Undergraduate Study at Wheelock College

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2013-14 academic year.



Admission to Wheelock College is based on the whole person, not just the numbers submitted with a student's application. Wheelock seeks interesting people from diverse backgrounds who see themselves as agents of change. In the admissions process the College looks for scholastic achievement, strong academic evaluations, and dedicated involvement in co-curricular and community activities. In the selection process admissions staff look for four years of high-school English, three years of math, two to three years of social studies, and two to three years of science. Studying a foreign language and taking courses in the arts are helpful but not required.


Students may enter Wheelock in either the fall (September) or spring (January) semester. Applications received after the deadlines will be considered on a space available basis. Wheelock has rolling admissions and each applicant is notified one month after receiving a completed application, beginning January 1 for fall applicants and September 1 for spring applicants.




First year applicants must submit a completed application. Wheelock College is an exclusive user of the Common Application for our traditional on-campus undergraduate students. Applicants need to submit the Common Application (on-line or paper version) by the priority deadlines listed above. You may access the Common Application from the Wheelock College website at this link: http://www.wheelock.edu/admissions/undergraduate/apply/first-yearapplication- process or you may go directly to Common Application at www.commonapp.org. In addition to the completed application applicants must also submit:

  • A graded writing sample or college essay.
  • Secondary school report to be filled out by your guidance counselor.
  • One academic recommendation to be filled out by an English, math, history, science, or foreign language instructor.
  • Official transcripts from your high school.
  • Official SAT scores or ACT scores. Wheelock's SAT CEEB code is 3964. Wheelock's ACT code is 1934.
  • If English is not your native language, submit either a TOEFL or IELTS score. The minimum TOEFL score that is required is as follows: 550 Paper Based and 79 Internet Based or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 Application fee of $15 for the paper application (Application fee is waived for the on-line application)


If Wheelock is among a student's top-choices, he or she can receive an early admission decision through the Early Action program. The application deadline is December 1, and decision notification is in late December. Early action candidates have until May 1 to indicate their intention to enroll. The applications of students who are not accepted under the Early Action program are automatically resubmitted for consideration with the other candidates applying under the College's rolling admissions plan.


Students who have completed college-level courses in secondary school and have earned qualifying scores on the Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Board may receive college credit. A score of three is the minimum score considered for credit at Wheelock.


Any student who has been accepted by the College and submitted the required nonrefundable deposit may defer enrollment until the following semester or the following academic year by making a written request for deferral by July 1 for the fall semester or January 1 for spring semester. A student may defer for one year only. After that, the student must reactivate the application through the Office of Admissions.


Students who apply to Wheelock but do not attend the College, and students who are not accepted for admission, may reactivate their applications within a period of two years. This means they do not have to repeat the entire application process. Typically, these students must request a reactivation form and complete it; write an essay; and provide additional and updated information. To learn more about reactivating an application, contact the Office of Admissions.


At Wheelock, we value the experience and maturity of transfer students. Wheelock is committed to providing a smooth and supportive transfer experience. We enroll transfer students from a variety of two- and four-year private and public colleges. If applicants have earned nine or more college credits at another accredited post-secondary college or university Wheelock will consider them as transfer students. Transfer students are encouraged to apply for one of our degree programs, but those students who have been out of school for a few years and want to ease back into the college experience can take up to twelve credits as a non-matriculated undergraduate student before officially applying to one of our programs. Course schedules may be arranged on a part-time or full time basis. Transfer applicants should have good academic records at the colleges they previously attended. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. The best preparation for students planning to transfer into Wheelock is a liberal arts program or general education courses. Transfer applicants must submit a completed application. Wheelock College is an exclusive user of the Common Application for our traditional on-campus undergraduate students. Applicants will need to submit the Common Application (on-line or paper version) by the priority deadlines listed above. Applicants can access the Common Application directly from the Common Application website at www.commonapp.org. In addition to the completed application applicants must also submit:

  • A graded writing sample or college essay.
  • One academic letter of recommendation from a college professor.
  • Official high school transcripts.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended.
  • If English is not your native language, submit either a TOEFL or IELTS score. The minimum TOEFL score that is required is as follows: 550 Paper Based and 79 Internet Based or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0
  • Application fee of $15 for the paper application (application fee is waived for the on-line application)


The Admissions staff can informally evaluate the transcripts of all incoming students during the interview. Transfer credits are reviewed on an individual basis, and students may be asked to supply catalog course descriptions and must supply official transcripts from all former institutions to facilitate the evaluation of transfer credit. The acceptance of a student's credits from prior institutions is also affected by the choice of an academic program. The transfer credit evaluation process is not completed until after the student enrolls and declares a program of study. Wheelock's transfer credit evaluations apply students' prior course work to their Wheelock programs in a flexible manner within the framework of the College's academic standards. Courses from accredited institutions in which a student has earned a grade of "C" or better are considered for transfer credit. In some cases, students may be eligible for exemption from a required course. Information on applying for exemptions is available from the Office of the Registrar. All transfer students must complete at Wheelock a minimum of half the credits required for the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Arts, or the Bachelor of Social Work to earn a Wheelock degree.


Wheelock recognizes that many transfer students have studied education and human services at other colleges or universities and have had substantial work experience with young children as part of these studies. These students are offered the opportunity to apply these experiences towards electives in professional programs. Exemptions are not granted for students enrolled in a program leading to teacher licensure; most licensure program courses and accompanying practice requirements must be completed at Wheelock. Some transfer students and returning scholars have had extensive supervised work experience with children beyond their academic programs. These students, too, may apply for elective credit. Inquiries should be directed to the Academic Deans for their program.


Applicants over 25 years of age or who have been out of school for three or more years may submit for credit consideration the results of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams in certain academic areas. The Registrar evaluates CLEP results and may grant up to 32 credits for Wheelock-approved exams. Candidates for admission who are interested in taking these exams may contact the Office of Admissions or the Office of the Registrar for additional information.


Accepted students who have had extensive supervised work experience with children, or students who have taken seminars, participated in workshops, or gained knowledge through programs other than courses in schools and colleges, may apply for credit for prior learning. Students must apply during their first semester of full-time enrollment or during the semester after they have earned at least 12 credits at Wheelock. To comply with accreditation standards set by the Council on Social Work Education, the social work programs cannot grant credit for life experience or prior work experience. Educator preparation programs do not grant credit for life experience or prior work experience that was not accompanied by academic course work and faculty supervision.


