The Biology Department, in collaboration with the Education Department, offers a program of study leading to licensure by the Massachusetts Department of Education as a Teacher of Secondary School Biology.
The Biology Department, in collaboration with the Education Department, offers a program of study leading to licensure by the Massachusetts Department of Education as a Teacher of Secondary School Biology. The Biology Teacher Education Program at Westfield State University has been recognized by the National Science Teachers Association.
Students wishing to be licensed to teach Biology at the High School level must complete the following:
- The Professional Sequence for the Secondary (8-12) Specialist
- The Introductory Biology/Math Courses (11-12 Credits)
- Biology Seminars
- Required Chemistry Courses for the Biology Major (16 Credits)
- Additional Licensure Requirements listed below
Professional Sequence: Middle and Secondary (Grades 5-12)
The Professional Sequence for Middle and Secondary must be completed by students intending to teach an academic subject area in the Middle or Secondary School. Students must complete an academic major in the subject area in which the licensure is sought.
Professional Sequence Core:
Professional Sequence Courses Middle and Secondary:
- EDUC 0221 - Foundations of Special Education
- EDUC 0321 - Middle School and its Students
- EDUC 0354 - Teaching Middle and High School Students
- EDUC 0363 - Sheltered English Immersion
- PSYC 0203 - Adolescent Development
- Appropriate academic Methods course, such as the following:
- ENGL 0350 - Methods of Teaching English in the Secondary and/or Middle School
- GNSC 0371 - Methods of Science Education for the Middle School
- GNSC 0373 - Methods of Chemistry Education
- HIST 0332 - Methods of Teaching History: Middle and Secondary
- MOVP 0314 - Physical Education Teaching Methodology: Elementary and Secondary
- Note: *FB indicates Field Based course.
Appropriate academic Practicum, such as the following:
- ART 0351 - Practicum (Teaching Art, 5-12)
- BIOL 0390 - Teaching Secondary School Biology
- EDUC 0364 - Practicum: Middle School
- EDUC 0369 - Practicum: Secondary School
- EDUC 0372 - 5-12 Practicum: English and History
- MOVP 0350 - Practicum I in Physical Education - Secondary Half Semester
- MOVP 0352 - Practicum II in Physical Education - Secondary
Common Core Courses
Courses in the Laboratory Science section of the Common Core are BIOL 0102 - Environmental Biology, BIOL 0104 - Human Biology, BIOL 0106 - Biology Today, and BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I. The 100-level courses (BIOL 0102, BIOL 0104, and BIOL 0106) do not satisfy requirements for the Biology Major and should not be taken by students majoring in Biology. MATH 0105 and MATH 0108 each satisfy the traditional mathematics area of the Common Core. BIOL 0278 satisfies the applied analytical reason sing area of the Common Core. Both math courses should be selected with guidance from faculty advisor.
Introductory Biology/Math Courses
- BIOL 0128 - General Biology II
- BIOL 0129 - General Biology I
- Two of the following Math core courses:
- MATH 0105 - Calculus I
- MATH 0108 - Elementary Statistics
- BIOL 0278 - Biostatistics
BIOL 0128 and BIOL 0129 DO NOT have to be taken in sequence, but should be taken in the first year. MATH 0105 and MATH 0108 each satisfy the traditional mathematics area of the Common Core and BIOL 0278 satisfies the applied analytical reasoning area of the Common Core. Both math courses should be selected with guidance from faculty advisor.
Three 1-credit seminars as follows:
- BIOL 0180 - Introductory Seminar in Biology
- BIOL 0280-0289 - Biology Seminar
- (Biology education students must take BIOL 0289 for this requirement.)
- BIOL 0380 - Senior Seminar
The first-year seminar serves as an introduction to the field of biology, research methods, and career opportunities; assists students in integrating the knowledge gained in individual biology and cognate courses; and helps documents the student's progress toward meeting the departmental learning goals. A topical seminar (BIOL 0280-0289) is typically taken during the junior or senior year and focuses on specific topics, while the Senior Seminar requires the presentation of a portfolio documenting the student's progress toward meeting the departmental learning goals.
Required Chemistry Courses
Two semesters of chemistry may be used to satisfy the Science requirement of the Common Core.
Additional Licensure Requirements:
- BIOL 0201 - General Ecology
- BIOL 0203 - Genetics
- BIOL 0205 - Cell Biology
- BIOL 0223 - Microbiology
- BIOL 0211 - Plant Biology
- BIOL 0230 - Evolution
- BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I
- BIOL 0289 - Biology Seminar: History and Nature of Scientific Knowledge
- BIOL 0390 - Teaching Secondary School Biology
- PHSC 0101 - Introduction to Physics
- 6 credits of BIOL 0377 - Research Experience (3 of these credits may be satisfied by BIOL 0399 - Independent Research ) 3 additional credits at the 300-level ( BIOL 0377 - Research Experience or other 300-level biology
Students progress toward meeting Advanced Standing in Teacher Education is monitored at the end of the sophomore year (57 credits). All students must meet the requirements for Advanced Standing to achieve teacher candidacy. Please see section on Licensure for Teaching under Academic Policies.
In order to be eligible for student teaching, a student must have completed all required course and field work, have an overall GPA of 2.8 (including transfer work), and have a passing grade in the appropriate Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (i.e., Communication and Literacy and the Biology subject area tests).
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.
Students will demonstrate a comprehension of the following core concepts from the molecular to ecosystem level:
- Evolution: Change over time and mechanisms involved
- Structure and function: How the shape of something affects performance
- Energy transformation: Energy capture, use and transfer
- Information flow: Transmission and interpretation of biological information
- Systems: Interaction and organization of components