of the student’s major department must approve course equivalencies for courses in the major. For additional details and a CAPS application form, please see the Office of the Registrar.
Cooperating Colleges Of Greater Springfield (C.C.G.S.)
Known as CCGS, the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield was formed in 1970 by the presidents of each of the institutions participating in the association. In addition to Westfield State University, the member institutions include: American International College, Bay Path College, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, and Western New England University.
These eight area public and private institutions established the CCGS program to enhance the educational experience of their students through the use of cooperative programs and services, including cross-registration, student-faculty inter-college library privileges, joint student activities, and student activity calendars.
Undergraduate students may take courses for credit at a cooperating institution when such courses are not available at their own institutions. To be eligible to participate in cross-registration, students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits at their home institution. Students are limited to enrolling in two courses (8 credits) per semester.
Interested students apply for courses through their home college registrar and academic advisor. Students are billed for CCGS registration as part of their home school tuition. Credit and grades for courses completed at cooperating colleges are applied to the student’s record at the home college. Generally, CCGS cross-registration is limited to undergraduate (not continuing education) courses offered during the fall and spring semesters.
Reserve Officers Training Corps (R.O.T.C.)
The Department of Military Leadership at the University of Massachusetts conducts the Reserve Officers Training Corps program (Army ROTC) throughout the greater Springfield and Amherst areas for students desiring to earn commissions as United States Army Officers. Upon completion of the University degree and ROTC requirements, students are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army, the Army National Guard, or the U.S. Army Reserve. Army ROTC graduates may pursue careers in the active Army or in the civilian sector of their choice. ROTC courses are open to all students. Students do not incur a military obligation by taking any Military Leadership course.
Army ROTC enhances a student’s education by providing unique leadership and management training coupled with practical experience. It helps a student develop many of the qualities basic to success in any career. In or out of the Army, ROTC graduates are leaders, thinkers, and decision-makers. They meet problems head-on and solve them quickly. They know how to adapt to situations and take charge. Army ROTC graduates will find that their background and experience can be a valuable asset if they decide to pursue a civilian career.
The ROTC core curriculum consists of eight semesters of course work comprising the traditional pre-commissioning requirements. The focus in the first two years is on leadership principles and techniques applicable to all vocations. The first four semesters of the program are offered on the Westfield campus; the last four are offered at WNEU or UMass through the CCGS program.
For additional information, contact the Army ROTC liaison person at Western New England University, (413) 782-1345 or 1332. You may also go to the main website for the program at: http://www.umass.edu/armyrotc/
Air Force R.O.T.C.
The Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) does not have its own program at Westfield State University; however, students can take the program while attending Westfield State University through the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield (CCGS) agreement. The agreement allows students to take AFROTC courses at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Freshman and sophomore courses can be taken without any commitment to the Air Force, and a 3year program is available for any rising sophomore who decides to pursue the program during the fall of that year. Upon successful completion of the program (and receipt of a bachelor’s degree), graduating students will receive a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Scholarships from 2 to 3½ years will pay full tuition, fees, labs, up to $900.00 per year for books, and an up to $550.00 per month stipend during school are available to participating students. For additional information, contact the Professor of Aerospace Studies, at the University of Massachusetts, at (413) 5452437 or 2451.
Programs Offered Through The Division of Graduate and Continuing Education
The Division of Graduate and Continuing Education offers programs in four areas: graduate studies, undergraduate studies (part-time), professional development for educators, as well as Community Education. Graduate programs include the Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis, English and Psychology, the Master of Science in Accountancy and Criminal Justice, the Master of Education, the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Social Work. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study is offered in three concentrations. See the Graduate Catalogue published by the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education for additional information about these graduate programs. In addition, the Division offers a post‑baccalaureate teacher licensure program, which enables students already holding a bachelor’s degree to pursue licensure. The Division offers a Second Bachelor’s Program for those interested in a new field of study, building on their previous baccalaureate course work.
