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Elementary (1-6), Teacher Licensure

Why Choose a Teaching Licensure in Elementary (1-6)?

This program affords many students who have completed a bachelor's degree the opportunity to earn initial licensure.

Our vision is the outgrowth of community discussions among education faculty, liberal arts and science faculty, students, and prek-12 teachers. Central to all conversations has been the tenet of building learning communities, including the desire to strengthen the ability of teachers to advocate for their students and their profession. At a time of increased accountability, the larger Westfield State University learning community continues its commitment to prepare graduates to educate the children of the Commonwealth. Consequently, all our Teacher Education Programs embrace a vision of Teachers as Leaders Building Learning Communities.

Requirements for a Teaching Licensure in Elementary (1-6)

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


      • ENGL 0101 - English Composition I
      • ENGL 0102 - English Composition II: Writing About Texts

      Literary and Philosophical Analysis - 6 Credits

        One American Literature Course from the following:

        • ENGL 0210 - British Literature to 1603
        • ENGL 0215 - Introduction to American Literature
        • ENGL 0216 - American Literature to 1865
        • ENGL 0217 - American Literature Since 1865
        • LLIT 0202 - Women Writers of the Americas: US

        One Literature or Philosophy Course from the following:

        • ENGL 0213 - Introduction to British Literature
        • ENGL 0221 - World Literature
        • LLIT 0201 - Women Writers of the Americas: Global
        • LLIT 0210 - Studies in the Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora: (Varying Topics):
        • LLIT 0310 - Seminar in Hispanic Studies
        • PHIL 0211 - Asian Philosophy

        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:

          • HIST 0131 - United States History and Government to 1865
          • HIST 0132 - United States History and Government 1865 – Present

          Social Understanding - 9 Credits

            Both of the following:

            • PSYC 0101 - Introduction to Psychology
            • EDUC 0220 - Schools in American Culture

            One from the following:

            • ECON 0101 - Principles of Macroeconomics
            • ECON 0102 - Principles of Microeconomics
            • EGST 0208 - Hip Hop Cultures
            • EGST 0209 - Images in Black and Brown
            • GARP 0101 - World Regional Geography
            • LANG 0210 - Language, Culture & Society Credits: 3 *
            • LCUL 0220 - Envisioning the Americas


            * 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

              • MATH 0153 - Foundations: Number Systems
              • MATH 0250 - Foundations: Patterns, Reasoning and Algebra

              Lab Science - 8 Credits


                • GNSC 0101 - Physical Science

                One of the following:

                • BIOL 0102 - Environmental Biology
                • BIOL 0104 - Human Biology
                • BIOL 0106 - Biology Today
                • BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I

                Global Diversity - 3 Credits

                One courses from the Global Diversity section of the Core, see full listing earlier in this Bulletin.

                  US Diversity - 3 Credits

                  • EDUC 0380 - Critical Multicultural Education

                  University Core Coursework in Education:

                  • EDUC 0380 - Critical Multicultural Education

                  Professional Education Coursework:


                  • EDUC 0221 - Introduction to Students with Exceptional Learning Needs (*FB)
                  • EDUC 0201 - Learning and Assessment
                  • EDUC 0319 - Principles of Teaching and Learning (*FB)
                  • EDUC 0306 - Elementary Curriculum and Instruction (*FB)
                  • EDUC 0311 - Social Studies in the Elementary School
                  • EDUC 0314 - Classroom Management
                  • EDUC 0305 - Literature and the Language Arts
                  • EDUC 0303 - Early Literacy and Reading **
                  • Education Elective (for the major only) Credits: 3
                  • EDUC 0363 - Sheltered English Immersion
                  • EDUC 0338 - Practicum: Elementary

                  Additional Required Coursework:


                  • PSYC 0202 - Child Development
                  • GNSC 0360 - Methods of Science Education for Pre-K-6
                  • EDUC 0301 - Methods of Teaching Mathematics, Elementary 1-6

                  • MOVP 0303 - Health Education in the Elementary School or
                  • MOVP 0301 - Physical Education in the Elementary School or
                  • MOVP 0212 - Concepts of Nutrition

                  • EDUC 0220 - Schools in American Culture (*FB)

                  • EDUC 0396 - Seminar Recent Developments: Computers in Education or
                  • Other ISTE Standards-based technology course Credits: 3

                  • GARP 0210 - Cultural Geography or
                  • GARP 0101 - World Regional Geography

                  • Mathematics or Science Elective Credits: 3-4


                  *FB indicates field-based course.

                  **Take course prior to MTEL Foundations of Reading Test (Field-#90).

                    Pedagogical Coursework

                    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.

                      Additional Graduation Requirements

                      All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core .

                        Decisions regarding coursework in the academic major are based on a student's academic record, performance on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), previous college coursework or other related professional experience reflective of the student having met state and national standards.

                        See Appendix A for academic subject matter coursework.

                        It is important for a student to meet with an academic advisor as early as possible to determine a program of study.