An excellent undergraduate education is a major investment. The Financial Aid Office works with all students and their families to develop realistic plans for financing this lifelong investment in personal and professional development. Wheelock is committed to identifying sources of grant, loan, and work assistance for qualified students, a commitment that endures throughout students' undergraduate years. Wheelock annually awards more than $10 million in financial assistance. Additional assistance is distributed by the College from federal and state sources.


All costs and fees cited here are for the 2013-2014 academic year. Changes in fee structures or expenses are reported directly to all prospective students by the Office of Financial Services.

Tuition and Room and Board:Resident
Tuition $30,755
Room and Board $13,200
General Fee $1,020
Student Activities Fee $105
Total Average Cost $45,080

Tuition for courses taken in addition to the full-time, full year academic program, and for courses taken on a part-time basis, are determined on a per credit hour basis at $960 per credit hour. Some courses may require additional lab or materials fees. First year students will be billed an orientation fee of $250 for programs and activities arranged by the Student Development Office.


A late fee of $100 will be assessed to any student registering and/or paying after the specified date. A fee of $25 will be assessed for any check returned to the College by its bank. Past-due accounts are subject to interest at 18% and any reasonable collection expenses incurred. Official transcripts are not issued to or for students whose financial accounts are not in good standing.


Massachusetts law requires all full-time students and part-time students registered for 75% of a full-time curriculum to have health insurance. Wheelock College is required to either enroll students in the school sponsored health insurance plan or to require the student to complete a health insurance waiver verifying comparable coverage.


Students assuming residence at the beginning of or during the academic year are subject to the room charge for the remainder of the year, except under the following circumstances:

  • Withdrawal (refer to the refunds for withdrawal).
  • Fractional-year arrangement (such as early graduation) approved by the Office of Student Life prior to the assumption of residency.
  • Participation in any off-campus Wheelock-sponsored programs, not including independent studies.
  • Students will not be subject to fees for room and board during their absence from residence. The College retains the right to the use of the student's room during the period.
  • Change of status to "off campus" for Semester I for students selecting a room during Room Selection. Students who decide after Room Selection that they no longer intend to be a resident student will have until May 15th to notify the Director of Residence Life of their change of status with no penalty. After May 15th, students who wish to move off campus must be approved by the Director of Residence Life. If approved, students eligible to move off campus will not be subject to the room charge for Semester I if application to change residency status accompanied by a $200 penalty charge fee is received by the Residence Life Office and the Office of Financial Services by August 1. Students who are approved to move off campus Semester I after the August 1 deadline, and before the official start date of the College, will not be responsible for the full room and board charge, but will be subject to a penalty fee of $400.
  • Change of status to "off campus" for Semester II for students assuming residency at the beginning of Semester I. Students who wish to move off campus must be approved by the Director of Residence Life. If approved, students eligible to move off campus will not be subject to the room charge for Semester II if application to change residency status accompanied by a $200 penalty charge fee is received by the Residence Life Office and the Office of Financial Services by November 1. Students who are approved to move off campus Semester II after the November 1 deadline, and before the official start date of the College, will not be responsible for the full room and board charge, but will be subject to a penalty fee of $400.

Students who are approved to change status to "off campus" after the official start date of the applicable semester will be responsible for the full room and board charge on their student account, as well as the penalty fee of $400. Please refer to the Undergraduate Refund Policy and Refund Schedule to determine possible room and board refund eligibility. The academic year ends on the evening of the last day of finals and rooms must be vacated within 24 hours thereafter. Residence halls and dining halls are open only when the College is in session. The College is not in session during the official vacation periods and all students must vacate their rooms. The College reserves the right to assign and reassign rooms when such is deemed necessary by the Office of Residence Life. Students may only reside in one occupancy space. Any open occupancy in a student's room must be vacated for assignment by the Office of Residence Life at any time. The College reserves the right to enter student rooms to ensure the health, cleanliness, safety, and maintenance of the residence halls. The College retains the right to use student rooms during vacation periods. All undergraduate resident students must participate in a meal plan. (There is no special meal option for Colchester residents) All students must agree to abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.


To withdraw or take a leave of absence from Wheelock College Undergraduate students must complete an official Withdrawal or Leave of Absence form (available at the Office of Academic Advising and Assistance) and meet with the Associate Vice President for Student Services. Notification of non-attendance or withdrawal to faculty alone does not constitute official withdrawal, and a tuition credit cannot be allowed on that basis. Tuition credit will be granted only on the basis of the date the college was notified on the withdrawal or leave of absence form. General fees, student activity fee, registration fees and room-retainer fees are not refundable. As defined, "net refundable fees" paid (tuition, room and board fees less registration fees, and room-retainer fees) will be refunded under the following refund schedule which is available upon request through the Office of Financial Services. Room and board fees will be prorated starting from the official start date of the semester. Room and board fees usually are inseparable, but for purposes of refunds the board portion is considered to be 25% of the total room and board fee. Students who receive institutional aid (grants, scholarships and loans) will have these forms of aid refunded in the same percent as the refund of tuition and fees. For students receiving federal aid under Title IV, that is Federal Pell Grants, FSEOG loans, or Perkins Loans, the federal refund policy (known as Return of Title IV Aid) applies and determines the amount of aid for which a student is entitled to retain for the period of enrollment. For students receiving state grants or scholarships, refunds are processed according to each state's own individual guidelines.


Before the official semester start date 100% of net refundable fees
1st-7th calendar day of the semester 100% of net refundable tuition, prorated portion of room and board
8th-14th calendar day of the semester 50% of net refundable fees
15th-21st calendar day of the semester 25% of net refundable fees
After the 21st calendar day of the semester 0% of refundable tuition, prorated board only


Before the course starts 100% of net refundable fees
1st-7th calendar day of the course 50% of net refundable tuition
After the 8th calendar day of the start of course No refund


Before the course starts 100% of net refundable fees
After the course starts No refund

Please note: If a student is enrolled in at least one full semester course, the full semester refund schedule applies to all courses. Students enrolled in the Bachelor's Degree Completion program follow the half semester refund schedule. Summer and online courses follow the half semester refund schedule.


