2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
    Feb 27, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood PreK-2, Initial, M.Ed.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Program Description

At the graduate level, master’s degrees have been especially designed for new and experienced teachers. Licensure at the initial level is a prerequisite for entry into many programs in the graduate program group. For teachers with professional licensure, the Master of Education concentration programs offer an opportunity to enhance established skills and interests and to experiment with areas of study related to the professional license. 

Responsive to the 2003 changes in licensure regulations approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education, Westfield State University presents in this catalog a number of revised Master of Education programs appropriate for candidates seeking initial and professional licensure. Elementary and Secondary licensure programs reflect the cognate area recommended by the regulations. Teachers of students with Moderate Disabilities can be recommended for licensure after completing a program leading to Initial or Professional licensure in their subject area. These programs are designed to include graduate level courses in subject area fields in the Arts and Sciences as well as in specialty area, Reading, within the Education offerings.

Initial licensure is available through Master of Education programs.  Programs leading to initial licensure are Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Reading Specialist, Secondary Education, and Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (Prek-8) (5-12). Initial licensure as a School Guidance Counselor is available through the Master of Arts in Psychology program. Initial licensure is also available through the Post Baccalaureate Licensure programs. You may request the Post Baccalaureate Programs booklet from the DGCE office or a program advisor.

Professional licensure programs respond to the needs of teachers who have been awarded initial licensure. Many of the Master’s programs and all of the professional licensure programs are interdisciplinary, offering a curriculum based on graduate study within a cognate department which complements a core of graduate Education coursework. Advanced candidates will demonstrate their commitment to diversity at several points in their programs. Each candidate will be required to reflect on his or her beliefs, values, experiences, and/or current practices for developing competencies that support diversity. Decisions about a candidate’s performance in advanced Programs will be based on multiple assessments.

Program in Vocational Technical Education, offered at the M.Ed.  level isdesigned to enhance the careers of those working in the vocational-technical school setting.

Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements of a program leading to certification and complete appropriate application materials are recommended for licensure to the Massachusetts Department of Education. Students without teacher licensure should consult the Post Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure booklet available in the Graduate and Continuing Education Office at 333 Western Avenue. All programs leading to initial licensure, including licensure as a School Principal, require a passing score on the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills test.

Advising for graduate students facilitates student progress in degree programs and offers an opportunity to design and to amend programs of study, acquire career advice and address topics of particular interest to students involved in graduate study for career advancement or professional development. Registration advising is offered in advance of the semester to assist with course choices appropriate for graduate programs. Programs of study constructed during the first semester of matriculation allow students to remain active participants in their course selection.

Admission into Master of Education programs requires a cumulative GPA of 2.8.


  1. Bachelor’s Degree.
  2. Passing score on MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills Exam or equivalent experience.
  3. Course work related to Foundations of Education, Students with Special Needs, Child Psychology, Computers in Education, and health or physical education.


*Candidate needs to finish all coursework before enrolling in practicum. Licensure regulations require two practicum placements. If a student has the appropriate experience, one half of the 12
credit practicum may be waived. Contact the Early Childhood program advisor listed on page 4 for further information.

Candidate must pass the MTEL Subject Test and Foundations of Reading before Practicum.

Requirements for Master’s Degree - 43 Credits

Additional Guidelines

  1. Students must have passed the MTEL subject matter test(s) and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to advance to practicum.
  2. Students are required to successfully complete a written comprehensive examination to demonstrate mastery of knowledge gained in coursework and to relate concepts across the curriculum. The comprehensive exam may be taken after completing a minimum of nine of the ten non-practicum courses within the Master’s program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study