Jan 18, 2022
In general, the Special Educator is trained in educational, social, emotional, and vocational interventions, identification, assessment and programming processes; adaptation and development of curriculum materials; analysis of behavior; and the development and implementation of individual educational programs.
Massachusetts State Law requires that children with special needs be served within the least restrictive environment. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guarantees an appropriate education and due process for individuals with disabilities. Regulations designed to implement these laws clearly state the need for special education teachers to provide services to children who exhibit a wide range of special needs at all grade levels.
Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education
The Bachelor of Science in Education major with licensure and licensure only programs are designed to prepare outstanding teacher candidates at the Massachusetts initial licensure level. Students may choose to major in Education (with licensure) or choose the licensure only program. These programs include Early Childhood Education for Students with or without Disabilities (grades Pre-K-2), Elementary Education (grades 1-6), and Special Education: Moderate Disabilities (grades PreK-8) or Moderate Disabilities (grades 5-12). Specific WSU core courses are required for Education students. Students who choose to major in Education must also complete a second major in liberal arts, sciences, or an interdisciplinary major. To meet licensure requirements within four years, the Department of Education encourages students to discuss the selection of the second major with their advisor. Most education majors select Liberal Studies as their second major.
Students who are not eligible to advance to practicum (student teaching) because they have not attained a grade point average of 2.8 or higher or because they have not passed all required Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure (MTELs) may complete their Education major by replacing the practicum requirement within their programs of study. The replacement of practicum involves taking additional Education coursework or comparable courses under the advisement of the Chair of the Education Department. Students who do not complete practicum will not be endorsed for the licensure; however, they may graduate from WSU with their Education major and second major.
The Westfield State University teacher licensure program for Early Childhood Teacher of Students With and Without Disabilities has been recognized by the National Association of the Education of Young Children. The teacher licensure program in Elementary Education has received recognition by the Association for Childhood Education International. The teacher licensure program in Special Education has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children.
Common Core Coursework for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education Majors
The following core course work is required for students completing the major programs in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education:
Composition - 6 Credits
Literary and Philosophical Analysis - 6 Credits
One American Literature Course from the following:
One Literature or Philosophy Course from the following:
Appreciation of the Arts - 6 Credits
Two courses required: one from two different disciplines from the Appreciation of the Arts section of the Core, see full listing earlier in this Bulletin.
US History/Government - 3 Credits
One from the following:
Social Understanding - 9 Credits
* Early Childhood majors must take GARP 0101 . Elementary and Special Education majors must take either GARP 0101 or GARP 0210 but only GARP 0101 fulfills Social Understanding.
Math/Analytical Reasoning - 6 Credits
Global Diversity - 3 Credits
One courses from the Global Diversity section of the Core, see full listing earlier in this Bulletin.
University Core Coursework in Education:
Professional Education Coursework:
Additional Required Coursework:
*FB indicates field-based course.
**Take course prior to MTEL Foundations of Reading Test (Field-#90).
A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required in pedagogical coursework specific to your licensure program prior to practicum. Consult with the department on which courses are classified as part of the pedagogy requirements.