This policy applies to students who withdraw, are approved for a leave of absence or are suspended or academically dismissed from the institution. The term "Title IV Funds," which refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and for students enrolled at Wheelock College, includes the following programs: subsidized Stafford Loans, unsubsidized Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), and other Title IV programs (not including Federal Work-study). A student's withdrawal date is:

  • The date the student began the institution's withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw; or
  • For a student who leaves without notifying the institution, the midpoint of the period of enrollment or the last date of an academically related activity in which the student participated.

Note for students attending module courses: Courses which do not span the length of the semester are considered to be "module" courses. This includes some courses during fall and spring terms and most courses attended during the summer. Students may be considered to have withdrawn, even if a module course is completed. If a student drops one or more courses after they completed the first module and is no longer actively attending any courses, the student is considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes and aid must be adjusted accordingly. Students enrolled in future modules may be required to submit written confirmation they plan to attend those courses. Example: a term consists of two modules. A student is enrolled in one course in each module. The student completes the course in the first module and receives a grade but then drops the second class in the second scheduled module. This is considered a withdrawal.


The amount of Title IV funds to be returned will be based on the number of days in attendance in proportion to the number of days in the term or period of enrollment, up to the 60% point in the semester. There are no refunds after the 60% point in time, as the federal regulations view the aid has been "100% earned" after that point in time. A copy of the worksheet used for this calculation and examples can be requested from the Wheelock College Financial Aid Office. In accordance with federal regulations, the return of Title IV funds is paid in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal PLUS
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Other Title IV assistance


Wheelock College's responsibilities include:

  • Providing each student with the information given in this policy;
  • Identifying students who are affected by this policy;
  • Completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for students who are subject to the policy; and
  • Returning the Title IV Funds that are due the Title IV programs.

The student's responsibilities include:

  • Contacting the Office of Records and Registration (email: registrar@wheelock.edu; phone: 617-879-2135) for details on procedures for withdrawing or requesting a leave of absence;
  • Notifying the Financial Aid Office (email: finaid@wheelock.edu) immediately of a pending withdrawal or leave, as federal refunds must be made within 30 days of the date of withdrawal or leave; and
  • Returning to the Title IV programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and for which the student was determined to be ineligible via the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.
  • Students have the right to obtain a final calculation of the Return of Federal Funds.

The procedures and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time.


Students and their families assume the primary responsibility for planning and financing an undergraduate education. Wheelock College offers assistance to the student whose financial need exceeds the family's ability to pay. Wheelock's funds are administered in accordance with nationally established policy and philosophy, which ensure equity. Criteria established by Congress and Wheelock College are used in evaluating applications. Size of family, number of children in college, income, and assets are analyzed to compute the family contribution. This contribution is deducted from the education costs to determine a student's financial need. Eligible applicants may receive assistance from institutional, federal and state funds. The amount and type of aid a student receives depends on the level of need and the available funds at the time of application. A financial aid package may include one or more of the following: a grant or scholarship that does not have to be repaid; a loan that must be repaid; a work-study award earned by the student as wages for part-time employment.


While planning to meet college costs, the family should consider current tuition, room and board (for resident students) and fees. Additional expenses, including approximately $880 for books, and travel costs ($510), should be used to calculate the total cost of education. You are encouraged to investigate local, high school, civic and other private sources of funding. To receive consideration for Wheelock funds, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal TEACH Grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study awards and Federal Stafford Loans, applicants must complete the steps outlined below:

Incoming First-year students

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online by the February 15th priority deadline. Indicate Wheelock's federal school code number â€" 002228. In addition to submitting the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office may ask you and your family to submit copies of your own and your parents' IRS Tax Return Transcripts and Wheelock Colleges Verification Worksheet. If this additional information is needed, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student with a written request... Students are notified of financial aid decisions starting in mid-March.

Transfer Students

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online by the April 15th priority deadline. If you are transferring for the spring and have already filed with another school's financial aid office for the same academic year, you will need to go online and make a correction to your FAFSA and add Wheelock College's federal school code 002228. In addition to submitting the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office may ask you and your family to submit signed copies of your own and your parents' IRS Tax Return Transcripts and Wheelock Colleges Verification Worksheet. If this additional information is needed, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student with a written request. Transfer students will be notified of decisions regarding their financial aid applications starting in May for the fall semester.

Returning Students

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Students (FAFSA) online by the April 15 priority deadline. On the FAFSA, indicate Wheelock College's federal school code 002228. In addition to submitting the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office may ask you and your family to submit signed copies of your own and your parents' IRS Tax Return Transcripts and Wheelock Colleges Verification Worksheet. If this additional information is needed, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student with a written request. If you or your parents will not be filing a tax return, the proper sections of the Wheelock College Verification Worksheet must be completed; listing all sources of income. Returning students who submit their FAFSA by April 15th will receive their financial aid packages starting in June.


The Financial Aid Office will determine a student's eligibility for assistance and make an award to all students who have a valid, processed FAFSA and any other required documents on file. Awards for new students are mailed starting in March for fall and will continue on a regular basis. Awards for new students who enter the College for the spring semester are mailed once all necessary documents are received. Awards for returning students are mailed starting in June and will continue on a regular basis.


If a student or family's circumstances change (such as unemployment, illness, reduction of income) after submitting the FAFSA, please inform the Financial Aid Office immediately. Submit a written letter of appeal requesting reconsideration of your current aid decision. Your letter should provide specific information about a change in your family financial situation or extenuating circumstances (such as unemployment, reduction of income, and unusually high uninsured medical expenses) and include appropriate documentation. Please submit a signed copy of your and your parents' U.S. IRS Tax Return Transcripts and Wheelock Colleges Verification forms including W-2s and verification of any untaxed income. Any student who is declared ineligible for financial aid for not maintaining satisfactory academic progress may appeal in writing to the Director of Financial Aid within one month of the date of notice of ineligibility. The student should describe any extenuating circumstances that have compromised satisfactory academic progress.


