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Westfield State Elementary Education Program Ranks Among the Best in the Nation

WESTFIELD- Westfield State University was named 12th  in the country on the “Best Colleges for Elementary Education” list by Teacher.org, outranking more than 750 other colleges and universities.

“This ranking validates what many already know about Westfield State’s Education program,” said Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Marsha V. Marotta, Ph.D. “Our teacher preparatory programs remain strong nearly 180 years after our founding.”

Seven hundred and eighty one schools were analyzed for the ranking list. Westfield State was the only university in Massachusetts to place in the top 20. To determine Teacher.org’s “Best Colleges” rankings, data was collected from the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System and matched up to the accreditation data provided by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-secondary Education. The rankings were based on the score of four areas: percentage of program graduates out of all graduates per year; graduation rate; loan rate; and tuition affordability.

Westfield State University was founded in 1839 originally as a teachers college and education remains one of the most popular majors today. Currently, the university has 569 undergraduate students majoring in education, with 268 of those students concentrating in elementary education. Westfield State’s Education programs are nationally accredited in seven areas of licensure and hold statewide accreditation in 10 areas.

The Westfield State Education Department has been praised before for its students’ performance. According to a 2015 Teacher Education Council Survey, 90 percent of classroom practitioners said student teachers from Westfield State demonstrated at or above proficiency in their classrooms on all 10 Westfield State University core outcomes for initial teacher licensure preparation.

According to Education Department Chair Sandra J. Berkowitz, Ph.D., Westfield State has professional development partnerships with six school districts in Western Massachusetts: Agawam, Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, Springfield, and Westfield and maintains student mentoring partnerships with many other local districts. The department also has a Teacher in Residence program, which allows a teacher from a public school in the area to complete a one-year residency on campus as a faculty member. The university holds an annual Celebration of Teachers in which teacher candidates from all departments who sponsor teacher licensure programs nominate former teachers who inspired them. The recipients are honored in a ceremony held on campus.

Teacher.org is a nonprofit geared toward providing information for teachers and students studying in the education field. Its mission is to inform, empower, and encourage aspiring, new, and veteran teachers. The website includes detailed information on obtaining teaching licenses in each state, scholarship information, lesson plans, teacher discounts, and more.

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