2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Moderate Disabilities PreK-8, Initial, Post-baccalaureate Licensure

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Program Departments

Post-baccalaureate Program Leading to an Initial Teaching License


Westfield State University has a history and abiding commitment of preparing educators who serve the educational needs of prekindergarten through secondary school students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our teacher education programs embrace this vision, Education Leaders Building Inclusive Learning Communities,  a vision grounded in our department’s 5 foundational pillars: Critical Engagement with Diversity, Community Building, Social Justice, Scholarship, and Reflection. 

Westfield State University’s teacher education programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Westfield State University’s educator preparation program is fully accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Westfield State University was awarded full accreditation for seven years in June 2020. AAQEP also awarded our educator preparation program with a commendation for our work in anti-racist education.

Post-baccalaureate programs leading to teaching licensure are offered through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education, and are designed for individuals holding a baccalaureate degree who wish to obtain an initial teaching license, without obtaining an additional degree.  

Students who satisfactorily complete program requirements leading to a teaching license are recommended for licensure to the Massachusetts Department of Education. Program requirements include completion of all coursework, passage of Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), a demonstrated ability to meet program dispositional standards, and completion of a practicum experience.


Program Description

The post-baccalaureate Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 program leads to initial licensure to teach students with moderate disabilities in grades PreK through Grade 8 classrooms. The program does not confer a degree.


Applicants must have:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.6 or greater;
  • passed the MTEL Communications and Literacy test; and
  • a 2.7 GPA in undergraduate English courses, including English Composition I & II or equivalent.

Program of Study

A. Prerequisite coursework or experience

Content knowledge in the following areas must be documented in the student’s undergraduate academic record. Any gaps in coverage must be fulfilled as determined by the student’s advisor. Courses referenced below are from the Westfield undergraduate program, but equivalent coursework from another institution will be accepted.

Coursework meeting subject matter outcomes: 

  • ART 0106 Art Survey or ART 0104 Design Fundamentals
  • MUSC 0101 Music Appreciation OR
  • MUSC 0110 Basic Music Theory                     

     (ENGL 0104 Intro to Theatre may be substituted for art or music course)

  • HIST 0131 US History & Government to 1865
  • PHYS 0101 Physical Science
  • PSYC 0101 Intro to Psychology (prerequisite to PSYC 0202)  
  • BIOL 0102 Environmental Biology OR
    BIOL 0104 Human Biology OR
    BIOL 0106 Biology Today
  • MATH 0153 Foundations: Number Systems OR
  • MATH 0251 Foundations: Geometry OR
    MATH 0252 Foundations: Data Analysis & Probability

  • GARP 0210 Cultural Geography OR
    GARP 0101 World Regional Geography
  • HIST 0213 World History to 1600
  • Mathematics or Science Elective
  • ENGL 0215 Major American Writers
  • ENGL 0221 World Lit. to 1750 OR
    ENGL 0222 World Lit. since 1750 OR
    Other World Lit. course that includes British Lit.

B. Required Courses for Licensure

  • EDUC 0220 Schools in American Culture OR
    EDUC 0633 Social Cultural Theories
  • EDUC 0221/0540 Introduction to Students with Exceptional Learning Needs
  • PSYC 0202 Child Development OR
    PSYC 0203 Adolescent Development
  • EDUC 0303/0503 Early Literacy & Reading
  • EDUC 0319/0519 Principles of Teaching & Learning OR EDUC 0354/0554 Educational Planning & Evaluation
  • EDUC 0363/0631 Sheltered English Immersion
  • EDUC 0370/0570 Language and Communication Development and Intervention
  • EDUC 0371/0571 Special Education Curriculum
  • EDUC 0376/0576 Developmental Disabilities & Self-Determination
  • EDUC 0377/0577 Learning Disabilities & Instructional Strategies
  • EDUC 0378/0578 Behavior Support for Students with Behavioral/Emotional Problems
  • EDUC 0380/0580 Critical Multicultural Education
  • EDUC 0381/0581 Early Intervention for Young Children with Special Needs
  • GNSC 0360/0560 Methods of Science Education: PreK-6
  • EDUC 0315/0515 Methods of Teaching Mathematics PreK-6  Credits: 2 (replaces MATH 0332/0552 as of fall 2016)
  • EDUC 0597 Practicum: Moderate Disabilities
    (PreK-8) *

* Seminar hours will be required during practicum.


Additional Requirements

A 30-hour diversity experience is required before or during practicum.

Students must pass the required MTEL subject matter tests for Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 licensure, and have a GPA of 2.8 for admission to practicum.

Practicum placements are generally within a 30-mile radius of the university unless otherwise specified and approved.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Program Departments