Federal and state regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress. Once a year, following the spring semester the cumulative grade-point average and number of credit hours attempted and earned by each financial aid recipient will be reviewed. Students who apply for financial aid by May 1 will be notified in writing by the Office of Financial Assistance during the month of June if they have lost eligibility for aid due to failure to meet these standards. Late applicants will be notified when they submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a Federal PLUS Loan application. Incompletes, failures, or withdrawals are not considered earned credit hours and repeated courses are not counted as either attempted or earned credit hours. Transfer credits and Colleges of the Fenway credits are counted as earned credit hours. A student must successfully complete the number of credit hours and maintain the minimum cumulative grade-point average listed on the chart below by the end of each successive academic year. This chart differentiates among full-time, three-quarter-time and half-time students, and is based on the maximum attempted credits. Federal policy states that a student may only receive federal aid for up to 150% of the standard length of time that it takes a student to complete their program of study. For instance, if your degree requires 120 credit hours, you may not attempt more than 180 credit hours to achieve this degree.

1 22 1.80 18 1.80 12 1.80
2 45 2.00 36 2.00 24 1.80
3 68 2.00 54 2.00 36 2.00
4 90 2.00 72 2.00 48 2.00
5 112 2.00 90 2.00 60 2.00
6 134 2.00 108 2.00 72 2.00
7 126 2.00 84 2.00
8 134 2.00 96 2.00
9 108 2.00
10 120 2.00
11 132 2.00
12 134 2.00


Undergraduate students who have not met the standards for satisfactory academic progress are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible to receive aid. Such students will be notified of their status at their permanent address. The student is responsible for paying his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. and will not be reimbursed for period(s) of financial aid suspension. Students on suspension status who improve their academic performance to the required completion rate and cumulative GPA without exceeding maximum attempted credits will return to good standing and are eligible for financial aid consideration. Students who enroll for fall without the benefit of aid who regain eligibility for the spring should contact the Financial Aid Office to be reviewed. Students exceeding the maximum attempted credits for their program immediately enter financial aid suspension status and may no longer receive financial aid for the declared program of study.


Students with significant and documented extenuating circumstances may appeal to regain aid eligibility within fifteen days of receipt of the aid decision. The appeal must explain, and documentation must support, the unusual circumstances that prevented the student from meeting required academic standards. Unusual circumstances may include: death of a close family member, extended illness, personal injury or other extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation may include: death certificate, physician's/counseling psychologist statement, police report, etc. During the appeal process the student must be prepared to pay his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc., without expectation of financial aid reimbursement. Students whose appeals are approved are granted one additional semester of aid, and in general, a student will be granted only one waiver during their academic career. Students are expected to meet the standards of academic progress upon completion of the semester for which they were granted a waiver.


All students who follow the instructions for applying for financial aid will be considered applicants for all sources listed here, unless otherwise indicated. No separate applications are required.


Grants and Scholarships

Wheelock College Grants. Wheelock offers grants to students who demonstrate financial need; these funds do not have to be repaid. Recipients of these awards are selected by the College according to the criteria of each fund. Scholarships range from $700 to $20,000 and are awarded to incoming students based upon their academic record. Merit Scholarships are determined by the Department of Undergraduate Admissions and are available for qualifying first year and transfer students who start in the fall semester. Students are automatically notified if they have received an award. Eligibility is based on the grades and SAT scores that are on file at the time of student's admissions decision. Wheelock College Loans.Funds are loaned at a 5% interest rate to needy students. These loans must be repaid within ten years of graduation.

State Funds and Scholarships

Students who are applying for Wheelock funds are required to apply for their state scholarships, if available. Scholarship and grant funds currently are available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each state regulates its own application deadlines and procedures. New students should contact their guidance counselors or the Wheelock College Financial Aid Office for additional information.

Federal Financial Aid Funds

Federal Pell Grants are gift funds administered directly by the federal government to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. These funds do not have to be repaid. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are funds that are awarded to students with great financial need; Federal Pell Grant recipients receive priority. These funds do not have to be repaid. Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides federal grants of up to $3760 per year, for a maximum of $15,040. In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant. Wheelock undergraduate students must be enrolled as a Special Education professional major and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 in order to qualify Federal Perkins Loans are long-term, low-interest (5%) federal loans advanced by Wheelock. These funds must be repaid, but no interest or repayments are due until the expiration of the grace period after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. A nine-month grace period precedes loan repayment. Upon taking this loan, the borrower is advised of her or his rights and responsibilities regarding repayment. The Federal Work-Study Program provides eligible students the opportunity for employment that will give job training and help meet the costs of college education. A student selects her or his job from positions offered by on-campus academic and administrative departments, as well as off-campus employment. The amount of the work-study award is determined by the Financial Aid Office and does not appear as a credit on the student's bill. Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans provide federally insured funds of up to $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores and $7,500 for juniors and seniors. All students must demonstrate financial need as one of the requirements of eligibility for a subsidized loan. Both types of loans accrue interest while the student is enrolled, but in the subsidized program interest is paid by the federal government until the student begins repayment. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or ceases enrollment of at least half-time. The Federal PLUS Loan Program enables parents of dependent students to borrow the cost of education minus financial aid. PLUS loan borrowers have the option to begin repayment within 45 days after receipt of the loan or the parent can choose to defer payment while the student is enrolled at least half time. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. Eligibility is based on the borrower's creditworthiness. If parents are denied the Federal PLUS Loan, the student becomes eligible for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds. Alternative Student/Family Loan Programs. Wheelock participates in other student/family loan programs. For ways in which to find alternative financing please visit the financial aid website at http://www.wheelock.edu/finaid.


This section of the catalog briefly describes certain key academic policies of Wheelock College. These policies should not be considered all-inclusive. A complete description of the College's academic policies can be accessed online at www.wheelock.edu. In addition to the policies described here, there are requirements for students enrolled in various professional academic programs. Questions about academic policies, procedures, or requirements should be directed to an academic advisor, Academic Dean, and/or the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Finally, the academic policies described in this catalog and on the college website may refer to other documents (e.g., handbooks and pamphlets) that explain certain policies, procedures, or requirements more fully and may be obtained from the Registrar's office.


