Elementary 1-6, Initial, Post-baccalaureate Licensure


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)

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.

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

Program Requirements

Post-baccalaureate Program Leading to an Initial Teaching License


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. Our teacher education programs embrace this vision, Education Leaders Building Inclusive Learning Communities,  a vision grounded in our department's 5 foundational pillars: Critical Engagement with Diversity, Community Building, Social Justice, Scholarship, and Reflection. 

Westfield State University's teacher education programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Westfield State University's educator preparation program is fully accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Westfield State University was awarded full accreditation for seven years in June 2020. AAQEP also awarded our educator preparation program with a commendation for our work in anti-racist education.

Post-baccalaureate programs leading to teaching licensure are offered through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education, and are designed for individuals holding a baccalaureate degree who wish to obtain an initial teaching license, without obtaining an additional 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, passage of Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), a demonstrated ability to meet program dispositional standards, and completion of a practicum experience.


Program Description

The post-baccalaureate Elementary Education program leads to initial licensure to teach grades 1-6, but does not confer a degree. Applicants to this program must have:

  • a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.6 or greater;
  • passed the MTEL Communications and Literacy test; and
  • a 2.7 GPA in undergraduate English courses, including English Composition I & 2 or equivalent.
A. Prerequisite coursework or experience

Content knowledge in the following areas must be documented in the student's undergraduate academic record. Any gaps in coverage must be fulfilled as determined by the student's graduate advisor.  Courses referenced below are from the Westfield undergraduate program, but equivalent coursework from another institution will be accepted.

Coursework meeting subject matter outcomes:

  • ART 0106 Art Survey OR

    ART 0104 Design Fundamentals
  • MUSC 0101 Music Appreciation OR

    MUSC 0110 Basic Music Theory

    (ENGL 0104 Intro to Theatre may be substituted for art or music course)
  • HIST 0131 US History & Government to 1865
  • PHYS 0101 Physical Science
  • PSYC 0101 Intro to Psychology (prerequisite to PSYC 0202)  
  • BIOL 0102 Environmental Biology OR

    BIOL 0104 Human Biology OR

    BIOL 0106 Biology Today
  • MATH 0153 Foundations: Number Systems OR

    MATH 0251 Foundations: Geometry OR

    MATH 0252 Foundations: Data Analysis & Probability
  • GPS 0210 Cultural Geography OR

    GPS 0101 World Regional Geography
  • HIST 0213 World History to 1600
  • Mathematics or Science Elective
  • ENGL 0215 Major American Writers
  • ENGL 0221 World Lit. to 1750 OR

    ENGL 0222 World Lit. since 1750 OR

    Other World Lit. course that includes British Lit.

ECON 0101 Principles of Macroeconomics OR

ECON 0102 Principles of Microeconomics

B. Required Courses for Licensure
  • EDUC 0220 Schools in American Culture OR

    EDUC 0633 Social Cultural Theories: Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 0201 Learning and Assessment
  • EDUC 0303/0503 Foundations of Reading
  • EDUC 0305/0505 Teaching Writing, Children's Literature, and Disciplinary Literacy
  • EDUC 0306/0506 Elementary Curriculum & Instruction
  • EDUC 0311/0511 Social Studies in the Elementary School
  • EDUC 0314/0514 Building Classroom Communities
  • EDUC 0319/0519 Methods of Teaching 1 Through Mathematics
  • EDUC 0380/0580 Theory of Critical Multicultural Education
  • EDUC 0363/0631 Sheltered English Immersion
  • PSYC 0202 Child Development
  • GNSC 0360/0560 Methods of Science Education PreK-6
  • EDUC 0302/0515 Methods of Teaching Mathematics PreK-6Credits: 2 (replaces MATH 0332/0552 as of fall 2016)
  • MOVP 0212 Concepts of Nutrition OR
  • MOVP 0301 Physical Education in the Elementary School OR

    MOVP 0303 Health Education in the Elementary School

  • EDUC 0396/0596 Technology, Teaching, and Learning
  • EDUC 0538 Practicum: Elementary *

* Seminar hours will be required during practicum

Additional Requirements

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

Students must pass the required MTEL subject matter tests (General Curriculum and Foundations of Reading) and have a GPA of 2.8 for admission to practicum.

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