Undergraduate programs are offered in every major available to Day Division students. Generally, necessary courses are offered in the evening, although some courses may have to be taken in the Day Division. Students who are pursuing their degrees part‑time (less than 12 credit hours per semester) generally matriculate through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education. Financial aid is available for students in degree programs pursuing part-time study, enrolled in at least 6 credits per term, and in good academic standing.
Community Education, located within the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education, is committed to serving individuals and businesses by offering a wide variety of personal enrichment and skill-building classes. Professional development certificate programs, such as the Alcoholism/Chemical Dependency Treatment Services Program, the EMT Program, and the Project Management Program are designed to serve the non-credit educational needs and interests of the community.
Undergraduate credit courses offered online, in the evening or on weekends are available to Day Division students on a space-available basis during Add/Drop Week each semester at no additional cost. A Day Division student who must take a specific course for credit at night because the course is required for graduation and is not available during the day, may petition the Associate Dean of Academic Achievement for a waiver of the tuition for the course, and may pre-register before the Add/Drop period. Generally, only graduating seniors are considered for waivers, and a $75.00 registration fee is required.
For more information, contact the Division at (413) 572-8020 or stop by the office at The Horace Mann Center, 333 Western Avenue from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Friday.
Graduate program are described in the Graduate Catalog found at westfield.ma.edu/dgce.
Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis
Master of Arts in English
Master of Arts in Psychology
Mental Health Counseling
School Guidance Counseling
Master of Education:
Initial Licensure Master of Education Programs
Early Childhood (Pre-K-2)
Secondary (subject area special licensure)
General Science (5-8)
History (5-8, 8-12)
Mathematics (5-8, 8-12)
Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (Pre-K-8)
Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (5-12)
Professional Licensure Master of Education Programs
Secondary (subject area special licensure)
Chemistry (not accepting new applicants)
Teacher of Students w/ Moderate Disabilities (Pre-K-8, 5-12)
School Principal – Elementary, Middle, and Secondary levels
Concentration Programs (non-licensure programs)
Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary
Vocational Technical Education
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study
Concentration in Educational Administration
Concentration in Vocational Technical Administration
Master of Education in History
Master of Public Administration
Master of Science in Accountancy
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Master of Social Work
ALTERNATIVE ACADEMIC CREDIT
Advanced Placement (AP)
Academic credit or waiver of requirements may be granted based upon performance on the Advanced Placement Test. Generally, students must attain an advanced placement score of at least 3; however, specific standards, including higher scores and whether credit or waiver is granted are determined by each academic department. AP credit is treated as community college-level course work and is subject to all college policies regarding transfer work. Students with questions regarding AP scores should consult the Associate Director of Admission in the Horace Mann Center.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)/DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)
Academic credit or waiver of requirements may be granted based upon performance on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or DANTES subject Standardized TEST (DSST). The minimum credit-granting score for all CLEP examinations taken after July 1, 2001, shall be 50 in all academic areas except English composition (see below). DSST testing utilizes norm-referenced or criterion-reference standard setting to determine passing scores. CLEP and DSST credit are treated as community college level work and are subject to all university policies regarding transfer work, including the 67 credit maximum that can be awarded for such work. Whether the completion of a CLEP or DSST examination results in the waiver of a major requirement is to be determined by the appropriate academic department. Therefore, students should consult the appropriate advisor. Common core credit can be credited in the full amount that a student potentially can earn in the appropriate core category, not to exceed one year’s worth.
Students who score 50 or above on the General Composition Exam (with Essay), or 51 or better on the Freshman Composition Exam (with Essay), may be granted credit for, and/or exemption from, English Composition I. Credit and/or exemption will be granted, however, only upon submission and successful review of a portfolio of written materials that reflect the varied requirements of the University’s English Composition course. The composition committee of the English Department will determine what materials are to be included in such a portfolio, will publish such information, and will also be responsible for reviewing any submitted materials.
Students who have taken the test prior to the implementation of the computer-delivered testing system must have achieved a CLEP equivalent to at least the 75th percentile of national norms established by the University Board; however, specific standards for credit or waiver are determined by each academic department.
