WESTFIELD STATE TO OFFER TEACHER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
In order to help fill the Commonwealth’s growing need for teachers, and to make programs more affordable for current and future educators, Westfield State University will offer its Teacher Incentive program beginning in the fall 2016 semester. The incentive provides a discount to all continuing education and graduate students pursuing teacher licensure degree programs.
“Westfield State’s Teacher Incentive program is very much aligned with the university’s founding principles. We hope this more cost-effective model will provide increased access to our highly reputable teacher licensure degree programs,” said Ramon S. Torrecilha, Ph.D., president of Westfield State University.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2014 and 2024, the number of available positions for high school teachers across the nation is expected to increase by six percent, resulting in a total of more than 55,000 additional jobs. Westfield State is one of only eight institutions in Massachusetts and the only Springfield-area university that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly known as NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education). CAEP advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.
Other incentive programs across Massachusetts offer cost savings in specific towns or teaching districts. However, Westfield State’s Teacher Incentive program will be offered to all students who meet the requirements, regardless of what district they teach in or plan to teach in. Qualified undergraduate students will be charged $280 per credit and graduate students will be charged $300 per credit. Ultimately, students who take advantage of the incentive program will save an average of more than $50 per course.
“The goal of the Teacher Incentive program is to provide our teacher licensure students with the support they need to meet their professional goals, and in turn, prepare highly skilled educators for work in classrooms across the state and region,” said Shelley Tinkham, Ph.D., interim dean of the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education.
To be eligible, students must be admitted into a teacher licensure program through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education, remain in good academic standing, and pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills test. Students who meet the requirements will automatically receive the incentive discount. The discount applies to both new students and current students. The incentive does not apply to traditional day students.