Start your teaching career
The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate for Initial Teacher Licensure in Moderate Disabilities program at Worcester State University provides you with the knowledge and practical experience to obtain your initial teacher license in Massachusetts.
Our program is offered in an accelerated format, allowing you to complete your coursework in just 3-4 semesters—and throughout your studies, you’ll receive personalized guidance and support from your faculty advisor, who will help you to achieve your academic and career goals.
In classes taught by our experienced professors, you’ll learn effective techniques for teaching individuals with moderate disabilities. You’ll then translate theory into practice through a hands-on, full-semester practicum in an inclusion classroom or alternative program in one of the region’s school districts.
WSU’s post-baccalaureate certificate program prepares you for a rewarding career in special education in public and private school settings. Most of our graduates continue their studies toward professional teacher licensure, and you can easily transfer 12 credits earned through this program to WSU’s Master of Education in Moderate Disabilities program.
In addition to the WSU Graduate School’s general admission requirements, candidates for this program must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7. Candidates for this program also must pass three MTELs.
For candidates who are seeking licensure P-8, they must pass Communication and Literacy, Foundations of Reading, and General Curriculum—multi subject test and mathematics sub-test.
For candidates who are seeking licensure 5-12, they must pass Communication and Literacy, Foundations of Reading, and General Curriculum—multi-subject test and mathematics sub-test or subject matter test.
Program of study
This program leading to an initial licensure in Moderate Disabilities (P-8 or 5-12), is a 21 credit, non-degree program. It consists of 18 credits of course work and a full time, three-credit practicum or practicum equivalent. The program is designed so that candidates may complete it in a 12-18 months period while working in a school setting.
The courses are:
- ED 921 Developmental Patterns of Children with Special Needs
- ED 923 Development and Implementation of an Individualized Education Program
- ED 922 Analysis and Interpretation of Behavior and Learning Environments
- ED 924 Strategies for Assessing and Teaching Students with Moderate Disabilities
- ED 909 RETELL: Best Practices for English Language Learners
- ED 926 Curriculum Development and Instructional Techniques (Seminar)
- ED 928 Practicum for the Moderate Disabilities Teacher
Candidates begin by taking ED 921 Developmental Patterns of Children with Special Needs as a pre-requisite before taking the other courses. This course establishes central principles of the program which include high standards for all students based on issues pertaining to Special Education Federal and State Laws, categories of disabilities, celebration of diversity, family involvement, with an emphasis on inclusion and collaboration.
Students must complete ED 923 Development and Implementation of an Individualized Education Program, ED 922 Analysis and Interpretation of Behavior and Learning Environments, ED 924 Strategies for Assessing and Teaching Students with Moderate Disabilities prior to doing the practicum and seminar. Extensive pre-practicum experiences are built into these courses, as students work individually or in groups with children with and without disabilities in regular and/ or special education setting. Emphasis is placed on techniques to teach reading, language arts, and mathematics, as well as techniques for including students with special needs in general education settings. In the final phase of the initial licensure program, candidates take ED 926 Curriculum Development and Instructional Techniques, and complete a full semester practicum experience ED 928 Practicum for the Moderate Disabilities Teacher that meets guidelines outlined in the Massachusetts Department of Education licensure regulations.
At the end of this sequence of experiences, students are evaluated orally and in writing using an instrument designed by college and clinical supervisors. They must demonstrate proficiency in the competencies listed in MA 603 CMR 7.06 26 (d) 1-6 [Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements for Teachers of Students with Moderate Disabilities] as well as the Professional Standards for Teachers outlined in MA 603 CMR 7.08 (2)].