Credit or waiver of requirements will not be granted unless the examination is taken prior to enrollment in a course that is equivalent to the examination. Students should contact the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education for registration information or may contact the CLEP administrator directly. Students should consult the CLEP website www.Collegeboard.com/clep for more detailed information on the examinations and DSST webiste www.dantes.doded.mil/DANTES_Homepage.html for more detailed information on DSST examinations.
Credit for ACE Transcripts
Westfield State University offers students academic credit for professional experience that has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). Students are required to submit their ACE transcript for review. ACE credit is treated as community college level work and are subject to all university policies regarding transfer work, including the 67 credit maximum that can be awarded for such work. Academic departments reserve the right to determine if courses can be applied to a student’s major or minor.
Credit For Military Experience
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has found that Westfield State University’s trasnfer credit policies meet or exceed the criteria established under the VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy. Westfield State University offers students with military experience the opportunity to receive graduation credit for this experience. Official documentation of military experience (DD-214) must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar or the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education Office for evaluation (Applicants for admission to the full-time Day Division should submit military documents along with other application credentials to the Office of Admission).
To apply for credit for other types of military experience, student must submit official copies of AARTS transcripts (Army), SMART transcripts (Navy and Marines, CCAF transcripts (Air Forces), or CGI transcripts (Coast Guard). Each service will provide unofficial personal copies and send schools an official copy of the transcript at no charge. Please contact the Veterans Coordinator or visit the Veterans and Military Service Coordinator’s website for more information on gaining access to branch-specific military transcripts accepted by Westfield State.
The only other military document that Westfield State accepts as equivalent of an official transcript is the Form DD-295 (Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences During Military Service). The DD-295 must be completed and signed by the student’s commanding officer in accordance with the course codes and specifications published in the current issue of the American Council on Education’s guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services.
Effective May 1, 2003, the Massachusetts Quinn Bill Legislation prohibits criminal justice majors from receiving credit for military experience.
Credit for military experience is treated as community college-level course work and is subject to all University policies regarding transfer course work, including the maximum of 67 credits that can be awarded for such work. Academic departments reserve the right to determine if courses can be applied to a student’s major or minor.
Prior Learning Portfolio (PLP)
The purpose of a Prior Learning Portfolios (PLP) is to award academic credit for prior learning. That is, if a student can demonstrate proficiency in an academic subject similar to the proficiency developed through coursework, the student can receive academic credit for that proficiency. It is important to note that credit is not given for work experience—although this experience can certainly lead to the level of proficiency that would warrant the award of credit. Credit is only granted for supervised projects that clearly convey proficiency in a subject. Prior Learning Portfolio credits may not be available for all Academic Departments.
- Any student interested in PLP credits must submit a “Prior Learning Portfolio” application. Interested students will also be required to meet with the academic department chairperson or DGCE Chair (or respective designee) to discuss suitability for moving forward in the PLP process.
- After application review by the appropriate chair (or respective designee) and the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education, the student will be informed if they meet major-specific criteria for continuing in the PLP process. A faculty advisor should then be identified.
- Student will enroll in ENGL 0201 - Writing Workshop : Portfolio Writing. The outcome of this course will be a proposal for assessing prior learning experiences. This proposal will be used as the foundation for their PLP. The successful completion of the 3-credit portfolio course does not guarantee additional PLP credits.
- Portfolio proposals will be submitted to a departmental designated faculty advisor for review. When the proposal is deemed appropriate, the student will work with the faculty advisor to develop the academic content of their life experience. The credit for PLP coursework will be considered departmental independent study credit, varying from 3-12 credits. Total credits for this experience cannot exceed 12 credits and are included in the overall 12-credit independent study limit at Westfield. PLP credits cannot be used as a replacement for college core. A student cannot earn more than 10% of their Westfield credits in PLP credits. Students are eligible to apply for PLP credits in multiple departments.
- Faculty advisors will give final approval and the PLP grade. A final copy of the PLP will be placed in the student’s file.