Regular class attendance is expected of all undergraduate and graduate students. Students cannot attend class unless they are registered through the Office of Academic Records and Registration. Each instructor must clearly explain his or her attendance policy in the course syllabus. The course syllabus must clearly indicate:

  • whether class attendance is a factor in the final grade
  • what constitutes "excessive" absences

It is the student's responsibility to communicate with his or her instructors regarding absences. In rare circumstances, a student may have to miss more than a week of class due to serious illness or to family emergencies. In these cases, a student should be in immediate contact with his or her instructor and advisor to discuss what options may be available. Should a student have to miss more than two weeks of class, it may be in the student's best interest to withdraw from the semester. The student is expected to complete whatever work is necessary to make up for absences. Class roster verification will occur at various points in the semester. Students who do not attend the first class meeting of a course in which they are registered may be administratively dropped, unless they make arrangements with the instructor prior to the first day of class. The Registrar's Office will notify students dropped from courses by emailing the student. Students must not assume that they will be dropped if they fail to attend the first few days of class. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with his or her instructors regarding absences. Students absent for the equivalent of a week of classes without notifying the instructor will be reported as not attending. For full-semester courses, one week of classes is defined as one class meeting for courses that meet once a week, two consecutive class meetings for courses that meet twice a week and three consecutive class meetings for courses that meet three times a week Any student who fails to attend class for a period of two consecutive weeks and does not contact his or her instructors may be administratively withdrawn from the college.


The College complies with Massachusetts law (G.L. c. 151C, § 2B) which provides, in relevant part, that: Any student in an educational institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; however, that such a makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.


A Wheelock College student (and a student from any of the Colleges of the Fenway institution taking a course at Wheelock) has a right to appeal a final grade or academic dismissal. A student may appeal a final grade or academic dismissal to the Academic Appeals Board. Undertaking such an appeal is an extraordinary matter. For a complete explanation of the appeals process you can access the full set of the academic policies at www.wheelock.edu/academics/academic-records-and-registration.


For undergraduate students, Wheelock College uses a system of letter grades that are equivalent to the following numerical quality points.

A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67 Minimum passing
F 0.00 Failing
P 0.00 Passing

In addition, a transcript may show the following statuses in the grade column

I 0.00 Incomplete
WD 0.00 Withdrawal
AU 0.00 Auditing

An "Incomplete" (I) may be submitted by the instructor only when a student fails to complete the requirements of a course by the date grades are due, as a result of documented medical emergency or illness or other extraordinary circumstances, such as a death in the family. (See full description of the policy on Incompletes below.) "Withdrawal" is the status recorded by the Registrar's Office when a student officially leaves a course before the withdrawal deadline published in the academic calendar and fills out a withdrawal form that is submitted to the Registrar's Office. Only a student can submit a request for withdrawal; a faculty member does not submit such a request.


Each semester, an undergraduate student may elect a total of four credit hours to be taken under the Pass/Fail option. During a four-year course of study, no more than thirty-two credit hours may be taken under this option, though the restriction does not apply to courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis, such as some practica and fieldwork. A grade of "P" (Pass) does not affect a student's cumulative grade-point average, but a failing grade of "F" (Fail), whether it is awarded under the letter grade system or the Pass/Fail option, is computed in the cumulative grade-point average. The following restrictions apply to the election of the Pass/Fail option:

  • Students must receive letter grades in courses that they select to fulfill General Education requirements or in their arts and sciences and professional majors, excluding practica.
  • Only one course in a student's minor may be taken under the Pass/Fail option.
  • Students on probation must take all courses (except courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis) for letter grades.

For full-semester courses, students must declare their choice of the Pass/Fail option before the fourth class meeting. For seven-week courses, the Pass/Fail option must be declared before the second class meeting. After these deadlines, neither students nor instructors may change the grading election.


It is the student's responsibility to request an incomplete or "I" by submitting to the instructor a completed Request for Incomplete form. If a student makes such a request for more than one course, he or she must complete and submit a separate form for each course (available from the Registrar). The instructor, at his or her sole discretion, may grant the student's request. The instructor will submit the completed form to the Registrar at the same time that he or she submits final grades. Student should note they cannot get packaged for financial aid with an incomplete grade on his or her record. All incomplete work must be submitted by the student to the instructor so that the instructor may submit a change of grade to the Registrar before that semester's deadline for submitting changes of grades. Students who plan to enter a practicum in the semester following the granting of an Incomplete must finish all work prior to beginning the practicum. If a grade has not been submitted by the deadline for submitting changes of grades, the grade of "I" will be administratively changed to a failing grade of "F."


The Dean's List is recognition of academic achievement for undergraduate students during an academic term. A student is eligible when he or she meets the following academic standards at the time the Dean's List is compiled:

  • Earns a minimum semester grade-point average of 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale); and
  • Successfully completes a minimum of twelve credit hours during the semester which are graded on a 'letter grade' basis; and
  • Does not carry any Incomplete grades ('I') or Failing grades ('F') for the semester at the time the Dean's List is determined.

Note: A student enrolled in 20 credits where 19 credits earn grades of 'A' and 1 credit earns a grade of 'F' will have a term GPA of 3.8.


By the end of the fall semester of sophomore year, every undergraduate student must declare an academic program, by submitting a completed Declaration of Academic Program form to the Office of Academic Advising and Assistance. Some academic programs require additional steps that include applications and interviews. Students intending to major in Social Work must meet with the coordinator of the BSW program, students intending to major in Special Education must meet with the Chair of the Special Education department, students wishing to enter the Child Life major must submit an application to the coordinator of the child Life program.


The Wheelock Literacy and Communications Exam (WLCE) is part of a college-wide commitment to help every student write clearly and effectively. The exam is a literacy test developed by the faculty to measure the reading and writing skills necessary to enter into academic, professional, and civic discussion. The exam tests students on fundamental spelling rules, conventions of punctuation and grammar, and accurate and insightful critical response skills. Coursework in ENG 120 and 121 will prepare students to take and pass sections of the WLCE. If after completing ENG 121, a student needs to pass sections of the WLCE, she or he needs to take RWS 099 or RWS 100 to complete the remaining portions of the exam. Please contact Scott Votel, Director of Composition Programs, for information about available WLCE support systems.


To complete degree requirements in four years, full-time undergraduates normally carry a course load of between sixteen to eighteen credit hours per semester. For the purposes of financial aid, oncampus housing, and eligibility for the Dean's List, a course load of twelve credit hours per semester is considered full-time. During his or her first semester at Wheelock College, a student may enroll in courses totaling no more than eighteen credit hours. Thereafter, except during a semester when he or she is enrolled in a practicum, a student may enroll in courses totaling no more than twenty credit hours. During a semester in which a student is enrolled in a practicum, he or she may enroll in courses totaling no more than sixteen credit hours unless he or she has received prior approval from the Scholastic Review Board. To obtain such approval, a student must complete and submit to the Scholastic Review Board a Request to Overload form, which is available at the Office of Records and Registration.


