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Early Childhood PreK-2 Masters Degree (M.Ed.), Initial

Why Pursue a Masters in Early Childhood PreK-2 with Initial Licensure?

At the graduate level, master’s degrees have been especially designed for new and experienced teachers. Licensure at the initial level is a prerequisite for entry into many programs in the graduate program group. For teachers with professional licensure, the Master of Education concentration programs offer an opportunity to enhance established skills and interests and to experiment with areas of study related to the professional license.

Requirements for the Masters in Early Childhood Pre-K-2 with Initial Licensure

M.Ed. Initial Licensure Programs

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. The shared vision of Westfield's education programs is articulated as "Educators as Leaders Building Learning Communities."  Themes that support this vision are community building, reflective practice, diversity, and social justice.

Westfield State University teacher education programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Westfield is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Westfield State is working toward accreditation of its educator preparation programs under AAQEP standards with anticipated Quality Assurance Review in 2020.

Master in Education (M.Ed.) Initial licensure programs are designed for individuals who wish to pursue a master's degree leading to an initial teaching license.  M.Ed. initial licensure programs are offered in:


Biology, 8-12, Initial, M.Ed. 

Early Childhood PreK-2, Initial, M.Ed. 

Elementary 1-6, Initial, M.Ed. 

History, 5-12, Initial, M.Ed. 

Mathematics, 5-8*, 8-12, Initial, M.Ed. 

Moderate Disabilities, Pre-K-8, Initial, M.Ed.  

Moderate Disabilities, 5-12, Initial, M.Ed. 


*Programs marked with an asterisk are not accepting new candidates as of spring 2016.


A English 5-12, with Initial Teaching Licensure, M.A. leading to initial licensure to teach middle or secondary English is also offered.

Applicants for the M.Ed. initial licensure programs may be required to take additional courses and/or document professional experiences in the cognate area of the license, in addition to the courses required for the master's 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 and other requirements for a master's degree, passage of Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), and successful completion of a practicum experience.

Advising for graduate students seeking an M.Ed. leading to an initial teaching license facilitates student progress in degree programs and offers an opportunity to design and to amend programs of study, acquire career advice and address topics of particular interest to students involved in graduate study for career advancement or professional development. Registration advising is offered in advance of the semester to assist with course choices appropriate for graduate programs. Programs of study constructed during the first semester of matriculation allow students to remain active participants in their course selection.

    Program Description

    The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Initial, leads to a master's degree with initial licensure to teach early child education (PreK-Grade 2). The program requires extensive school-based fieldwork in addition to a practicum experience.

    See Admission  requirements for graduate programs


    Applicants to this 44-credit hour program must pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communications and Literacy test prior to admission.




      Program of Study

        A. Prerequisite coursework or experience

        Content knowledge in the following areas must be documented in the student's previous academic record or professional experience. Any gaps in coverage must be fulfilled as determined by the student's graduate advisor.

        • Foundations of Education
        • Students with Special Needs
        • Child Psychology
        • Computers in Education
        • Health or Physical Education
        • Other general content coursework in English, geography, history and government,math, or the sciences may be required as determined by the advisor upon transcript review.

          B.Required courses (44 credits)

          • EDUC 0503 - Early Literacy and Reading
          • EDUC 0517 - Laboratory in Literacy Practice
          • EDUC 0508 - Early Childhood Curriculum
          • *
          • EDUC 0513 - Evaluation Techniques in Education
          • *
          • EDUC 0631 - Sheltered English Immersion
          • EDUC 0514 - Classroom Management
          • EDUC 0519 - Principles of Teaching and Learning
          • EDUC 0580 - Critical Multicultural Education
          • EDUC 0581 - Early Intervention: Birth to Age Five
          • EDUC 0632 - Research in Education
          • EDUC 0661 - Storytelling, Literature, and Writing for the Young Child
          • GNSC 0560 - Methods of Science Education Pre K-6
          • EDUC 0515 - Methods of Teaching Mathematics PreK-6
          • (Replaces MATH 0552 as of fall 2016)
          • EDUC 0536 - Practicum II: Early Childhood 1-2
          • EDUC 0541 - Practicum: I: Early Childhood PK-K
          •  *Students who have already received the state SEI endorsement must take EDUC 0513. Students who have not received the endorsement must take EDUC 0631.**Seminar hours will be required during practicum. Practicum includes two placements for a total of 12 credit hours.        

          Additional Guidelines

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

          Students must pass the required MTEL subject matter test (Early Childhood and Foundations of Reading) and have a GPA of 2.8 or greater before beginning the student teaching practicum. Although students may be allowed to apply for the practicum with a 2.8 GPA, a 3.0 GPA must be maintained to remain in the graduate program.

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

          Students are required to successfully complete a written comprehensive examination to demonstrate mastery of knowledge gained in coursework and to relate concepts across the curriculum. The comprehensive exam may be taken after completing a minimum of nine non-practicum courses within the Master's program.