This program provides information and knowledge about young children (ages 2.9 through 8 years) in various school settings. The focus of the program is on the issues and concerns about young children, developmental learning models, current research, parent education and the policies of local, state and federal programs affecting the education of young children with and without special needs. This program is recommended for students who seek Professional Licensure in Early Childhood Education.
M.Ed. Programs for Licensed Teachers
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 an anticipated Quality Assurance Review in 2020.
Professional licensure programs are designed to meet the needs of teachers who already possess an initial level Massachusetts teaching license, and are seeking a master's degree that will lead to a professional teaching license in the same or related field. In order to be eligible for a professional license, teachers must have taught for three years in the area of their initial license, as well as meet other requirements listed in the licensure regulations.
Candidates in professional licensure programs will demonstrate their commitment to diversity at several points in their program. Each candidate will be required to reflect on his or her beliefs, values, experiences, and/or current practices for developing competencies that support diversity. Decisions about a candidate's performance in professional licensure programs will be based on multiple assessments.
Westfield State University offers the M.Ed. with professional licensure in the following areas:
Early Childhood PreK-2, Professional, M.Ed.
Elementary 1-6, Professional, Multidisciplinary Track, M.Ed.
Elementary, Professional, Reading Track, M.Ed.
Elementary, Professional, Single Academic Area Track, M.Ed.
Mathematics, 5-8, 8-12, Professional, M.Ed.
Physical Education, PreK-8, 5-12, Professional, M.Ed.
Specialist Teacher License
The Reading Specialist, Initial, M.Ed. program is designed for licensed teachers in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, or Moderate Disabilities who desire initial licensure as a Reading Specialist.
For candidates who have taught for three years in the area of their initial teaching license (Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, or Moderate Disabilities), and who have met the other requirements listed in licensure regulations, it will also lead to professional licensure in the area of the first teaching license.
Advising for graduate students in the M.Ed. programs 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 selections.
The focus of this 34-credit hour program is on the issues and concerns faced by educators of young children, including developmental learning models, current research, parent involvement and collaboration, and the policies of local, state and federal programs affecting the education of young children with and without special needs. The program is designed for teachers who hold an initial license and seek Professional Licensure in Early Childhood Education. Students without the appropriate license may work toward the initial license for early childhood education and apply up to six semester hours of graduate work toward the master's degree.
See Admission requirements for graduate programs.
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.
- Introductory course in special education
- Introductory course in computer applications
B. Required Courses - 34 credits
- EDUC 0502 - Instructional Practices: Materials and Classroom Procedures (Elementary and Early Childhood)
- EDUC 0513 - Evaluation Techniques in Education
- EDUC 0654 - Multicultural Theory & Practice: Exceptional Learners
- EDUC 0653 - Multicultural Theory & Practice: English Language Learners
- EDUC 0633 - Social Cultural Theories: Foundations of Education
- EDUC 0510 - Developmental Designs in Early Childhood
- EDUC 0643 - Issues and Concerns About the Young Child's Needs
- EDUC 0648 - Diagnosis of and Intervention for Literacy Difficulties: Grades Prek-2
- EDUC 0642 - The Influence of Play Upon Young Children
- EDUC 0661 - Storytelling, Literature, and Writing for the Young Child
- EDUC 0570 - Language and Communication Development and Intervention
- EDUC 0632 - Research in Education
- EDUC 0692 - Programming for Infants and Toddlers and Preschoolers with Special Needs
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 27 credits.