A 2.0 (C) cumulative grade-point average is the minimum acceptable standard for all undergraduate students. An undergraduate student must maintain this standard to graduate from the College and to enter a practicum. Also, all undergraduates must attain a grade of C or higher in the professional studies courses and the pre-professional courses required for the professional program in which they are enrolled. (This policy does not apply to foundation courses in Arts and Sciences.) In addition, a student must demonstrate during pre-practicum courses a strong likelihood that he or she will be able to complete successfully the requirements of an Arts and Science major and/or professional major. The Scholastic Review Board monitors an undergraduate student's academic progress.


Students in the Honors program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3. Students falling below this average will receive a warning from the Honors Committee immediately after the semester during which the GPA average appears on the transcript. Students have two semesters subsequent to the warning to raise their GPA to the required minimum. Students will be removed from the program if their GPA should fall below 3.3 again in any subsequent semester.


An undergraduate student must complete a minimum of 67 credits at Wheelock College to receive a Bachelor's degree. A student's final semester must be completed at Wheelock. Under special circumstances a student may request an exception to this policy. However, students cannot complete more than 8 final credits outside Wheelock. The undergraduate residency requirement is effective as of fall 2009.


Independent Study offers students an opportunity to do self-directed, advanced work in an area of academic interest with the guidance of a faculty member. The topic of the independent work goes beyond the scope of courses offered in any discipline. Students initiate the planning of an Independent Study, at least one semester in advance and in consultation with a faculty member. The academic work is usually completed in one semester. Independent Study carries a 400 course number and the designation of the academic discipline. Students must complete an Independent Study Proposal form (including all approvals), available in the Registrar's Office, before beginning the course work and no later than the end of the drop/add period of the semester in which the study is to be completed. An Independent Study typically does not apply to General Education requirements; to use an Independent Study to satisfy a requirement, the student must petition the Scholastic Review Board.


Wheelock College's general education program prepares graduates to be engaged, lifelong learners, able to draw upon a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways of knowing. The skills and habits of mind gained in General Education courses will enable graduates to enrich their personal lives, adapt to a variety of professional situations, advocate for children and families, and act responsibly in a diverse and changing world.


*Additional or more specific requirements apply to professional and arts and sciences majors and programs. Students should check with advisors to determine if special requirements related to general education apply to their particular program of study. General education courses enable Wheelock graduates to:

  • use inquiry and critical thinking to recognize, investigate, analyze, and solve problems and to value the process of that discovery;
  • bring wide-ranging disciplinary knowledge to their lives and professions, and pursue a lifetime of intellectual growth;
  • communicate effectively using written, oral, and digital means and appreciate the creative and practical functions of language;
  • comprehend and employ scholarly and scientific problem-solving methods, including quantitative concepts, to gather, interpret and critically evaluate data, to investigate and answer questions, and to understand the value of such research;
  • engage intellectually and creatively with the fine and performing arts, and appreciate creative expression;
  • examine, develop and defend moral and ethical judgments, and understand and value the judgments of others;
  • connect and synthesize disparate information and ideas, and adapt to personal, intellectual and professional challenges;
  • understand human development in its multiple and varied contexts;
  • gain an informed understanding of race, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability, and use that understanding to live and act responsibly in a diverse world.

Students develop these competencies and habits of mind in courses that provide "Foundations of Knowledge and Inquiry" and "Ways of Knowing." In addition, students deepen their understanding through cross-curricular courses fulfilling requirements in Perspectives on Diversity and Upper Level Writing, and make connections among ways of knowing in an interdisciplinary General Education capstone seminar.


Foundation courses focus on developing skills and habits of mind essential to succeed as a student, and to meet Wheelock College's definition of an educated person. These courses allow students to master skills in reading, writing, speaking, mathematics and information literacy, to learn about human growth and development, to develop an understanding of diverse cultures and the influence of race and ethnicity on human beings, and to become empowered critical thinkers.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS Wheelock College General Education Program (Total Credits: *40â€"48)

*Additional or more specific requirements apply to professional and arts and sciences majors and programs. Students should check with advisors to determine if special requirements related to general education apply to their particular program of study.


Critical thinking is important to academic, personal, and professional success. It helps us distinguish between facts, theories, and opinions, research and evaluate information, solve problems effectively, and convey ideas clearly. Students select their first year seminar course from a variety of different offerings, all of which also fulfills one "Ways of Knowing" requirement.


Understanding written texts and communicating in written, visual, oral, and electronic form is critical to every academic discipline and profession, and to success in private and public life. Students take a one or two course sequence (ENG 110 and/or ENG 111) depending upon placement exam results.


The capability to reason quantitatively and to engage in mathematical thinking and problem solving is important to personal and professional success. In the core courses students develop the ability to use and critically evaluate numerical information and to understand and solve problems in a variety of contexts demanding quantitative literacy. Particular course sequences apply to specific programs of study.


Understanding human development over the life span is important for personal and professional growth and to Wheelock's mission of improving the lives of children and families. In these core courses (HGD 120/121 and HGD 122/123) students examine patterns of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, and compare and contrast major theoretical frameworks which explain those patterns. In addition, students observe and analyze children's behavior in a field placement setting.


Courses enable students to recognize, employ and understand the ways of knowing central to the major academic disciplines. They provide opportunities for students to explore diverse ideas and methodologies, to gain knowledge in specific fields, and to become adept and flexible thinkers, capable of appreciating and applying different disciplinary perspectives to situations in their personal and professional lives.


The relationship between self and society is a fundamental human question. Courses in this category focus on understanding individual and group identity in the context of experiences, theories, institutions, and values that shape and inform human thought and behavior. They allow students to explore the physical, emotional and cognitive dimensions of identity development, as well as the impact of societal beliefs, cultures and systems on human beings. Self and Society courses are located largely in the social sciences, but may be based in topics and approaches of other disciplines, from biology to literature.


Languages and literature are vital to expressing and understanding ourselves and others. Through language, we express and experience the creativity and diversity of human thought, experience and culture. Courses in this category focus on language and how we use it in practical and imaginative ways to convey what it means to be human. Courses may examine the origin or structure of language, or involve reading and interpreting literary texts, the study and practice of one or more languages, or creating language-based works. Normally, only foreign language courses at the intermediate level or above may be applied to the Languages and Literatures category.


Creativity is central to humans, and as such is essential to all that we do. Courses in this category encourage students to explore their own creativity, and to appreciate artistic expression and how and what it communicates. Students may develop understanding of creativity and the arts through direct engagement in the creative process or through the study of the creative work of others. Courses may involve actual performance or production, teach skills, concentrate on artistic history, or discuss the role of the arts in society. Courses in Creativity and the Arts are typically based in fine and performing arts disciplines such as Studio Art, Art history, Theatre performance, and Music performance or history.


Learning about the past is crucial to becoming an educated, civically engaged person, and to professional preparation. Historical perspectives and methods of historical inquiry help us understand what has happened in the past, and give us tools and perspectives for analyzing the present, and responding to the complex challenges of the future. Courses may be focused on a particular historic moment or topic, span time and cultures, and/or examine questions and processes related to how we gather, interpret, and pass on knowledge of the past. Historical perspectives courses increase students' knowledge and understanding of the past and the methods historians use to develop questions, gather information, and verify and interpret their findings. Courses include those with a History designation as well as those in other fields which place emphasis on learning about and interpreting the past.


Having an understanding of basic science concepts, the nature of scientific thinking and practices, and the connections between science and technology is critical for appreciation of the natural world and active participation in issues of public and personal concerns. Courses in this category focus on understanding the basic elements of science inquiry and central components of scientific thinking as well as fundamental concepts in one or more fields of science. The courses engage students in direct experience with phenomena requiring the use of tools of scientific research and processes of experimental design. Courses are usually based in such life and physical sciences as astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, earth science, ecology, engineering and physics. They may also include interdisciplinary courses which have a strong science and technology component.


Thinking about and defining the "good" and moral life is a central feature of human existence. Such examination is central to leading an engaged and ethically empowered life. Courses in this category focus on ethical or moral dilemmas and questions commonly confronted by individuals, groups, and nations. Such courses may also focus on exploring the meaning of a just community, society, or world. Courses come from a range of disciplines, including philosophy, anthropology, political science, religion, psychology, science, and may include a service learning experience.



Thinking about the world from a variety of perspectives, and making connections between ways of knowing is critical to learning and living in the 21st century. Courses in this category enable students to bring together perspectives from the different ways of knowing, and use them to explore specific topics and demonstrate what they have learned in their general education program. Courses could be located in any two disciplines or majors offered by the College. Capstones are open to juniors and seniors who have fulfilled the two Ways of Knowing applicable to the course for which they plan to register. While strongly encouraged to complete a General Education capstone, students who transfer to Wheelock College with sophomore class standing or higher (at least 28 transfer credits) are exempt from the requirement.


The ability to understand and interact with people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences is essential to thinking critically and creatively and to living and working in local, regional, and global communities. Wheelock defines diversity broadly to include culture (i.e., national origin, language, ethnicity, and religion) as well as race, gender, social class, age, sexual orientation, and disability. Courses in this category may examine concepts of race and relations of power among cultures, and/or engage with the beliefs, history, experiences, artistic or literary expressions, and traditions of people whose experiences and cultures are outside of the Western tradition.


Writing skills are vital component of success; the ability to communicate one's ideas clearly and effectively is critical to professional and personal growth. Courses that fulfill this requirement ensure that students continue to work on their written communication skills beyond their first-year composition courses. Students must have successfully completed ENG 111 before taking their ULW course.



Certification as a Child Life Specialist is available through the Child Life Council (CLC). To become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) a student must pass an examination that is administered by the CLC two times per year in May and November. To be eligible to take the examination, the student must have received a baccalaureate degree or be in the final semester of study towards a baccalaureate degree. All eligibility requirements must be completed by the time of application to take the examination. Once eligibility is approved, the student may take the certification examination. The student may take this examination as many times as he or she needs to pass it, as long as the current eligibility requirements are met. For more information on Child Life Certification requirements, contact the Child Life Council at Child Life Council, Inc., 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 240, Rockville, MD 20852- 2529, or via their web site at www.childlife.org, or call 301-881-7090.


Wheelock students who complete a baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree program that is approved for Initial Educator Licensure in Massachusetts (including passing state licensure examinations), are eligible for institutional endorsement for that license in Massachusetts. Undergraduate state-approved and nationally recognized (accredited) teacher preparation programs offered at Wheelock lead to institutional endorsement for the Massachusetts Initial Teacher License in three areas:

  • Early Childhood: Teacher of Students With and Without Disabilities (PreK-2)
  • Elementary Teacher (Grades 1-6)
  • Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)

Once a teacher is employed in a position that requires the Initial License, the license is activated and valid for employment in Massachusetts for up to five consecutive years. The Initial license is activated when the teacher takes a position in Massachusetts that requires the Initial license. Five years after the license is activated it must be advanced to a Professional level. The Professional license can be renewed every 5 years indefinitely. Requirements for Professional Licensure include three years of teaching in the field and age/grade level of the Initial License after being eligible for that license; mentoring in the first year of teaching with the license; 50 hours of supervised experience beyond the first year of mentoring; and a masters that meets state requirements for the advancement of a specific license. A masters in any area qualifies for licensure advancement if augmented by a 12-credit advanced content course cluster that addresses content knowledge areas for that license, meeting the requirements of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for advancing a specific license to the Professional level. Wheelock offers a state approved masters program in Reading, and five approved 12-credit clusters to advance initial licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, ESL/ELL, and Moderate Disabilities (see page 120 for more information). The College also offers other master's programs that can include the 12-credit content clusters or that meet the Professional licensure requirements in numerous ways. For more information on advancing an Initial license to the Professional level within 3-5 years, contact the Department Chair or the Associate Dean for Education (dmckibbens@wheelock.edu).


Massachusetts department of early education and card (DEEC) birth to 8-years, Pre-k/ kindergarten lead teacher credential and Massachusetts department of elementary and secondary education (dese) grants licenses, required for prek-12th grade licensure for lead teacher positions in public and private settings in Massachusetts. MS licensure is honored by other state departments of education when evaluating appropriate requests for some forms of reciprocity.


Wheelock graduates of baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate Early Childhood programs can use courses and supervised practica from their programs to apply for lead teacher and director credentials issued by the Department of Early Education and Care. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) has established prerequisite educational and job experience requirements for individuals working in child care centers, nursery schools and private kindergartens. The DEEC credential indicates that an individual meets these criteria and, therefore, is eligible to be employed in specific roles within child care settings. Wheelock College has individual courses and programs that qualify for the DEEC credentials required for the following positions:


Must be at least 18 years of age or have a high school diploma or equivalent AND have 3 credits or 4 CEU credits in Child Development (birth to 8 years of age) and 9 months of supervised work experience or one practicum with children under 7 years of age, three months of which must be with infants or toddlers for Infant/Toddler Teacher, and with preschoolers for Preschool Teacher.

Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher:

B.S. or B.A. or advanced degree in ECE or related field of study; 12 credits or equivalent CEUs in early childhood or a related field of which 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in either curriculum, program planning or classroom management, and 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in a course in child development (birth to 8 years) and 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in a course related to the care of infants and toddlers; and 18 months of supervised work experience with children under 7 years of age, six months of which must be with infants and toddlers.

Preschool Lead Teacher:

B.S. or B.A. or advanced degree in ECE; PreK-2 licensure from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), or in a related field of study; 12 credits in early childhood or a related field of which 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be either curriculum, program planning or classroom management, and 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in a course in child development (birth to 8 years); and 18 months of supervised work experience with children under 7 years of age, six months of which must be with preschoolers.


Must meet the requirements of lead teacher; have 6 months of work experience after meeting lead teacher qualifications; and must have at least 6 additional credits or equivalent CEU credits in courses covering either day care administration, business or management.


Completion of a minimum of 150 contact hours in one semesterof direct work with infants/ toddlers or preschoolers, supervised by personnel from an institution of higher learning, with at least three site visits, and placement with at least a Lead Teacher qualified staff member. One practicum may substitute for 9 months of work experience. The practicum must be verified on the Verification of Work Experience form and listed on a transcript. Verification may be from the placement or the institution of higher learning. For more information about credentials for child care providers and center director's certification, or to receive an updated listing of the current child care certification requirements, see the Department for Early Education and Care web-site at www.mass.gov/eecor contact them at 51 Sleeper Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02210. You may also call the DEEC at (617) 988-6600; fax at (617) 988-2451; and TTY at (617) 988-2454.


Social Work is a legally regulated profession in Massachusetts and in most states. The nature of the regulation varies somewhat from state to state. The most common form, as in Massachusetts, is licensure, although some states have certification. Technically, what is usually regulated is practice under the title of "social worker." Not all states have all levels, and the terminology varies. Some states license only more advanced clinical practice. In Massachusetts, the licensing levels are as follows:

  • LSWA. Licensed Social Work Associate. Associate level (associate degree in human service field or baccalaureate degree in any field).
  • LSW. Licensed Social Worker. BSW-Basic level (baccalaureate degree in social work plus passing LSW licensing exam).
  • LCSW. Licensed Certified Social Worker. MSW-Intermediate level (masters degree in social work plus passing LCSW licensing exam).
  • LICSW. Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Advanced level (masters degree in social work plus two years of LICSW-supervised post-masters degree practice experience plus passing advanced licensing exam). This is the level that is most likely to be recognized by insurance companies as eligible for reimbursement for professional services.

Students should always investigate the specific licensure regulations in the state in which you intend to practice. Contact the National Association of Social Workers at www.socialworkers.org or the Association of Social Work Boards at 1-800-225-6880 or www.aswb.org.


To practice social work, persons must be licensed in the state of Massachusetts. In addition, all others who have the title "social worker," or who refer to themselves as practicing social work, must be licensed unless they are county, state, or municipal employees. Practicing social work without a license is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, as is performing functions reserved for a higher licensing level. For more information on these licensing requirements, please visit www.naswma.org.


According to Massachusetts law and regulations, to obtain an Initial License to teach in Massachusetts public schools, at the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, candidates must complete a state-approved program of study and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). The tests are license-specific and the purpose of these exams is to ensure that each licensed educator has the knowledge and skills essential to teach effectively in Massachusetts public schools.


The College has developed an extensive system of review sessions and support courses specifically for MTEL preparation support. A sequence of courses, including writing courses, is identified that should enhance students' ability to perform well on the exams if additional content knowledge is needed, in addition to test taking preparation or general content review. Wheelock students have an obligation to work with faculty members and advisors to develop an MTEL preparation plan as soon as they select an education major, to fully utilize the College's resources, and follow the suggested test taking sequence to assure completion by the junior year at the college. Additional information about the MTEL and Wheelock's support system is found on the College website at www.wheelock.edu/mtel including an annual listing of test prep session that is posted electronically on the MTEL website by July 1-15 each year. Wheelock MTEL preparation support is also available to the public on a fee basis\ with the exception of the Foundations of Reading prep and the advanced specialist Teacher or Reading prep support.


The following table summarizes the MTEL pass rates for the program completers in academic year 2011-2012 as reported in the 2013 Annual Institutional Report. Program completers are defined as individuals who have completed all the requirements of a state-approved teacher preparation program, including the baccalaureate degree and passing scores on all required program-specific MTEL exams.

Annual Pass Rates Released by the Department of Elementary &Secondary Education


Reading Subtest 100%
Writing Subtest 100%
Aggregate 100%


Early Childhood 100%
Foundations of Reading 100%


Mathematics Subtest 100%
Multi-subject Subtest 100%
Aggregate 100%

The faculty and administration of Wheelock College are committed to preparing exemplary classroom teachers. Wheelock allows students (depending on their individual program requirements) to enter education degree programs without having first passed the MTEL, but all candidates must pass the required examinations by specific points within their preparation programs, as articulated in the institutional MTEL policy in place since fall 2001 for undergraduate programs and since fall 2002 for graduate programs. The Wheelock faculty believe that successful passage of the MTELtests are only one measure of a potentially successful teacher. The coursework and extensive supervised field and clinical experiences students complete and the test support system the College has in place are designed to help students achieve their goals. While a student's success on the MTEL is only one part of becoming a classroom teacher, it is an important and necessary part. A variety of preparation supports are provided for students' MTEL preparation. Students are expected to follow the administration and faculty recommendations on when and how to prepare for and take each separate test, passing all requirements in the junior year or early in the senior year. The College supports students in numerous ways to help them be successful. 

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